How To Make a Travel Plan
by Stacy on Jan 22, 2023
With the start of January also comes Meadow founder Stacy Valner’s birthday. This year, she is thrilled to be heading back to Europe for the first time since the pandemic to celebrate with family and friends. As Stacy prepares to head out on her trip, she’s also taking inventory of all the tips and tricks she uses for a seamless, stress-free travel experience.
At Meadow, our goal is to encourage you to indulge in life’s greatest pleasures with peace of mind. So, this month we’re excited to share Stacy’s top tips for creating a smooth travel plan that will allow you to spend more time enjoying your vacation and less time stressing about the logistics.
Here are Meadow’s top tips for traveling:
- Check your passport
- Do your research
- Book reservations in advance
- Pack efficiently
The golden rule: Always check your passport
While it may seem like an obvious and mundane thing to do, it is so crucial to check that your passport is not expired — and that you haven’t lost it over the years! Especially if it’s been a while since you’ve traveled, taking inventory of yours and your family’s passports is the first step to any successful vacation abroad.
Step one: Do your research
After you’ve ensured your passports are up to date and in a safe place, it’s time to do some research on your destination. Unless you’re the type of person who prefers to live life on a whim and plan your vacations day-by-day in the moment, having an itinerary and travel plan will make the process so much easier. The best way to do research on any destination is to read all about the places you’re going. Newspapers and magazines like The New York Times, Travel and Leisure, and Goop all have great lifestyle sections with travel recommendations, sightseeing must-dos, and more.
Instagram is also a great place to find beautiful photo opportunities, restaurant reviews, cultural attractions, shopping, and more. While you’re planning, it is natural to collect all of the restaurants, tourist attractions, and events that seem easily appealing to you. But, we encourage you to also add something to your travel plan that is new or out of your comfort zone!
Step two: Book reservations in advance
It’s no secret that a staple of travel culture is finding new restaurants and dining experiences as well as visiting top tourist attractions like museums. Because this is such a core piece of the travel experience, it’s no surprise that many restaurants and museums tend to be booked out way in advance. Rather than showing up to a restaurant, museum, or some other attraction and being turned away due to capacity, book your reservations and tickets in advance. We promise, making a handful of phone calls prior to leaving for your trip will be a lot less stressful than your plans being ruined because you can’t get a table at one of your must-visit restaurants!
Step three: Pack efficiently
Once the trip is planned and you’re ready to catch your flight, a new type of stress tends to settle in: how do I pack for this vacation? Especially if you’re heading out on a long trip, it can be overwhelming to remember all of the items and outfits you’ll need while you’re away. One great way to keep things organized is to lay out all of your outfits and label the days and nights you plan to wear each item. Not only will this help ensure you have an outfit for every occasion, but it will also allow you to see all of the clothing items you have laid out in front of you. From there, you can choose certain items that can be reworn and mixed and matched with other pieces to create a completely different look! We also recommend investing in a set of packing cubes which will help condense your clothing items and allow you to fit more into the same sized suitcase.
With the chaos of everyone returning to travel over the past year, the fear of losing checked luggage seems to be at an all time high. We recommend investing in a tracking device like Apple AirTags so you can keep track of where your bag is at all times!
Still not sure exactly what to pack? Use our ultimate packing checklist as a guide to make sure you’ve got all the essentials:
- Passport (the golden rule!)
- Cord adapter (if you’re traveling abroad, chances are the outlets you’ll find will be different from American outlets, so you’ll need an adapter specific to whichever country you’re visiting!)
- Medicine bag
- Antinausea medications
- COVID-19 tests
- Cold medicine
- Face mask (some places abroad still require for entry)
- Any other prescribed medications your family members may need
- Driver’s license or a second form of identification
- Change of clothes (if you’re traveling with a checked luggage, be sure to keep a spare set of clothes in your carry-on just in case there is any issue retrieving your bag at your destination!)
- Entertainment for the flight (laptop, tablet, books, magazines, etc.)
- Travel pillow and blanket
- Hand sanitizer
- Meadow eye mask (perfect for those long overnight flights!)
- Face oil or face mask for hydration during a long flight
- Reusable water bottle
Overall, remember that travel is meant to be fun and never too overwhelming. While it’s important to be aware of things that may go awry during your trip, also be prepared to be kind, take things with a grain of salt, and remember that flight attendants and gate agents are at the mercy of the airlines. Travel safe and happy, and stay tuned for my travel diaries coming soon.