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It’s about this time, the 3 month benchmark, that my travel OCD sets in. I start narrowing down my list of sights to see and places to visit. By this point you definitely should have your tickets to and from said country. Then comes the tedious part, scheduling. I use Google Drive to organize my schedule, pretty much down to the hour. I did mention I have travel OCD right? However, you really only have to get some basics locked down. Starting with the decision whether or not to skip around to other countries. To help you, here’s my travel check list to help you plan your trip.
Travel Check List
When I got my flight for England I also decided I wanted to see Rome. I wanted to stay 3 nights. Why? You’ll find out later in this article. So what I did was research flights to Rome. Since I wouldn’t be leaving directly from London I also had to research trains to take me to the airport. Even if you don’t plan on taking a train to the airport, you should research how long it takes by car or whichever sort of transportation you’re taking.
Timing Your Travels
I do however highly recommend the train as they are really reliable. For examples sake, say the earliest train I could take to the airport left at 7am, train takes 3 hours to get to airport (transfers and such). So earliest flight I should take is 11am. Always leave at least an hour for yourself. It’s too far out to book my train ticket yet, which by the way if you do book it early there’s sometimes discounts. I booked my flight through Kayak from London to Rome. Word to the wise, the flight maybe cheap but they will charge you for your bag. I’m going to a wedding so I’m bringing some nice stuff so I have to have a bag.
Hostel and Hotel Research
What’s next on your vacation checklist? Once you’ve decided where you’re going to be during your trip you should book your hostels or hotels. I use Hostel World to do my research. For hotels, I’ve used Google to compare different sites. You won’t always find the same hotels on Expedia as you will on Travelocity for instance. As a note, sometimes if the hostel has their own website ie. YHA they may have a membership program you can sign up for and receive a discount. Follow your chosen hostel or hotel’s social media channels or newsletter to stay in the know about deals and sales. If you booking your hotel or hostel, especially in the summer season, you should get these in advance as it books up quickly. Booking late can also drive up prices as a number of the deals will already be taken. You’ll also have a larger selection the further you book ahead. For last minute deals, should you need them, check out sites like Hotel Tonight.
Now that I’ve kept you waiting, why 3 nights in Rome? Well I only had a limited time, but the real reason is that I did my research on what I’d like to see and came across the Omnia Card. The card is good for 3 days so I figured I could do the basics in 3 days. I could knock off the big items on my travel check list I’ve had for a while. Besides if you’ve ever been on vacation with me, you know I can move fast! All the attractions covered in the card are listed here. The nice thing about the card is that it’s like a fast pass at Disneyland, you get to cut the lines. It also includes a bus tour of Rome.
I’m not actually a really big bus tour fan, but since I’ll only be there for a short amount of time I know it’ll help me to see a lot in a little amount of time. It also acts as a discount card to other museums and exhibits. Do note, that if you’re a student, it maybe cheaper to just buy tickets with your student ID but do check out the details before deciding. As a final note on the Omnia Card, they are currently running a promotion for 10% off if you purchase online.
Lastly, get tickets for high demand events. I really enjoyed going to see the ‘Tempest’ at Shakespeare’s Globe Theater when I was in London two summers ago. So when I found out I would be returning this summer I decided to go again. This time I’ll be seeing ‘As You Like It’. These events sells out really quickly, especially if you have a recognizable actor in the cast. So make sure to buy asap!
I did the yard tickets last time which was great, however, I figure this time I would have just spent 3 days walking around Rome so I’ll be tired. I caved and bought tickets in one of the galleries. By Broadway standards the tickets are still pretty darn cheap so I didn’t feel too bad about this splurge. Besides, they have the BEST actors in their plays so you know it’ll be a fantastic show!
Checking Off That Vacation Checklist
Hope this travel check list helps you get ready for your trip! Please feel free to comment below or email questions! As I said, I have a bit of travel OCD so this is really, truly how I go about my planning my travels.