Top Secret Trip blog


The 3 Most Important Pieces to Planning a Perfect Trip!

August 14, 2016


Planning the perfect vacation takes a lot of thought, research, and time. Most people assume if you pick a great destination, you are bound to have a great vacation. However, I strongly disagree. Beauty is everywhere.  Every single town, city, beach, and mountain can enlighten us all in some way.  The destination is always the least of my worries. I know with the right planning and the right people I can have fun anywhere. So what is most important when planning a trip?  I have listed my top 3 factors below.


3. Plan ahead, cover your bases, then disconnect.  I realize that this isn’t always possible for everyone, but for most it is totally doable if you plan accordingly.  Whether I’m visiting Chicago, Vancouver, South Africa, or just the Jersey Shore, I treat every trip like I’m going to be on a remote island with no cell service and no WiFi.


Usually, in the days before a trip, I’ll spend a little extra time at the office preparing for my departure. I let my major clients know I’ll be away and cover their needs before I go. I recommend getting a trusted co-worker who will help you out in the event of an emergency while you are gone. (Just be prepared to return the favor if they take a trip.) Also, I make sure my cat is in the care of a trusted friend or relative.


I believe the only way to have a true vacation is to disconnect completely. Don’t think about work, responsibilities, or anything in your life that causes you stress. The only thing on your mind should be finding fun ways to explore your destination.


Along with that, I think it helps to disconnect from social media too. Sure, you want to make your network envious by posting a picture of that beautiful sunset or the laughing giraffe, but spending too much time posting can really take away from your experience. Even with filters, the lens doesn’t quite capture the way you feel in the moment. So keep it to 1-2 Instagram pics a day and save the major uploading for when you return home.


2. Choose the Right Travel Companions. Sometimes, even your best friend is the wrong person to travel with.  You might get along flawlessly at home, but if you don’t have the same vacation style, it can spell disaster for your trip; possibly your friendship.


Before booking, I recommend discussing some of the sites you want to see and the activities you want to partake in.  Are you going to want to get up early or stay up late? Do you have a similar spending budget? Do you like to plan everything out on a schedule or just go with the flow?  If your ideas don’t align, are you both ok with splitting up for a day and doing your own thing?  These are all important things to consider when deciding who to travel with.


1. Hotel Location. The location of your hotel is the absolute most important thing to consider when booking a vacation.  It might be tempting to book that $70 room at the airport hotel, but DON’T EVER DO IT! The time and hassle is never worth what you will save in money.  Most likely when you factor in the cost for parking and traveling to and from downtown you typically won’t end up saving as much as you think.  The same goes for hotels located on the freeway or in suburbs outside the city.


How can you tell if a hotel location is good? I usually start with TripAdvisor®. All reviewers on TripAdvisor® can rate the location of the hotel from 1-5 stars. Typically, you’ll find reviews written out about the location as well.  I also recommend calling the hotel directly.  Ask them how far and how long it takes to walk or drive to some of the major attractions you want to visit.


One way to guarantee a fantastic hotel location is to let us do the work for you and make your next vacation a Top Secret Trip!  Our travel team has the passion and experience to find you a perfectly located hotel at a great price.  But, numbers 2 and 3 are up to you!