Okay so who doesn’t love to travel, right? I think we can all agree that a well-deserved trip away from home is one of the best things in life. Especially when it includes a nice hotel, some shopping and good eats. I mean… it doesn’t get much better than that! On a recent trip to Vancouver, Alex and I planned each day from morning until night making sure we got to do ALL the things. And like all plans, they don’t always work out how we expect them to. Thus, here are 4 tips for getting the most out of short haul trips:
1. Always Make Reservations
Okay so this one seems like a no brainer right? Well not always. For me, I get waaaay to excited about first getting to the destination, then the hotel and ALL the activities in between that before you know it… it’s dinnertime and you’re STARVING and you haven’t made any dinner reservations in town. Sure enough, this was exactly what happened. On Saturday night we had plans to meet up with some friends and go to one of our favourite restaurants in Yaletown. When we finally met up after getting super excited (and also pretty hungry) you guessed it… the restaurant was full for the night. Thus we resorted to finding ANY restaurant at this point with the quickest wait list – not the best scenario on a Saturday night with growling stomachs. My advice: do a quick Google search while you’re on the road, or at your hotel, and give the restaurant a quick call to reserve a spot. That 5 minutes will save you later on and will ensure a seamless dinner date with your pals.
2. Budget, Budget, Budget
Again, a no brainer right? I’ll admit something to you… I have yet to master this thing called budgeting and whenever I rely on paying by debit or credit, I almost always spend more than I should. I could be wrong but I don’t think I’m alone on that one either. From food, to parking, to coffee, to shopping, to snacks, to tips… it’s incredibly difficult to keep track of it your finances on a holiday. So what is my solution? Change jars! Get a plain jar or even a piggy bank and promise yourself to put any loose change and bills into that jar for the months leading up to your trip. The less you put in, the less you can spend on that new Chloé satchel you’ve been eyeing from Nordstrom. Although this tip might be kind of difficult for trips planned on shorter notice, it sure helps the bank in the end.
3. Luxury Doesn’t Always Win
Like many people, I want to feel a sense of luxury when it comes to staying in hotels. On our trip we ended up booking with the Pan Pacific Vancouver – luxurious right? Wrong. Long story short, we didn’t do our research and booked spontaneously, thinking that the Pan Pacific will be the nicest hotel we’ll ever stay in. The room was outdated, the baseboards were banged up, we hardly saw any hotel staff except for the front desk thus the customer service was minimal to none, parking was $20 more expensive than its competitors, the bathtub was exceptionally small, and the duvet looked quite old/yellow…. Our advice: do your research, read online reviews, and choose wisely. Don’t solely rely on the name of hotel for your booking decisions.
3. Be Practical
Packing for trips and vacations is one of those subjective topics because everyone has a system that works for them, making packing advice so personal. That being said, when I’m traveling I usually opt for packing practical items for both my beauty routine and my clothes. For makeup and hair I only bring what I need to get the job done. For example, 1 styling tool, 1 styling product (usually hairspray) and that’s it. For makeup, I (try to) limit myself to a small makeup bag. It might be tough but you’ll be glad you kept your chunky eyeshadow palettes at home. For clothing, I plan my outfits for each day and specifically choose items that are versatile and can serve both day and evening looks. Depending on the length of the trip, I’ll usually bring one comfy outfit for traveling and the rest I make sure I can easily mix and match depending on my mood that day. My go-to picks for Vancouver? Waterproof tall black boots, black leggings/pants, oversized top/blouse, trench coat, and an umbrella. Always.
There you have it! I hope you can apply some of these tips to whatever trips you having coming up this year. Do you have any go-to tricks while traveling? Let me know in the comments below – I’d love to hear!