Tips for Planning Travel

As a follow up to the previous post, Planning Ahead, I thought you’d enjoy some handy tips for planning your next vacation from my good friend, Robyn from Add a Pinch. Robyn has a sweet site full of tasty eats and other fun stuff, so be sure to stop by, say “Hey!,” and check out her lovely offerings. Add a Pinch is one cool site!

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(photo by Robyn from Add a Pinch)

3 Tips for Planning Places to Visit When You Travel
(originally posted here at addapinch.com)

My family loves to travel together. We enjoy cross-country and short range RV trips, flights to new and interesting places, and cruising the deep blue seas.

Being the planner that I am, I like to make the most out of every trip that we take. I always think, “We may never come back to this area again. What is one of the most important things we experience.” These are my top three tips for finding those great, not to miss destinations.

1. 1,000 Places to See Before You Die.
We purchased this book by Patricia Schultz many years ago for planning an extended family RV trip to Yellowstone and Mount Rushmore. We primarily use the USA/Canada version of the book, but an updated version of the world list was released in 2010.

In this book, you select the area of the country (world) you’ll be visiting, for example Colorado. Page after page of top places to visit are provided in the book, including information on where it is located with telephone numbers and websites listed for museums, outfitters, golf clubs, and hotels as example. It’s the perfect travel companion.

2. 101 Places You Gotta See Before You’re 12.
We also utilize 101 Place You Gotta See Before You’re 12, by Joanne O’Sullivan geared to helping children in discovering the world. In this book, you are provided with an excellent list of places you will love visiting such as a lighthouse, a working farm, and a farmer’s market to name a few. The book lists the top locations for each of these places, along with a resource guide in the back of the book with more information including website addresses.
Little Buddy loves this book because it also provides stickers he can place on places he’s visited. He has a personal goal to see as many of these places as possible. When we’re planning a trip, this is his book to use to give ideas on places he’d like to visit.

This book is also great for times when you aren’t able to make large trips. It helps you to realize to look for areas close by for day trips and short field trips – like a repair shop, a park, or even a really cool place you discover all on your own.

3. Ask friends.
It is nice to be able to tell friends a place we are planning to visit to get their advice on favorite spots along the way. We’ve discovered wonderful campgrounds, restaurants, museums, and other excursions this way. For example on our trip to the Yellowstone, we discovered the drive on Beartooth Pass because my brother-in-law asked friends who had visited previously. While we were too  nervous to take in by RV, we did enjoy it by Jeep. It was one of the most breathtaking views I’ve had in my life.

I also love to ask for advice on Twitter. For example on our trip to Breckenridge, Colorado, I asked the question, “where should we visit on our RV trip?” I received great advice and lots of wonderful tips. The Great Sand Dunes, Pikes Peak and Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, and Taos, New Mexico. I also confirmed we should visit Crater of Diamonds on our drive through Arkansas.

We live in such a beautiful and diverse country full of landmarks and exciting areas to explore. My family loves discovering them, one by one.

Where are your favorite places to visit? Have any “must sees” to add to the list?