planning a summer trip

I don't know about you, but I've been desperately craving travel lately. Of course, I'd always like to be traveling but that feeling has been especially strong lately. Perhaps it's because summer is such a common time for fun trips? 

Do you all have any fun trips coming up or are you looking to plan one? I wanted to share a few of my favorite tips for planning summer travel. Let me know in the comments if you have any exciting travel planned!

Tip No. 1 | If you don't already have a destination in mind, check the flight deals from your airport to see which cities you can fly to the cheapest. There's likely to be a fun city on that list! 

Tip No. 2 | You know that long list of restaurants and shops you want to visit? Take all of those places and store them on Google Maps. That way, when you're walking around your destination and are ready for lunch, you can open the app and see which places from your list are nearest to you. 

Tip No. 3 | Start your trip midweek. Airports are often less crowded and flights cheaper on days in the middle of the week. Instead of flying out on a Friday evening, try starting your trip on a Wednesday or Thursday.

Tip No. 4 | Use specialty booking websites, like Design Hotels or Tablet, that offer luxury, boutique hotel discounts. These services offer discounted rates at a curated collection of properties so you'll be saving money without compromising on a unique, high-quality experience. I have not booked with Design Hotels, but I can personally vouch for Tablet.

Tip No. 5 | Look at blogs and Instagram for inspiration instead of the typical lists that come up when you Google "things to do in (insert city)". Those lists often suggest the most basic, tourist-y things. Instead, do a search for a city guide on Bloglovin or go to your favorite blogs and put the city in their search bar. For instance, I love Camille Styles for Austin recommendations!

Tip No. 6 | If you are traveling abroad, choose a country where your currency will go the furthest. If you're American, that could mean places like Bali, Thailand, South Africa, Colombia (Cartagena is huge right now), Croatia, and even Canada. Even expensive countries like Japan currently have favorable exchange rates, so take advantage.

Tip No. 7 | Going on a road trip? If you happen to drive a car that doesn't get great gas mileage or that you don't want to put extra miles on, consider renting a vehicle that's ideal for long journeys. Plus, you can always find a discount!

Tip No. 8 | Have a staycation! This is perfect for those who want a little getaway but might be trying to save money. Book a night or two in a great hotel in or near your city. For a chill experience, stay in, order room service, and watch movies or get caught up on reading. Or, go out and explore some of the places on your city bucket list like a museum, a park, or a new restaurant.

Tip No. 9 | A lot of friends tell me that when they're traveling, they have a hard time taking pictures to share on social media because they either forget or they're just overwhelmed by it. Granted, I'm a photographer and a blogger so this advice may be a bit overkill for a regular traveler, but here it is anyway. Before I head off to my destination, I make a shot list of potential photos I want to get based on the cool places I've seen online. I basically schedule photography (even just IG Stories) into every activity of the day and refer to my shot list occasionally throughout the trip for inspiration. Listen, you don't have to be on a swing over the jungle in Bali to get a good shot. Even the littlest of things can make for a fun photo, like having a burger and fries in the car during your roadtrip or posing in front of any sort of local flora.

Tip No. 10 | Don't forget to pack the right book(s)! Vacation is the perfect time to check some books of your TBR list or to make extra progress toward your annual reading goals. Just be sure to select a book that fits the type of trip you're taking. Beach vacation? Something light and engaging. European trip? Try historical fiction set in your destination to read on the plane ride there. Long-haul flight? You need a page-turning thriller.