Travel Hacks I've Learned From Being a Destination Wedding Planner
When I first started wedding planning, I dreamed of my Clients taking me across the world to plan their weddings. I can't believe my dream is actually a reality.
I've planned events in Mexico, New York, Michigan, Georgia, Miami, California, and Seattle. This year I'm even heading to Las Vegas!
Since I travel at least once or twice a month, I've come up with some travel hacks that I've learned along the way. It makes traveling SO MUCH easier and less stressful.
I hope these tips will help you too! <3
1. Flying Tips
I have a love/ hate relationship with flying but I'd much rather fly than drive. <3
- TSA Precheck
If you haven't used this service - you are wasting so much valuable time! I'm super crazy, but if I'm not checking a bag - I usually arrive at the airport an hour prior to my flight! It's $85 membership for 5 years and you can speed through security and don’t need to remove your shoes or laptop. #thisiswhatdreamsaremadeof
- Check in on time
If you check in exactly 24 hours before your flight (I fly mostly Jet Blue so I have the app on my phone), you have the opportunity to get the best seats. Usually, when I book the initial flight I choose the seats but if I check in late - I've found that they change them! Last week, I had originally signed up for the very back of the plane (because it was the only seats left) but when I went to check in there were seats in the 7th row. WINNING.
- Try and stay with only a carry-on
I hate checking bags. I usually have to check in my massive emergency kit, but I try to stick with only my carry on if I can. It saves less hassle when you get to the airport. I also usually carry a large backpack or tote so I can carry my laptop and even some other items that I need.
- Scan drivers license and/or passport and keep on your phone
Just in case something happens to your wallet or any bags that you have, it's always a good plan to scan your driver's license and passport and keep it on your phone. In the case of an emergency, you aren't stuck without any form of identification.
- Fly airlines that include free wifi
If you spend your travel time working (like I do) - fly an airline that includes free wifi. I usually fly Jet Blue and they have free wifi so my flight doubles as a work session and I don't miss out on any valuable time.
- Avoid connecting flights
I am happy to pay extra to avoid connecting flights. I know sometimes this isn't possible - but to be honest, I'm happy to pay the extra money then sit at the airport, risk delays and missed flights. I count the time as work time that I can spend on the plane vs spending the whole day running around airports.
- Buy flights on Tuesday or Wednesday and 6-8 weeks out if you can
I've found a happy spot to buy flights. I usually purchase flights on Tuesdays or Wednesdays and purchase about 6 weeks out.
2. Packing Tips
I just have to say that it takes me less than 15 minutes to pack for most trips. Here are some reasons why.
- Travel toiletry case
I have a travel toiletry case (check it out here), that I never unpack. I keep an eye on it right before I travel or make notes to refill but it makes packing SO easy.
- Rolling clothes for more space
My hubby actually taught me this one since his dad was in the military. It saves SO much time and I can fit so much more in my carry on.
- Portable phone charger
Lifesaver. Especially when I'm in New York and using my GPS to walk all of the time - you are never in a place that you don't have a phone (I use Mophie).
- Store your power chords in a sunglass case
I was getting so tired of not being able to find my chords anywhere and searching for them. It cost me $8 for a sunglass case and now I can even throw it in my purse if I need a backup plan at a wedding.
- Purchase a portable jewelry case
I've lost way too many of my favorite earrings to not be organized with this! I purchased a portable case that keeps everything organized and together!
- Keep a packing list on your phone
Because I'm a to-do list psyco, I keep a packing list on my phone and I check it off after I pack so I make sure I don't forget anything!
3. Hotel Tips
I love hotels. I'm not much of an Air B and B traveler, but I do love a good, comfy bed and room service. :)
- Priceline Express Deals
I use this app religiously. I look at the hotels in the area I want, look at the customer reviews and what they are going for price wise - and then try to compare that with the express deals app to get the hotel I want at the best price!
- Try and check in early
I always try and check into my hotel early. I hate dragging my bags all over so if they won't allow me to check in, I have them put my bags in the back and I find a coffee shop to get some work done!
4. Planning Tips for Traveling
As a planner, even my trips are organized. Here are a few tips that are easy but keep you on point.
- Keep in mind your time zone
Don't always trust your phone to move your appointments or meetings in the correct time zone. Have a note on your phone with your appointments and flight times in the correct time zone to avoid missing a meeting or a flight.
- Buffer in travel time
If you are new to the city, always buffer in at least 30 minutes of travel time. If you get lost, stuck in traffic, etc. it will avoid causing you stress and anxiety and get to your destination on time.
- Keep a handwritten planner
Although I am a digital girl, I have my Day Designer to keep me in check. It's a backup plan on all of your to-do list items and trips. I also keep a handwritten and digital document of the places I want to go for fun, too.
- Plan out your agenda in advance
Of course, there is a portion of you I am sure that wants to be adventurous but you also don't want to waste your entire trip coming up with a plan. I look at my appointments and locations and find out if the subway, train, Lyft, Uber, or walking is a better route.
- Ask the locals
I love finding a local bar and talking to locals about the apps to get, fun stuff to do and city hacks. I've found in NYC that VIA (a ride share service) and an app called Fever are two super fun ways to save money on traveling in the city and find local things to do.
Hope this helps on your next travel advenutre! I woudl love to hear some of your travel hacks, too. ;)