Doing the Research Before a Trip

Good News, I am no longer stuck in The Waiting Place!  My daughter, Maggie and I have settled on a destination for our Magical Mystery Trip.   Oregon!

Let the planning begin!

I always say in my posts, Do the Research.  I believe that doing a bit of research, planning and gathering the right tools is the secret to any successful travel.

My Tagline is Dream, PLAN, Save, Adventure. And I really believe in that process.  There definitely needs to be a balance between a rough outline and a strict itinerary.  You don’t have to get crazy and plan every minute of every day, but you should have some potential ideas so that you don’t end up frustrated or floundering about what to do later on.  It’s also good to have some alternative options in case the weather doesn’t cooperate, or the place you planned to go is unexpectedly closed for some reason.

This is your vacation time, and that of the others that are traveling with you too.  Don’t be too set on a specific plan.  Leave room for it to develop or morph into something slightly different without loosing your mind.  Sometimes you just have to be flexible, go with the flow and let the adventure lead the way.  Relax…it will be alright.

 

Maps, Guide Books and Websites

The first thing I did after we settled on Oregon as our location, was go on line and find the Travel Oregon website.  I ordered a travel guide and a road map then bookmarked the website so I can go back and read through it later to find some fun ideas for our getaway.  Since I know we will want to do some wine tasting, I also looked up the Oregon Wines web page and ordered their travel guide.

Although I could have just as easily have ordered some similar maps and guides from AAA, they can be a bit generic.  By ordering the guides directly from the Oregon Tourism sites, you get a little richer local flavor for what is available.  

Road map to Adventure

I know we live in a digital age, but sometimes when you are on the road and out of cell service it’s nice to have a map in hand.  Spreading out a map gives you a pretty realistic view of just how far it really is from point A to point B.  I have also found myself in situations where GPS has led me astray or given very confusing directions, so a paper map is just a good back up tool when road tripping in an unfamiliar area.

After we complete our trip, there are ton’s of DIY projects that we can repurpose our map into.  Travel Memories & Lifestyle Inspirations

Additionally, I like to read through the travel guides and mark a few potential options for places to eat, stay or explore.  Sometimes the local guides even have discounts for local attractions or dining.

 

Travel Arrangements 

The next part of the trip is checking out the hotel and flight options.  Maggie will be my Southwest Companion so she will fly for just the cost of the taxes and fees.  We found a great flight there, but coming back across all the time zones, the schedule is a bit gnarly.  It’s a work in progress.

I will need to plan out a few other logistics like a rental car and potentially some train tickets to Seattle.  Even though we could easily make the 3.5 hour drive, it might be fun to relax on the train instead.  Plus neither of us has taken a train before.  It IS all about the adventure for us girls.

I was happy that our dates fall inside a Hyatt promotion where if you stay 3 nights you get the 4th night free.  I picked out a nice centrally located hotel and I have enough points to book  a very affordable Points plus Cash deal.  Besides being a great central base location, the hotel offers breakfast and has a pool.  Perfect.

Since I don’t want to over plan our trip, I am just making the travel and lodging arrangements plus making sure we have the tools we need to have a fabulous True Adventure.  Everything else will be off the cuff and we will just let it unfold naturally.

(Deep breaths Planning Goddess……it will be ok).

Just so glad to finally be heading toward some much needed Travel!  Andiamo.