Most of the world is back open! And a great number of us are itching to travel. I, for one, love to travel. I am almost never more relaxed than I am in new scenery. As a singleton, I lived for a good solo vacay (read my tips on that here). Now that I’m married to a professional business traveler, I stow away as often as possible just because. I have an elaborate travel plan I use for longer, more defined trips, but nowadays, I don’t always know enough details in enough time to use it. There is a more streamlined method to my madness, and I hope it helps you.
My Simple Process for Travel Planning
My vacation planning process doesn’t deviate too far from my normal process (for more on that, check out this post on my four-step planning process). I break my vacation planning into three main categories*: To Wear, To Eat, and To-Do. These areas represent my goals – eat, have fun, and avoid being naked in public while doing so. (By the way, this plan is best used once you’ve figured out where you’re going and when.)
*Note: Budget is also a great category to add to this, if you wish.
To Do – The Itinerary
Your activities will drive almost everything else in this process. The types of things you’ll be getting into will drive your wardrobe, and your schedule will somewhat affect what you eat. Much like you would do a brain dump of all the things you want to accomplish during the week, jot down all the things you want to do and see on your trip. If you’re traveling for business, you can make a quick note of your meetings and events. Next, record which days you’ll do what.
To Wear – Wardrobe
Once you know what you’re going to be doing, you can really dive into what clothing you’ll need. If you didn’t consider the weather when you were deciding on your activities, now would be the time. You may opt to brain dump a list of those favorite outfits you’ve been dying to wear, but if not, that’s okay. Take the time to pair appropriate clothing items to the activities you will be doing, like suits for meetings, swimwear for the beach, workout clothes for the gym, etc. You should begin to see a visual shorthand for your packing list, allowing you to edit out what you don’t need.
To Eat – Travel Meal Plan
Meal planning is an important part of maintaining my fitness and my finances. I plan what I eat as much as possible at home, but I find it so easy to get way off track when I travel if I don’t put some thought into it. On the flip side, I also have a tendency to accidentally skip meals when I find myself in an unfamiliar place, unsure of what my options are. This causes me to overeat when I finally do sit down for a meal. My Noom journey taught me that I can indeed eat the things I enjoy with a little bit of planning, so I try to do a little research and jot down some of the places I really want to try and when. I also take note of lunch specials and other opportunities to save money. I put this on my plan in the breakfast-lunch-dinner format.
A Good Travel Plan Does Not Leave You Broke – To Budget
I don’t always do a budget column, but it is totally helpful to add one. Just list your budget for each day and update with your spending totals as you go.
These columns become my simplified travel plan. Also, if my trip spans across the time I would normally be laying out my planner (more often than not), it is so much simpler for me to “frankenplan” this sheet into my notebook and keep it moving. For this reason, I recommend leaving a little space to make edits and additions.
Hopefully, with this simple travel plan you’ll spend less time managing your trip and more time enjoy it.
Are you ready to travel yet? If so, where are you headed next? Share with us in the comments below.