5 Tips When Planning a Holiday


When I plan a holiday, I always do these five things beforehand. It really helps me prepare and organise the holiday to avoid stress and it keeps me excited for my upcoming trip! If you find yourself arguing with your travel partner or are just generally in a lot of stress when you are on holiday, read and practice these five tips and get ready to watch all of your problems melt away as soon as you step off that plane, train or car.

The Three Sisters in Alberta, Canada

Book a Table For Dinner For the First Night

Unless you have dinner included at your hotel, or plan to cook from an apartment, I recommend to always pick out a restaurant for the first night and book a table. This for me has avoided many hangry arguments about where to eat, especially if we arrive in the evening and have little time to walk around to choose a restaurant.

If you are a foodie (which I am and I think food really makes or breaks a holiday), feel free to book a table for breakfast the next day as well or even for dinner for all evenings. If you are staying in a busy city I definitely reccommend to do this anyway, as even if you see a cuter restaurant during the day you can also cancel your reservation and make a new one elsewhere.

I find there is nothing more stressful than walking around trying to find somewhere to eat – just be warned, book too many tables (eg. breakfast, lunch and dinner) you might overbook yourself and not even be hungry. So make sure you find the right balance!

Save a List on Google Maps for Restaurants and Activities

This is the tip if you want to get organized and make sure you see (and eat) everything you want to on your trip! You can share the list with other people so they can also save things to it, which makes it a really great way to prepare for your trip weeks or months in advance (I reccommend to start the list just after you have booked your trip, when you feel most excited and motivated).

Depending on if you are on a laptop or phone, go to Google Maps and hit ‘Menu’ and then ‘Your Places’, or when using your phone just click on the ‘Saved’ tab. You can create lists for each destination or have separate lists for different categories. I create lists for each destination/each time I go there, as you can see below.

I always do this before every upcoming trip, it doesn’t mean I will visit everything on my list, but it narrows it down enough so that I have a good selection to pick from without becoming overwhelmed.

Decide How Much You Want To Plan

This sounds a bit weird, but before you go on holiday you have to decide what kind of holiday you want to go on. Do you want to be completely spontaneous and not know what you’re doing from one minute to the other? Or would you like everything to be organised and scheduled.

I find this also depends on how long the trip is, I was once in London for 12 hours and made a clear plan what I was doing every hour, I pre-booked tickets for the theatre and museums and booked tables for brunch and dinner (which is a must if you are in London anyway), I had the best time! Although that might sound like a lot, it actually took all the stress off of me and I was able to enjoy and see everything that I had planned.

I usually find a mixture of spontaneity and scheduling is the best. Whatever you definitely want to see then pre-book the tickets for it, and then you can decide while on holiday what you would like to do in between the activities you have already have planned.

Cross Reference Reviews and Photos on Social Media

When I look for a hotel, I cross reference over various platforms to see as many different perspectives as possible (is this just me or do you do it too already?) I find searching the hotel on Instagram gets me more ‘real’ photos than the professional, wide angled photos you see on their own website. I also double check prices directly from their website and from other platforms (eg. booking.com) to see what is cheapest – I’ve found hotels in Thailand way cheaper by booking through their direct website!

If I’m looking for an instagrammable restaurant I also do this, I usually find the restaurant on Google maps and then double check by searching on instagram. Or if I see the restaurant recommended by someone on Instagram, I then double check the menu and reviews on Google. It works both ways.

Watch Vlogs and Read Blogs to Get More Insight

I LOVE doing this before a trip, it gets me really excited for it! There are soo many youtube videos (Rick Steves is a classic and a favourite, but there are also more modern vlogs too) of every country and city. You are bound to find a youtube vlog about it! I love putting them on in the background and I usually find a couple of good tips.

It’s the same with blogs, as I’m vegetarian and have a nut allergy I usually search on Google ‘Where to eat vegetarian in {destination} blog’ or ‘nut free restaurants in {destination} blog’ . By adding the word ‘blog’ it skips a few of the generic Tripadvisor links and goes straight to blogs written by real people.

I also follow Instagram accounts from people that live in the area that I’m going to visit, this way you can get good insider information on where the locals eat and get a feel of what you want to see.

Those were my top five tips to help you plan a trip, let me know in the comments below where you are planning on going next, I hope this post will help you enjoy your holiday to the max!

Thanks for reading

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