Y’all know that I just got back from Paris – insert all the excited emojis -, and if you follow along on Snapchat, you know this was a pretty last-minute trip for me. I didn’t have a ton of things planned for this trip, which is exciting and a little crazy for me! I’m trying really hard to be more present and to make the most out of my moments (as lame as that sounds – it’s true okay!), and this trip is no different.
Since I made an effort to make the most out of my time in Paris, I thought I’d share what I’m doing with y’all. Hopefully it’s helpful for our next trip, too!
Plan all of your outfits out in advance
Maybe this is obvious to some of you planners, but y’all know this is new-ish for me – but I’m getting way better! This way you won’t waste time in the morning picking out what to wear and can get on to sight seeing, shopping, whatevs. On this same note, it may seem obvious, but make sure to check the weather!
Make a list of all of the toiletries you’ll need
In addition to clothes, figure out your beauty essentials. From make-up, to facewash, makeup remover, lotion, and toothpaste. Making sure you’ve checked off all of the boxes will save you from a trip to the store once you’re at your destination. Also, bring as many multi-tasking options as possible to cut down on time getting ready.
If you’re traveling somewhere with a time difference, make sure to have a strategy to deal with this so that you don’t sleep through your first day there. A few simple tips: stay hydrated on your flight (lots of water people), try reading instead of watching movies, and from the moment you get on the plane, change your watch to your destinations current time. Also, a quick run or walk around the destination – especially where you’re staying – is a great way to gain some energy and check out the local scene. Find close coffee shops so you know where to grab one before heading out for the day, etc.
Make a spending budget
This isn’t the most fun, but it’s wonderful for peace of mind. How much do you want to spend on food, extra travel costs (museums, etc), tipping, and, of course, shopping?? Knowing how much you want to/can spend before traveling will keep you from stressing your bank account, and you’ll know what you can splurge on vs. skip.
Holler at Ya Peeps
Reach out to any connections you have in your destination! Even if you aren’t able to find the time to meet up, they might have good (non-touristy) suggestion about where to eat, sights to see, etc. Look up friends on Facebook and shoot them a message before your trip.
I love a good Instagram stalk, and planning a trip is no different. I’ll look up different hashtags or city tags before traveling, and it gives you a good sense (and picture) of what places look like. I can literally sit there for hours perusing random people and hashtags on instagram and I’ve been able to find some really awesome local spots that way. You just have to keep clicking around and exploring – I suggest searching the city name and seeing which popular hashtags pop up to get started!
Use “My Maps”
Have y’all heard of My Maps on Google?! If not, I’m about to blow your mind. This app essentially plans out your entire trip for you, all in one spot. You can put in different places you want to hit during your trip (restaurants, parks, shops, etc.), and My Maps will do the dirty work of planning for you. It literally maps out exactly how to get to those places, so you don’t have to create a bunch of different maps on your own. And! You can layer depending on the content. So if you want to put in a bunch of shops you want to go to, that’s one layer. Your next layer can be coffee shops. If you just want to see shops, you can only use that layer, BUT if you need a caffeine fix, you can add the coffee shop layer. Boom! It’ll show you the closest coffee shops to all your shops. You’re welcome.
Limit your phone use
These days, we tend to not even realize how often we’re on our phones – totally guilty over here. Checking e-mail, scrolling through Instagram(!), texting. Try to limit this to when you’re having downtime in your hotel room and of course when you’re out and about. This way, you’ll make sure to really take in your surroundings and enjoy the moment. Plus, you’ll be able to rest up in your room!
What did y’all think? Any of these tips helpful? And do you have any suggestions? Please share the goods in the comments below – let’s try and get a conversation going shall we?!
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