Happy summer, ManMakers. Those three months where the days are long, and the weekends are time to just grab a bag and go. So, this is our handy guide to traveling: tips to plan, pack, and explore so you can get the most out of your trip.
It starts like this: you plan a trip, request your vacation time, make a few arrangements, the you leave everything to the very last minute, and panic ensues. Yep. We've all been there. And...this is why we have created our nifty little guide to help you get all of those details sorted out. Take note!
- Flying to your destination: Hipmunk is a great site to find deals on airplane tickets. Love how it categorizes the search results by agony and price (brilliant, right?). There's also Kayak, which shows you the cheapest flights found by other people, perfect for those with a flexible schedule.
- Drive to your destination: If you're going away road trip style, make sure to get GasBuddy on your smartphone. This app will give you the cheapest gas prices on the go. If you're still unsure whether you should be driving or flying, then go to Travel Math, a site that calculates the best way to get to your destination (based on time, cost, distance, etc.).
- Book your accommodation: airbnb is honestly one of the best tools to book accommodation. There are tons of different options to choose from - cabins, apartments, single rooms, you name it. But, if you are more into hotels, Price Negotiator is perfect for finding deals.
- Map your points of interest: Google map any attractions you want to visit before hand, make sure to check schedules for museums, parks, and restaurants, and then save them in your favorite places so you can easily navigate later, as well as visit all the spots in a region or neighborhood. Use Any.DO to make quick notes and reminders so you don't forget any of these details.
You may think this is the least of your worries, but we've all spent time scrambling to figure out what to bring.
Before you pack
- Lay out every single item of clothing you're taking. Then get rid of one thing in each category.
Do you really need that many shirts? Get rid of any "just in case" items. Those never get used, and you know it.
- Cover the basics. It's only a weekend.
- 1 casual shirt,
- 1 pair of shoes
- socks and underpants
- dark jeans (you can dress them up in case you go out) and a belt
- 1 jacket, sweatshirt, or sweater,
- 1 dressy item for going out to a nice dinner
- toiletries (unless you're staying at a hotel where they're provided. Then just a toothbrush and paste and medications)
- Accessories:one book, phone charger. Leave everything else at home.
Pack it up
- Odd shaped items go at the bottom of your suitcase or backpack (shoes, windbreaker, etc). Save space by stuffing your socks and clean undies in your hat (plus it'll help to keep the shape).
- Roll your jeans, t-shirts, and shirts and add them on top.
- Fill any gaps with the rest of your items (e.g. belts, watches, ties).
- Any delicate items go on the very top, snuggled in between your garments.
Even though we love the feeling of having a Lonely Planet guide while traveling, they can be heavy and take too much space. Instead, stuff your phone with apps and you'll be set for success.
- Wallpaper Magazine City Guides: You can either buy the printed version or you can download the app. Either way, these guides are a must-have for any design-savvy traveler.
- Everplaces:nothing like getting some local advice. This app has tons of reviews and recommendations written by locals. Best of all, it has a design-y twist and you can find lots of cool spots.
- Wi-Fi Finder:Need a cyber fix? Use this app to find the nearest WiFi network, super handy when you want to quickly upload some pictures to your Flickr account or fire off a few emails.
- Trapster: Getting a traffic fine while on vacation definitely sucks, with Trapster you can find police "traps" to avoid getting a ticket, not that you would, but just in case (shhh, don't tell them we told you about it).
- SitorSquat:Let's face it, when you're traveling the last thing you want to do is having to spend money and time lining up at a store, just you can use their washroom. SitorSquat can tell you where to take your business on the go. Phew!
- Average Cam Pro:if all you're using to take photos is your phone's camera, then you should get Average Cam Pro. This app is great to take photos at night (including starry skies!). If you have a mini tripod take it with you, if not, just place your phone on a flat surface and let the app work its magic.
Travel light, travel often. Got any extra tips or apps of your own? Share them in the comments below!
This ManMade post was originally published on June 17, 2013