Trip Planning - Best Tips!

We love trip planning time: anticipating our family vacations! We have some terrific ideas and tips to make your own trip truly idyllic.

Add some of your own creativity! You - and your family - can have a wonderful time... All around!

Plus fit it into your budget - how important is that!! - See all of our tips for you: Right Here!

Trip PlanningPlan to Drive Along Route 66?

I've had many people say to me "You always go to so many exciting vacation trips!"

They say it with a touch of envy - as if they don't know how we manage to do that! As if we have some extraordinary trip planning gift. Or have won some fantastic inheritance that finances us! But no!

I always reply "You just have to think ahead, and then plan ahead!" That's the key - planning. Keeping it in mind ahead of time! Think about it - make a plan. So it gets done. The planning itself is exciting!

Then terrific vacations will truly materialize!!

Are you a planner or a procrastinator?

I think we can manage to figure out vacation ideas for both types! It's ideal if you begin your trip planning months ahead of time. But if you're the last minute type of person - for whatever reason...

You can still get it done!

Trip Planning Ideas for Advanced Planners!

Vacation trip planningPlan Ahead for Your Vacation

Arrange your trip by thinking months ahead...

That's normally the best way! Maybe even up to a year prior to your vacation. As soon as you arrange your days off from your work schedule, or your commitment schedule - begin planning. Of course, if children are included in the mix, figure their schedule into this plan.

We've taken our grandchildren on a number of trips. We've worked around their school holidays. This often fit into our work holidays, as well. Isn't this similar to the way it works for you?

BEST AIRFARE:  Universal Advice From Experts...

best airfare for vacation planningGet the Best Plane Fare by Timing Your Purchase
INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS - Start your search at 5 months ahead (max) of your planned flight date.
DOMESTIC FLIGHTS - Begin looking for plane fares a maximum of 3 to 4 months prior to your anticipated departure.
  • Best Purchase Timing Tips
    • Now keep watching for the best rates. It's somewhat debatable for the exact best time of purchase - experts say most likely between 6 to 8 weeks in advance. After that rates begin going up.
    • As soon as you're planning a trip - sign up for email alerts from airlines that fly to your destination.
    • Also sign up for cheap flight email alerts such as airfarewatchdog.
    • Search on a Tuesday, after 3 p.m. - that's when business flight sales (their biggest business!) are pretty much complete.
  • Purchasing Tips
  • You must reserve on-line. Calling the airlines to reserve will cost you more, as a rule.
  • In general, the more stop-overs, the lower the price.
  • Schedule your flights for Tuesday, Wednesday or Saturday. Friday & Sunday flights will be the most expensive.
  • Avoid busy times! Fares are based on supply & demand. The more people wanting seats - the more you'll pay for yours. Those busy times are:
    • School vacations: summer's the worst. But also spring break month & typical holidays.
    • Monday morning & Thursday late evening are heavy with business travelers.
  • Any holiday travel plans should be purchased as soon as possible - that's an exception to all other purchase timing rules.

ANOTHER TIP... from experts for best fares!

You use your web browser to search among the sites. You look for the best fare & the best route with the shortest time/lay-over. You check airline sites for comparisons. You pick out the fare with the best deal after you compare. Then you return to the best priced site for your purchase...

AND - what has happened?? That fare is no longer available... ALREADY!!

It's increased, making you think fares are rising that fast! It could be - because they can change up to 3 times a day!

But really it may be triggered by your browser! Plus the site's own programming of the cookies in your browser.

The site itself is psyching you out into panicking! It's making you think the fares are rising fast. So you will purchase immediately!

If it's worth the trouble to you - you can use this solution:

  • You don't have to go through the trouble of clearing that information from your browser (clearing the cookies - although you could do that). 
  • Instead just switch to a browser that is unconnected with the one you just used.
  • Open an entirely different browser. 
  • Now... Go back to the website and get that fare that you found first!!

Booking a Room Tips

Resorts or hotel rooms are often priced by supply and demand - but rates can be variable. Wait too long... risk losing out on that desired stay. Then again, waiting can sometimes get you a great deal.

Bargains are always around, when you know where to look!

You just have to keep searching daily, and become familiar with the rates for what you need. Then when you see a deal - grab it! Subscribe to sales emails, as well.

Also - keep in mind...

Do you intend your stay to be focused on the place? The resort? If so, then it is worth investing some cash into it. But if not - if you will be spending most of your time away from that room... don't invest too much of your vacation budget into it!

One great place that you can register with is Sears Vacations! We recently discovered this - it's free to join. Their deals are fantastic!

