I recently got to help a friend plan a little vacation. I’ve always been very hesitant to do this because I would hate for the trip to not be everything they expected. I would feel responsible.
But in the end I decided I was merely giving her advice, if she chose to use it I hoped it was helpful. Because ultimately I can’t guarantee any getaway will be perfect. Actually I CAN pretty much guarantee there will be hiccups along the way. My upcoming trip’s airline debacle is a great example of that. You can read more about that here.
I have to say it was really fun guiding her on this journey. She is young, has never flown on a plane, never seen the ocean and going solo! Much braver than I was at that age for sure!
She had a very narrow window of opportunity so that made choosing the best location for traveling tricky. Winter in the Midwest can be brutal so that eliminated a lot of great options. Although not the ideal time to go there, she decided that Florida would be the place her adventure would occur.
This locale offered some great firsts for her. I LOVE flying and hope she will love it as well. Plus, who doesn’t love the ocean? So even though this is a short little trip it will be memorable for sure.
We were able to find her a great deal on a flight out of a local airport as well as an awesome deal on a OCEANFRONT hotel! I am so jealous! I was much older before I stayed in my first hotel on the beach.
Not only is it on the beach, it is walking distance to restaurants, shops and an amusement park. I think she will have an absolute blast!
In talking to her about the vacation planning process she had A LOT of questions! She wanted to be sure she knew exactly what she was getting into. Especially being a young woman traveling alone it is very important to be prepared.
I tried to think of as many travel basics that I could in order to give her some guidance. This list is in no way all inclusive and with airlines changing policies frequently the information I am sharing should always be verified for accuracy but I hope it will be helpful to anyone planning their first vacation.
24 Hours Before Flight
- Check in online
- 1 personal item – bag or backpack that will fit under the seat
- 1 carry-on bag (9 in. x 14 in. x 22 in.)
- 1 quart baggie for liquids (3.4 oz. max per item)
- Wear comfortable, easy to remove shoes
- No belts
- Empty pockets
- Have ID and boarding pass ready
- May have to be patted down (no big deal)
- Wait until after TSA to buy a drink
- Dramamine prior to flight
- Chew gum during takeoff and landing
- Lysol travel wipes to clean tray table
- Good book
- Get super excited, you’re on vacation!
In addition to those tips another thing I always recommend is to take snacks. This is great for during the flight but also to have at the hotel. If I can save $ by skipping breakfast at a restaurant or hitting a vending machine when you get the munchies at midnight I’m all about it!
So even when I’m not the one going on a vacation I still love getting to live vicariously through others. We are planning on visiting Florida this summer so I can’t wait to hear all about her trip. I hope it’s everything she wanted and more!
My biggest wish is that this trip will inspire a wanderlust that will stay with her for the rest of her life. Because, in my opinion, vacations memories are some of the best you will ever experience!
Memories. That’s what it’s all about. Whether going solo or with friends and family, travel is good for the soul. That’s what I think at least as the hubby and I just keep collecting memories as we go.