You've booked your trip, the excitement is building, you are ready to go!

How do you make sure you get the most out of your trip?  check out our tips below.

traveling with others:

Chances are you are traveling with 1 or more other people.  Whether you are traveling with friends, a partner, or children, the dynamic is different than when you are a solo traveler.  Check our tips below to get the most out of your group travel experience:

  1. Know your Role.  Divide the trip planning amongst your party. We found that when only one of us was involved in the trip planning, the other was somewhat checked out.  Use this opportunity to spread the work around and increase ownership and engagement-- your kids included.  We recommend you create roles around choosing where to eat, sightseeing, transportation, and which countries require visas.  
  2. Use your Note and shared Google Maps to keep everyone in your party up to speed with where you are going and how you are getting there.  If you've followed our steps in the Planning & Booking phase, your airline, car rental, and hotel confirmations can be accessed in GMAIL by all members.  Everyone will see where you are going on your shared Google Map.  
  3. Pool your money for shared expenses.  This may not apply for a family (unless you are teaching your children responsibility by having them pitch in their allowance money), but eliminate any confusion and stress by starting a pool for shared expenses such as taxi's, tips, and meals out.  It makes paying the bill faster to just dip into the pot.
  4. Stick together.  In crowded environments like train stations, airport, and markets, splitting up can be a bad idea-- especially if/when your mobile network may not be reliable.  We make it a rule to stick together, as the risk of getting separated is greater than the benefits achieved from splitting up.
  5. Do your own thing.  What?  You just said to stick together.  I know, but that rule is specific to crowded transportation hubs where you may not be able to find each other.  As far as enjoying your travels, you may be in a group but remember that groups are made up of individuals-- with different needs and expectations.  Don't be afraid to split off to enjoy a museum while the rest of your group goes on a tour.  Just make sure you have a plan to reunite that doesn't require the use of your phones.  You may not be able to rely on them.  
  6. Teach your kids.  If you are traveling with kids, travel is a great teacher.  Have your kids learn a piece of history about your location and tell you about it.  It will make 6th grade World History more interesting if your kid has researched the Habsburgs prior to your Vienna trip.  Have your kid hone their math skills by figuring out the tip at the restaurant, or converting the local currency to dollars.   


getting the most out of travel:

Going on a trip is a valuable experience.  You've saved your money, taken time off work, spent the time to plan the trip and spent the time to get there.  How do you make sure your trip is one of those that you'll remember forever.  Below are our tips for creating a truly memorable experience!

  1. Vacation or Travel?  There is a difference.  We describe "vacation" as going somewhere to enjoy the food, see the sights, take some photos, and recharge.  We define "travel" as going somewhere to soak up the local experience, to involve yourself deeply enough in a location that you understand it.  Both are great-- there are times when you'll want a vacation and other times that you want to travel.  When going on a trip, it's important to know what you need right now.
  2. Go Local.  Opt for the local train or bus instead of UBER.  Do your shopping at the weekly market.  Get a beer at the local hangout.  These are the things that allow you to really appreciate the way of life at your destination.  
  3. Slow down and look around.  This one has many applications.  Don't get so caught up in checking off your to-do list that you pass on the opportunity to sit at the cafe and watch the world go by.  Don't be in such a hurry to pay the restaurant check that you are the obnoxious patron flagging down the waiter.  Most countries have a different relationship to how they dine so be sure to follow their cues.  And don't go into a French bakery asking for gluten-free bread.  Remember that you are traveling to experience other cultures, so be sure you observe that culture and try to assimilate.  
  4. Expect things to go wrong.  When you travel, you may miss a flight, they may not have your expected rental car, you may miss a train.  That's part of traveling and will happen from time to time.  The sooner you accept that things happen, the better you'll roll with it.  


Travel like a pro:

You're ready to go.  Below are our tips for easy-breezy travel.  

  1. Have your airplane essentials ready to grab.  No one wants to wait behind you in the aisle while you did your headphones, eye-mask, and books out of your carry-on.  Plan ahead and pack everything you'll need in your seat in a separate bag inside your carry-on.  Our in-flight essentials include inflatable pillow, eye-mask, ear plugs, Kindle, ear buds, splitter, laptop, and credit card for those in-flight refreshments.  And for an extra comfy flight, we recommend bringing along a pair of cozy socks, favorite slippers, and a scarf.  
  2. Ground yourself.  If you are someone for whom moving around can be unsettling, create a sense of home wherever you are by bringing along your favorite travel candle, a light robe, and your favorite slippers.  You may not need them for a quick trip but they can sure help you feel grounded during a long one.  
  3. Travel Light.  When possible, travel light with only a carry-on and backpack.  Having limited options is really freeing, and moving locations is a breeze without all the luggage with which to contend.