Before a Trip

Trips are fun but they can be stressful to prepare for. Especially if its a long trip because there is way more things you have to prepare.  You have to get all your things together to pack and complete any errands.  If you have pets you have to make sure they’re taken care of. You might have to make photo copies of your passport for an international trip and other things.

My trip to Seattle is short but it’s coming up and I need to start preparing. Some of the first things I do before a trip are:

  1.  Errands: I will pay all bills and complete other errands before my trip. So, I don’t have worry about it when I am on my trip.
  2.  Take care of my cat:  I have a cat named Mocha and I make sure she is taken care of.  I can leave her alone for a couple days with enough food and water and a clean litter. However, if its more than 4 days I ask someone to check in on her.
  3.  Pack: I usually pack a day or two before my trip. This also consists of doing laundry, so I have clothes to pack. Since, I am going to Seattle I am going to pack for both warm and cold weather.
  4. Check in: The day before my flight, I will check in. For southwest, the earlier you check in the better boarding time you get.

There are just some things I do to prepare for a trip. It is different for me when I have an international trip because those trips are usually longer than a couple days. Also, I need to take more things with me. Even though it can be stressful to set up and prepare for a trip, once you’re at your destination its all worth it.

 

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Orlando with Family

When I think of Orlando, I think of family trips, school field trips, or a cute couple holding hands wearing mouse ears at Disney World. Orlando is a magical place because of Disney World and Universal studios. I had the pleasure of visiting Orlando in March 2014 with my mom and sister. I did feel weird at first because I thought I was to old for Disney but your never too old. We spend a couple of days in Orlando and got to see Disney world, downtown Disney, and one Park in Universal Studios.

Disney Park 

We had the chance of visiting all 4 Disney Parks. My favorite was Magic Kingdom. I like that park because it reminds me of typical Disney. It has the beautiful castle and everything Disney. We spend 2 days visiting the Disney parks, we tried to get a hold of fast passes, where you get to stand in a shorter line for rides. This pass is free but it only for certain rides and shows. Also, you have to see if the time you want is available. But Disney is usually good about telling you how long you have to wait for ride, if you don’t get a fast pass. At night, Disney World does a firework show.  In my opinion, Disney World throws one of the best firework shows. My breakfast at the Disney resorts were delicious and cute. One day I had a Mickey mouse waffle and pancake. The last breakfast I had in Orlando, we went to a restaurant where Disney characters come greet you. I thought it was the cutest ever and I didn’t want to miss it. My favorite Disney character was Pluto growing up and I enjoyed seeing him.

 

Downtown Disney

We spend one evening in Downtown Disney, we took the bus from our hotel and headed there. Downtown was packed because its March and spring break. We were able to enjoy the stores and bought souvenirs. The stores were amazing, if your a Disney fan you find everything at these stores. I even found a Lego Buzz and a Woody statue. Even though the majority of the restaurants were packed, we were able to enjoy a nice meal. At a quick fast restaurant. After we just walked around and enjoyed Downtown Disney.

Universal Studios 

There is two parks at Universal Studios; Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Orlando Resort. My sister and I really wanted to see Harry Potter World and that’s in Universal Studios Hollywood. So obviously, Hollywood is where we went. You do have the option to visit both parks but we just went to one. When we got to the park, the first thing we did was went straight to Harry Potter World. It was amazing it look very similar to the movies and they even have a shop to buy wands. At the time I went, they only had two rides. However, first I checked out the shops and had a butter beer. Universal Studios also has a Universal Express Pass to skip the lines, however you have to pay for it. We didn’t purchase any of the express passes, the park tells you how long you have to wait for the ride.  Other attractions I got to see where Jurassic Park, The Amazing Adventures of Spider Man, and the Mummy.  My family and I had a blast at Universal Studios Hollywood.

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If your in Disney World trying to go to Universal Studios, the hotel should give you information about buses/shuttles to commute between parks. I was happy that I was able to see all 4 Disney parks and see one Universal studio park. It was a good family vacation and it helped me realize I am still a kid at heart.

