10 May 2017

Workin' It Wednesday

Hello and welcome to Wednesday!  We are halfway through the week and I wish it would slow down just a teeny bit.  We have commencement on Tuesday and I feel like I need a little more time. 

It's the second Wednesday of the month so I am linking up with Shay and Erika for Workin' It Wednesday.  This month's topic is planning/prepping your summer vacation.

Phillip and I don't have kids so we don't usually plan specifically for a summer vacation.  With that said, here are my ideas on planning and prepping.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="500.0"]Sunset in Waikiki... Sunset in Waikiki...[/caption]

I'm a planner by nature, and while I can be flexible and adaptable I am more comfortable with a plan.  I went to Hawaii in October 2014 and I started planning a year in advance.  I was traveling alone so the first thing I did was research what the very busy times were as I was not interested in being caught in mobs of people.  And also, airfares would be cheaper.  That led me to mid-October.  This worked out for me workwise as well because when I do take a full-on vacation, I turn off the work email.  That means it needed to be a time when I could be certain that my office would be okay with me not being able to respond to things until I got back. 

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="500.0"]Hiking at Enchanted Rock, Texas Hiking at Enchanted Rock, Texas[/caption]

The next thing we do is take a good look at how long we are going to be there and what are our "must-sees and must-dos".  When we did a weekend in Fredricksburg, TX, we knew we wanted to spend the Saturday morning at Enchanted Rock.  We built the rest of our schedule around that.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="500.0"]Hoover Dam Hoover Dam[/caption]

What are the big attractions and what are the best ways to see them?

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="500.0"]Grand Canyon Grand Canyon[/caption]

When we went to Las Vegas in December 2015, one of our must-sees/must-dos was Hoover Dam and the Grand Canyon.  We knew we weren't planning on renting a car so Phillip scoured TripAdvisor to find out which tour companies were the best.  It was so helpful to be able to read reviews and ask questions and we made a great choice when we picked our tour company.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="500.0"]At New York New York, Las Vegas At New York New York, Las Vegas[/caption]

When building our trip schedule we also leave free time.  This allows us time to wander - we walked miles and miles of the Vegas strip exploring all the casinos, shops, and restaurants.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="500.0"]The Breakers, Newport, RI The Breakers, Newport, RI[/caption]

When Phillip visited New England with me for the first time we had a whole Sunday with no plans so we spent the day in Newport just the two of us.  We had spent much of the previous two days with My Big Fat Italian Family and it was nice for just the two of us to go off and explore for a bit.  Even though I'd been to Newport many times it was fun to show it to Phillip.  We had no set agenda and no time constraints so we took our time and toured a mansion, walked the Cliff Walk, and wandered the piers.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="500.0"]waiting in line at Disney waiting in line at Disney[/caption]

I would say Disney requires a little more planning than other trips, especially if you're traveling with a group.  And that group includes kids.  Disney can get crowded so the first thing we did as a group was decide which meals we were all going to eat together.  We made a list of the restaurants we wanted to eat at when and then worked backwards from there.  Depending on where we wanted to eat and when would help us plan which park to tackle which day. 

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="500.0"]enjoying the Magic Kingdom enjoying the Magic Kingdom[/caption]

Traveling with a smaller child meant that most days we'd head back to the hotel for a bit so she could nap.  There were also times where we would plan to split up so the little one could meet some characters and others could ride roller coasters.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="500.0"]Enjoying Epcot Enjoying Epcot[/caption]

Don't be afraid of going off in different groups.  One night my sister, niece, Phillip, and I headed to Epcot a little early.  Auntie Nichole was buying the little miss a souvenir.  My brother and sister in law met us a little later and my parents were having dinner on their own that night. 

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="500.0"]Dinnertime in Epcot Dinnertime in Epcot[/caption]

We had just as much fun that night as the nights Philip and I dined on our own or the meals we all ate together.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="500.0"]NYC in 17 Days! NYC in 17 Days![/caption]

Phillip and I have one trip planned for Summer.  We're heading to NYC for my birthday.  We've done just about all of the planning: hotel and airline tickets are booked; broadway show for Saturday night booked; reservations for dinner before the show are taken care of.  We have vague plans for Friday and Saturday.  Friday after we land and drop off our stuff at the hotel our plan is to:

  1. find some authentic NY pizza for lunch
  2. head down to the world trade center and explore the museum
  3. enjoy the manager's happy hour at the hotel (get our resort fee's worth!)
  4. have dinner somewhere

Saturday during the day we plan to explore Central Park and the surrounding area.  Maybe have breakfast out, we're not sure.  We're leaving the first part of Saturday pretty open.

What's left to do here?  Make packing lists.  Because we're only going for the weekend, the plan is to carry-on only which means we need to pack smart.  That means a list.  If there's no list I'll forget something very important or overpack.

And those are my vacation prepping/planning tips!  How do you all pack and prepare for vacation?  Sound off in the comments below.


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