Have you ever come home from a vacation and wish you did something differently? Maybe you found out you missed an amazing attraction at your destination or you paid way more than you needed to for your trip. Well, today I’m sharing my tips on how to make the most out of every vacation and avoid coming home with regrets.
1. Never miss an attraction!
The key to an amazing vacation is planning and research. When I was in my early twenties I had the opportunity to travel to several amazing locations, but looking back on it, I didn’t make the most out of my travel experiences. By not researching my destination and just showing up ready to explore I missed out on visiting some amazing places that were nearby.
Now, I always thoroughly research the countries I’m visiting before I get there. Instead of only checking Google when planning your vacation, try perusing social media for destination inspiration. I love exploring Instagram using the location search feature to find unique photo opportunities.
Another thing I highly recommend is to ask locals for their suggestions! Whether it’s the concierge at your hotel or a friendly looking stranger on the subway, there are some things that only locals know. Things like an amazing festival that’s happening that week or a great new restaurant that just opened nearby.
2. Plan around the weather!
When traveling, planning your vacation around the weather is super important. It may seem like an obvious thing to do, but it is crucial to check how the weather will typically be during the season you want to travel before you book. That way you can avoid things like showing up in the tropics during hurricane season or visiting Iceland in the summer expecting snow only to find everything in bloom.
Of course, it’s also important to keep checking the weather during your vacation so you can make last minute adjustments to your schedule as you go. That way, if it is forecasted to rain the day you planned to go horseback riding, you can easily swap your schedule around. You could go shopping on the rainy day and bump the horseback riding until later in the week!
3. Utilize your reward miles!
When planning a vacation, you should always make use of your reward miles. By using your miles to book flights and accommodations, you can save a lot of money on your vacation cost. And let’s be honest, nothing is worse than finding out you unnecessarily overspent on your trip!
Personally, I am an Aeroplan member and I love that they will soon be offering the freedom to choose any seat on tons of different airlines flying to more destinations. Aeroplan recently announced that they are going to transform travel planning, including giving members the ability to earn miles faster and making their travel program even easier to use. They will offer flexible payment options when you book and the convenience of earning miles on everyday items in store and online at more than 150 brands – making it easier than ever to get more miles. This means you can make your vacation budget go even further!
Of course, using reward miles isn’t just for budget travellers. You can also use your miles to book luxe experiences you would have otherwise missed out on. I’m currently traveling around British Columbia and with my Aeroplan Miles, I was able to redeem a Fairmont gift card that I will be using to enjoy the famous high tea at the Fairmont Empress in Victoria! How fun is that?
4. Leave time to explore!
My last tip is to leave time for spontaneity when you are traveling. Getting out and exploring a new city for yourself is truly the best way to get to know a destination and discover hidden gems. I usually try to only schedule one or two things per day then leave the rest of the day for spontaneous activities and casual sightseeing. Another option would be to leave a day or two during your vacation completely unplanned.
During our recent trip to Hawaii, keeping room for spontaneity allowed us to stumble upon some amazing look out points where we captured some of the most beautiful sunsets we had ever seen. Had we filled our travel schedule with activities we never would have experienced those fleeting magical moments.
So, tell me, how do you make the most of your vacation time? I’d love to know if you usually incorporate any of my tips into your travel plans or have any of your own tips to share. Leave a comment below to voice your thoughts!
This blog post was created in partnership with Aeroplan. Thank you for supporting the companies that make Pretty Little Details possible!