Friday, February 6, 2015

How To Plan An International Trip - 3 tips To Designing Your Dream Vacation

So you've decided to take your first international trip, (or your first international trip that doesn't involve a tour company or a cruise line) and you've chosen a country to go to, but now how do you figure out what to see and where to go within that country?

 You don't want to come home from your big trip and read about darling restaurants that you missed eating at, hidden treasures that you knew nothing about, secret piazzas where you could have enjoyed the best coffee in the world, fantastic sights that were close to where you were. 

Summer afternoons meandering around Pienza, Italy

Here are some ways to help you source out what to see and do when you are planning your trip. 

3 Ways To Help Plan Your International Trip 

1.) Read Books 
With my love of Italy I am always reading books by people who bought homes there and built a life in some delightful little town. My first was Under The Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes, and I have read many many more since then. (See my reading list here


You will find out about cool little places to visit, amazing non-touristy restaurants where the locals eat, special places that tours never take you to. I make lists as I'm reading, and then fit bits and pieces into various trips I go on. It's fabulous! 

2. Read Travel Blogs 
I love to spend mornings with a cup of coffee scrolling through travel blogs reading about other 'real people's ' travels. You can find all kinds of amazing information about places to avoid, what things cost, incredible places to visit that aren't in any guide books - all those wonderful insider tips that you can only learn from someone who has done it themselves. I get the best, best information from travel blogs! 

PeaceLoveShea's Shea Marie in the spice markets of Marrakesh
After reading PeaceLoveShea's blogs on Morroco I cannot wait to go there! Her photos are to die for - check them out here

3. Make A Mood Board 
I always make vision boards, but now after finding the website I'm getting obsessed with mood boards.

portugal-travel-mood-board Portugal mood board

travel-mood-boards Marrakesh mood board

Putting together a visual collection of things that interest you in or about a country, be it sailing in the Greek islands, taking in the view on Capri, Gaudi in Barcelona - whatever it is - will start guiding you in the right direction to designing the trip of a lifetime.
Also there is magic in vision boards and mood boards. Spending time with them everyday seems to bring you closer to your goals, faster.

another cool travel mood board, this time from Kadijah's Blog

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