Traveling Alone

Traveling alone can seem scary, especially since you’re out of your comfort zone. You can either be traveling out of the country or a different city.  However, when you want to travel and can’t find anyone to join you, traveling alone is a great option. If I let traveling alone get in the way, I would of missed traveling to a lot wonderful places. Such as Ireland and Germany. When you think about traveling out of the country, there is different options you can take. You can travel alone with a travel group, you can meet a friend that lives in the country, or you can backpack.

Travel Group

Traveling with a tour group helps a lot because they set up everything for you. They can set up your plane ticket, hotels/hostels, a tour guide, and sometimes even meals.  I feel like this is a perfect if its your first time traveling abroad or for a high school or college student. When you travel with a travel group, you will meet a lot people in your group. Some are also traveling alone. I never felt alone when I traveled with a travel group. Also, your tour guide can recommend great places for you and how to stay safe. What I noticed in travel groups is some people actually backpacked or meet a friend after the group ended.

Meeting a Friend

I never met a friend in a different country. I have traveled to places in the United States and have met a friend. This option is probably the easiest because you get the chance to meet with a local. They will recommend place to go and what places to avoid (tourist traps). There will be times when you’re alone but the majority of time you’re not. When I went to New York city, I had to take a train by myself to meet my friend. She told me what train to take and where to meet her. Even this still confused me but I was able to get help from strangers. Also, I kept in contact with my friend as much as I could.

Backpacking

This is good if you want to travel on your own schedule. You can set up what places you want to go and where you want to stay. I had a close friend that traveled through different countries in Europe and stayed in hostels and hotels. It was her first time traveling abroad and she had a good experienced. She met a lot people in the hostels and even met up close friends. If you want to do this, there is plenty information online and in travel books about how to set up your travels. Also, I like to look at youtube videos of people that have travel vlogs.

No option is better than the other, this is more of your preference. This article is to help you not be afraid to travel alone. Either way all these options can help you travel and met other people.

Finding Time to Travel

Life can get in the way of travel and other adventures. There is work, school, kids, and anything else you can think of. In college, I felt like I had more time to travel because of holiday breaks. Also, in college you can study abroad or get an internship abroad. However, in the United States you rarely get holiday breaks and there is no study abroad. There is some jobs that can transfer you, if you are interested in moving. Not all jobs have transfers and traveling for work conferences is not really a vacation.

If your like me, working full-time. Plan your trip, way in advance. Look up your vacation policies before you book your trip. Some jobs offer 2 week paid vacation, upon request. Usually the breaks I have taken to travel internationally have been a little more over a week. I went to Ireland for 9 days and London and Paris for 8 days. They were quick trips but I still enjoyed myself. I usually plan my internationally trips a year to 7 months in advance with a tour group, EF college Break. Tours groups can usually set up your flight and hotel for you. Which really made it easier for me. My trips to the United States travel are usually planned  6 months to 3 months in advance. I recently set up a trip to Denver for June to visit a friend, for 4 days. This gave the time to ask off work, look up flights, and ask my friend if she was available.

When I was working full-time and attending grad school. I had to find time that was good for both work and school. I chose Mid- March to travel to Ireland, It was spring break for school and not a busy time at work. The earlier you plan for your trip the better you can overcome these obstacles. It gives you more time to research the time you have, better plan your trip, and save. Before you book you trip make sure to read about the refund rules for airlines and hotels, if you have to cancel. When I traveled internationally with a tour group, they offered travel insurance. The travel insurance offered cancellation, helped with lost items during your trip, and medical expenses.

If you have a kid, you most likely have to plan a trip that is good for both you and your children. Maybe like a beach trip or visit a place that has theme parks. Also, the same rules apply, you have to find a time that is available for everyone. For example, when the kids are not in school and when you’re not busy at work/school.

I know its difficult to plan trips when your busy but it can happen. Just because you work full-time, have school, kids, or all 3 doesn’t mean you can’t. It just has to be planned in advance. That has helped me and I hope it can do the same for you.