The last piece to plan out for our vacation is two fold really. Not only do we have to figure out how to get to the destination but we have to figure out how to get around town while we are there. Now, these might seem like a no brainer but stay with me here. If you’re heading to a small town, because those are almost better than a huge city, then your options to get around town are limited. Unless you’re road tripping it.
Let’s start with the easiest way to get around town; road trip. I mean seriously is there any better way to travel? No security lines, no angry travelers; okay maybe a couple if you’re traveling with the kiddos. But generally road tripping affords you the best flexibility, plus there are so many Pinterest articles on cool things to see. Map out your trip and hit some fun places to eat and landmarks to visit. Sounds like a good time to me! If you’re planning to road trip here are some things to keep in mind:
- Plot your trip – Find gas stations or small towns that you can stop at. No one wants to run out of gas in the middle of the desert. You’ve seen the Hills Have Eyes, right? Yeah, no thanks.
- Make note of the places you want to stop for food or sightseeing – Some of the coolest places are just off the beaten path and ones you’d never see in a plane.
- Plan car friendly activities – Us adults usually can do with music or downloading some movies on our iPads. For the kiddos, have some car friendly games in mind. The license plate game is a fun one and has many formats. My kids used to track the license plates, write them down and map out the states. I Spy is another popular game; books, word searches, you know; all the educational stuff!
Now, let’s say we are traveling on a plane. Hopefully you packed accordingly with all of your TSA approved bags and such. We had an interesting experience last week at LAX, but I’ll save that for another post. If you’re staying at a hotel, check to see if they have transportation from the airport. Many of them are free or low cost and are economical for large groups. If you prefer Lyft or other ride share services, make sure you check the area. They are just about everywhere, but some airports, like Las Vegas, do not allow ride share vehicles to pick up travelers at the airport. You have to walk some distance to a designated spot. Always check rental car rates. We’ve had great luck with National and Hertz, in fact Jacob swears by National. My recent experience with them would also make me recommend them to anyone. Clean cars, fun and friendly staff and their toll road program is genius.
Wait, trains? Yup. Amtrak is a great way to cover a LOT of land, but it’s not always the quickest way to travel. It’s kind of a road trip in and of itself. If you’ve never traveled by train, I highly recommend it. It can be affordable and certainly comfortable. Some long distance trains have sleeping cars for overnight accommodations. If time is on your side for your trip, consider traveling by train. You won’t regret it.
Walking certainly is a mode of transportation and if you visit cities like Portland, OR, San Francisco or New York City, then you have some pretty awesome public transportation to take advantage of. Whether it’s a free street car ride through downtown Portland, the BART system or the subway, you can get to just about every point in a relatively short period of time. Buying passes
online saves you money as well as gives you an idea of the routes you need to take to get to where you’re going. Bring your walking shoes and get ready to rack up some steps!
So How Are You Getting Around Town?
Welp. This is it for the vacation planning series. Hopefully these have been easy tips to help make your vacation planning easy and as stress free as possible. If you’ve got some other vacation planning tips that have made your life easy, feel free and share in the comments below. We could all use a little less stress in our lives, don’t you agree?