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Saturday, March 28, 2020

How to Plan Trips When You Can't Travel

We're going into week 2 of forced exile, and I hope you're all keeping busy and not having too much cabin fever. I'm an introvert, but also working on some more product reviews for you, so it's fine for me. One of my three future trips has been cancelled, and I'm being realistic about the fact that the other two might also get postponed, but I'm keeping my travel spirits up.

I've been using the Joe Coffee App to order from local coffeeshops to get my coffee fix and help our baristas keep their jobs and the shops to stay open. You order and pay in-app and then get coffee delivered to your car when you arrive. It helps to keep your interactions minimal and you aren't hanging around inside with others. Portland Dining Month has been suspended for the time being, but I was able to go to two before lockdown, so stay tuned for those as well. 

Our new "eating out" normal

Right now is the perfect time to start planning a vacation, far in advance, since we don't know when it'll be safe again to get on a plane, but when we do, it's going to be exciting. What can you do right now to plan the perfect trip?

Save Money

If you're lucky enough to be able to work from home or get paid during lockdown, then you are already saving gas money and money you'd spend going out to dinner, lunch or the movies. Even if you get a few meals through take-out or Uber Eats, that's probably way less than what you usually spend. I know we're doing well on that front. Since you aren't going out for dates or whatever else, put that money in your travel account.

Research, Research, Research

What else are you doing besides binging Netflix/Hulu/Prime? Exactly. Now's the time to figure out everything a destination has to offer, everything you want to see/do/eat, and find deals on those things that cost money. You'll also have time to find all the cool free things or ask your friends on social media for all their suggestions. You'll end up with the perfect itinerary!

Book Far In Advance

If you know when you want to go, then this is the time to book those popular things in advance if you can, while no one else is traveling or booking. This means getting those hard-to-get reservations, which will make you feel like you won the lottery. 

Get Prepared Now

Order or study maps, learn the language, delve into the culture norms. You'll know how to get around and not offend anyone, and how to ask people where the bathroom is. People will think you're a natural and you'll feel great about yourself. Make a list of all the local foods you want to try or your destination's "specialty" items, like spices or toys or exports that you can't get elsewhere and you want to bring home for gifts or souvenirs.

Put Together Your Carry-On

This is the time to perfect your packing and get your ideal travel capsule wardrobe together. Make a packing list, pare it down to the essentials, buy the best travel bag for you, and then pack it! If you struggle with packing light, this is the time to practice it. If you're like the rest of us, you're surviving on the bare minimum of clothing and makeup right now, so that those ideas into your packing. Need new items for your toiletry bag? Check out Travel Pakt and get that squared away now, so you're ready when travel day comes.

There's more that you can do, but these will get you through Quarantine and get you excited about being allowed to travel further than the grocery store again. Need more ideas on how to survive lockdown when you have massive wanderlust? Check out my post on keeping your sanity. You can also see my post on Facebook with all the virtual tours and live streams to get you "out of the house". 

How are you satisfying your love of travel right now?

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