Travel RevelationsPosted: 11/02/2011
Have you ever tried to plan a trip with your significant other? No? Well you could, right now, and it could end up being pretty fun. Or it could end up sucking, but I guess that’s up to you.
My ladyfriend and I are going to be voyaging to the super-not-sunny Cleveland Ohio, because that’s where I went to college and I still have friends there. Now, in theory it shouldn’t be too difficult to save for and purchase tickets for the flight and then think about hotel reservations and such. It’s simple, right? Pretty much cut and dry, and really straightforward (can I use that word talking about lesbians?).
In reality, this can sometimes turn out to be like herding cats – theoretically easy but complicated in practice. My dear, sweet girlfriend is a bit scatterbrained, and we’re both really busy. So we’re 2 weeks out from the trip, and we have no plans. WHAT DO WE DO?!?!?!!
I’ve made a little list for you, and this is totally going to be a boldly-titled list.
1. Know Your Sites
It’s scary buying airline tickets. This stuff seems SO EXPENSIVE at the time, and if you add in all the fees you can think of (luggage, being fat, whatever), it can add up. Fortunately there’s a ridiculous amount of online travel agencies there just for you, and not only can you see prices in big bright numbers, but arrival and departure times are usually pretty clearly marked as well. Orbitz, Expedia, Hotwire, Travelocity, and Kayak are all pretty fabulous.
2. Survive the Airport
Airports are full of people who have to go places RIGHT NOW, and this is no truer anywhere else than in the security checkpoints. People are SO ANGRY if you don’t have slip-on shoes and have belts with metal buckles, or have to try to organize your crap so you don’t lose any of it. It’s stressful, and I know you’ve heard this a zillion times before but get there early and take your time doing your stuff. This might sound like a dick move, and maybe it is, but I always think that those other people are in a big hurry because they didn’t plan well, and that it is in no way my fault they’re so grumpy. Actually, I literally just found this post and it seems like an indispensable airport survival guide.
3. Don’t Go No Reservations
This might work for Anthony Bourdain, but I personally really enjoy knowing exactly where I need to go and when. I loves me some schedules, whatever. I don’t have a hotel reservation… Yet. I will, though! Why? Partly because it seems weird and sketchy to show up somewhere at night and say “Hi, I want to pay you so I can sleep here! Let’s do this!” But also because if they’re full up, we’re totally screwed (in the bad way).
4. Foraging Tips
Fortunately for me, we’re going to a familiar city. I know where some cool restaurants are, and I know enough about it to be able to get around with minimal problems (hey Cleveland RTA, I’m talking to YOU). If you’re going somewhere new, do some Googling ahead of time and find some neat places vaguely close to the hotel you’ll be staying in – this is not rocket science. You could also look for places within half an hour or so of where you’re staying, because a short jaunt here and there means sightseeing and discovery, and that is always fun in new cities!
5. Don’t forget a toothbrush
No, really, don’t forget one. There’s nothing weirder than waking up in a strange room and having sour morning mouth FOR THE WHOLE TRIP.