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2 April 2010

I love to travel. I love the reward of seeing things I’ve never seen. It’s great to experience different types of people and try new foods and activities.

But seriously, almost as much I love to plan a trip. Planning a trip for me is one of the best parts of getting to go somewhere. I love to research my location.  Doing simple (some might disagree with this word choice) research has saved me money on trips and far more importantly, during any trip, time.  Last summer in Italy and France, I couldn’t believe the people who were wandering around with no clue. People who didn’t realize they couldn’t bring their bags into museums. People who didn’t know that you could buy your Coliseum tickets in advance and skip the two to three hour long line.


People who were paying 4 euro to buy water, when they could have filled a bottle up for free.  100_0181

Well you get the picture.

Here are few things that I really love to use in my travel planning:

  • First if you’re going to Europe, you have to go with Rick Steves. I adore his books, and I will never travel to Europe without one. Rick gives you tons of hotel and restaurant suggestions, but also gives you the courage to strike out on your own. His books give a plethora of short cuts like ordering tickets online or simply using a different entrance. In addition to all of his great advice, he gives you background on what you’re seeing and always throws in a corny joke.
  • 100_0904 100_0098100_1173 
  • Second, for any sort of travel but specifically in the states, is being a member of AAA. While I haven’t found many hotel savings with them, they are a great barometer for what you are getting. Also, once you are a member you can order travel info (maps, books, etc.) for free on their website.
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  • Last, but not least, are my favorite websites. How people traveled before the web is beyond me. I can’t imagine having to pay someone to organize a trip for me and book my plane tickets. With the web, you get the power of the personal review. While there are always outliers (please ignore the person who complains about the dirt they found in the 2o euro a night hostel), lots of people are reasonable and put in time to help make your trip better.

Hopefully, these planning tips will help make your travel easier. I’m in the process of planning a trip to Denver with two of my friends. We are going to have a rock(ies) awesome time.

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