As you know, Ben and I just came back from an amazing vacation in Spain. I can’t be happier as I finally saw with my own eyes all of the creation of my favorite artist/architect Antoni Gaudi and tasted all of the amazing dishes from Spanish cuisine. I love to take the time and plan our vacation on my own so we can see not only basic tourist attractions, but also live for a couple of days as locals of the place we visit. Even though this year we booked the tour with the help of a tourist agency (stay tuned I publish a detailed post about our trip), I did plan all of the previous vacations to Europe myself.
Today I collaborated with Soufel to share with you my tips and tricks on making vacation unforgettable. Soufel is a brand that produces those amazing 925 sterling silver charm bracelets that you see on these pictures. In my opinion, those could become a perfect gift to purchase as a reminder of your vacation. Instead of spending money on pricey souvenirs that will end up collecting dust in your apartment, I would better purchase a customized charm that will bring your vacation memories back every time you look at your wrist. Do you agree?
Whether you went on a trip to Europe or enjoyed summer in your city, here is your chance to score a charm bracelet at a discount price. All you have to do is to enter the promo code Katya5 at checkout and enjoy 5% off any order. Okay, without further delay, here are five of my tips on planning your perfect vacation.
#1: My One-One-One Rule: When it comes to sightseeing, I don’t like running from one location to another all day long. In my experience, it brings more discomfort than pleasure and the last thing I want to do while on vacation is being too tired to go out at night. Saying that, I figured out a sightseeing formula that is proven to be working: for each day of vacation, I schedule one guided walking tour, one vehicle-powered tour (Segway, bike, boat, etc.), and one exploration tour. I usually book the first two through TripAdvisor, Viator, or any local travel company. The latest is rather accidental: we just pick a location that we would love to explore and simply ‘get lost’ there. I like to take an unplanned trip in the P.M. as it gives an opportunity to find great authentic restaurants that are not listed in any travel guides.
I picked Soufeel Silver Love Coffee Charm because… well, I love coffee!
#2: Three Is a Magic Number: In my humble opinion, one way is not enough to explore the city, no matter how big or small it is. I prefer to stay three days in each city because two days is still not enough (it feels like a constant packing and unpacking to me), and four is already boring. Also, I also try to book a hotel as close to the center of the city as possible. In that way, we are able to avoid taking too many cabs and walk around the city instead (read: free workout while on vacation).
#3: Bloglovin’ Power: Lately I figured out that many of my favorite fashion, beauty, and lifestyle bloggers published at least one of the posts featuring their favorite coffee places, restaurants, and hot spots in their city. In my opinion, such posts are a great way to learn more about the tastes of your favorite role models and explore some cool new places. Another great source of travel information is Bloglovin’; I suggest checking Travel section (under Explore category) – there are many helpful tips you can find there too. Also, don’t forget about travel bloggers such as NomadicMatt.com; you can find tons of recommendations on their blogs per each country you are planning to visit.
This Red Travel Suitcase Charm is for fashionistas who take tons of outfits to a trip!
#4: Save the Planet: With a few exceptions, I stopped using paper documents while traveling. In my experience, there is no need to print your itinerary, airplane tickets, or any other confirmations. I simply save those to Passbook on my iPhone and it works perfectly fine. The only thing that I do recommend having on paper is a city map. Using data while in roaming could be pricey. Also, sometimes it’s the only way to find your way to the hotel if, let’s say, your phone died and you didn’t find the charger.
#5: Old-School Way: I got into that trap too many times: It’s a rainy day and you cancelled your city tour to stay in the hotel and watch your favorite show… and your Netflix doesn’t work. Of course, you can take advantage of a few channels in your hotel room, but who want to see BBC News while in Paris, right? I would better go for Amelie and Paris, Je T’Aime or sneak a few series of Orange Is the New Black. Be prepared and download a couple of movies on your laptop or simply bring old-school DVDs.
I hope you liked my not so obvious tips on planning your next vacation. As I stated before, my posts about our vacation to Spain is coming soon. Meanwhile, check out my post on what to pack while traveling to New York. Au revoir!