I am completely going against my normal process this year due to so many things happening at once. So...do as I say, not as I do! My normal process includes strategic steps to ensure Spring break success and VERY RARELY does it not go as planned! As my dad always says, "If you fail to plan , you plan to fail!" He's so right, too! I'm giving you a head start on making a memorable vacation go off without a hitch and save a little cash in the process!
Do Your Research
Doing the research helps narrow down your vacation choices to options that will fit you and/or your family's needs. When you've decided on your destination, research everything about that area! Restaurants, transportation, grocery stores, hotel amenities and additional events that will all play a part in making the adventure spectacular! Knowing what's around helps you calculate costs more accurately and provides the beginnings of planning the perfect itinerary. Your phone and computer are your best friends for this part...but hey, they are already bae, so what's a little research, right?!
"What to wear?!"- The single most thought about topic when it comes to vacays like Spring break... I used to plan all of the fabulous fits only for them to be left in the suitcase and never worn for ANY photo ops. The truth is, vacation is time to relax, unwind and be COMFORTABLE. Yeah, I said it...go ahead and throw tomatoes from your "insta-chariots", ha, ha!! The happiness and relaxation should exude most from you timeless photos. I've learned to pack "sassy and dapper" for dinners. Everything else is comfort only. Don't get it twisted: comfort can still be cute! It's just more simplistic with attention to small details. I put effort into finding all-day comfort kicks for the family and convenient ways, like stylish packs, to keep our important things on our person. I choose clean lines and solid colors as they photograph best. It's also easy to get coordinated as a family when you choose clean ensembles. My husband used to whine the most about uncomfortable clothes on vacations before I gave up...so he thinks! I didn't give in I'm just more strategic about it. Because comfort in the focal point, they all end up loving everything I pick out. No more whining!
Eating in earlier on a daily, can save so much money. I check the BOGO at my favorite grocer (Publix) right before we leave for a vacay. I grab the kids' favorite cereal, snacks and fresh sliced meats/ cheeses to take with us on the road and to have at our hotel. I pack a lunch for travel day (if we drive) and it keeps us from stopping at horrible fast food places to grab less than stellar foods that we don't need. I have a designated food bag from all the items I grabbed at the store and we immediately set up a snack bar in our room upon arriving. If we fly, the grocery store is our first stop! When traveling with kids or even alone, having breakfast and snack readily prepared keep your budget on track and accommodate longer than normal happenings along the way. We usually go out for dinner and choose which days we will try new restaurants for lunch additionally. We always come in under budget doing this!
When you go to a destination, finding additional fun can enhance to trip and feel like non-stop fun. At Disney, many hotels have character breakfasts, movie nights and activities for the kids! If your visiting an all inclusive resort, they usually have shows in the evening as well as, kids clubs, dancing, tours and many other things that are in addition to your original itinerary. Many places also have events in the area that may be a short walk or a few minute drive that will enhance your experience and make for amazing pictures! Call ahead and ask what's happening in the area as many hotels, resort and venues receive a list of all that's happening around the area during the time of your stay. Be informed and create the most fun!
Packed and Ready
Clothes aren't the only thing that is needed for vacay! Choosing to pack a couple of weeks ahead is the best thing to do ahead of any trip; whether a one day trip or a 3 week excursion. Packing ahead ensures that nothing is left and you're prepared for the just in case. First aid is a big one that's always left out! Create a case filled with Band-Aids, pain relievers, aloe, ointments and any individuals medications needed. place copies of your insurance cards at the bottom in case you can't access your wallet. Adding things needed when on vacation are sunscreen, cold-weather hats and coverings, special shampoos/conditioner, etc. I create a health and beauty bag separate from clothing that house all of these good in additional to body wash, moisturizers, toothpaste and things we use daily. I keep my makeup in health and beauty bag as well and take a few must-haves and place them in my purse for easy access on the go. Making sure you have pool/beach towels and storage for damp or dirty clothing can also be a life saver. Even if you aren't at a beach, more than likely, where you stay will have a pool. Being prepared will save cost in a big way!
I hope these tips help you on your next getaway and you have the most fun on your next adventure! More tips to come, stay tuned GWK fam!