Search for your hotel, just as you do on any booking site. Go ahead & compare results with any others. You'll see the savings of $15 to even $50 a night or more! Depending, of course, on the hotel and city! Try it: Read More>

Of course, you don't want to stay in a flea-bag motel that rents by the hour!! But there are places that are quite budget conscious - while being clean and providing the comforts that you need. Those are the places you want to find. Advance trip planning will help with this. And we are here also to help you locate them!

For example - are you planning on heading to Sedona? Check out these lodging opportunities: more here>

Last Minute Ideas

vacation planning tipsVacation Planning?

So you tend to be a procrastinator? Trip planning will still help you out. Anybody has an opportunity to arrange a last minute vacation! An unexpected chance to take some time off...

Your 3 day weekend can turn into 4 days off!

Your 4 day weekend gets a furlough into 5 days off!

You can likely find some last minute package deals in an area which is great for family vacations - or could be great for a hiking trip!

Search on sites such as HotelTonight, AirBnB, or RoomerTravel for last minute bargain rates.

OR put a Road-Trip together for a great family trip, or a hiking trip, or a romantic get-away...

Within driving distance of home! Last Minute Trip Planning will make it exceptional!

Family Input for Any Vacation Trips

family vacation planningSurfing Beach?
island vacation planning tipsTropical Island?

What types of places do your kids - your significant other - your grand-kids, etc. - Where do they like to go on vacation trips? Let them have a say! Because nearby there is sure to be a great area for a fantastic trip for the family! Of course, we love our desert - and recommend it to you! The kids may love the ghost towns, or the Wild West adventures to be found here. But...


Dunk island vacation planningDunk Island Australia

THE TROPICS? Fantastic! A tropical jungle area, like Belize, or Cancun? Or some other areas of Mexico have great vacation spots.

How about Central America? Southeast Asia? Northern areas of Australia are tropical. Many areas of South America are also tropical. Even right in the U.S. - what about Florida?

Areas of the Gulf States all qualify. They all have some tropical jungles!

ISLANDS? Yes - they love tropical areas - but want an island culture. No problem!

The Hawaiian Islands are a fabulous vacation spot. There are many unique, beautiful areas. The Grand Canyon of Hawaii. Hiking into beautiful waterfalls. Viewing spectacular volcanic areas. And so much more!

Southeast Asia is a region of many many islands! The Philippines and Malaysia for instance. Think of Tahiti and so many other South Pacific islands. Myriads of them!

Maybe it doesn't have to be tropical. How about Vancouver Island in Canada? So gorgeous! Or Prince Edward Island, or Nova Scotia or Newfoundland? What about the Aleutians off Alaska?


Cataling Island vacation planningCatalina Island: Trip Planning for a Super Family Vacation Here?

Even closer - There are the coastal islands right off the U.S. How about Catalina Island. It's near to the metropolitan areas of Southern California. There's the San Juan Islands in the Northwest, off of Washington state.  Angel Island in San Francisco Bay is fascinating. And then off the coast of Ventura California are the wonderful Channel Islands. 

There are plenty of islands all throughout the U.S. Involve some geography in your family trip planning discussions. Coastal barrier islands, islands within the Greats Lakes... Which other ones do you know?

trip planningBirds Roosting on Anacapa in the Channel Islands

Road Trip Planning Ideas
For Vacations With the Family

Road trips: whatever state your family wants... there's a fabulous hot-spot near-by! There are some great places for the family!

Find your great combination of a vacation to satisfy everyone's special interest. For the whole family! Above did you notice the road sign for Historical Route 66? A great road trip which takes you through our state...


That is a wonderful road trip - Route 66!

Road Trip Plans for ArizonaDrive to Your Family Vacation

BUT - Where do you live? There's a great vacation area right in your state! Too close to home for your trip rambling feelings? Then pick an adjacent state, and begin your trip planning: drive for a day... or half a day...

Where will that get you to?

Plan your vacation right there in that area. There's tons of ideas! Let's get started!

Take a Drive! Let's Go!

bird watching vacation trip planningBelle Isle Conservancy, Detroit, MI - Home of the Borreal Wetlands Forest

For example...

Are you near to Detroit? A wonderful thing is going on there. Belle Isle is a small island in the Detroit River. It separates the U.S. from Canada. Within this isle there's a beautiful park with much history and variety.

It contains an old wood forest that's a great habitat for many species of birds. Plus there's nice trails for hiking. What an ideal place to plan a family vacation! Here's more details and all the reasons why you should visit: click here.

Just one example of a type of locality that can be involved in your own

Trip Planning!