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  • Total days on the road: 586
  • Currently in: USA
  • Miles Driven: 36821
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Plan & Prepare

Planning for a big travel adventure can be a daunting task. There’s much to consider and even more to research. Properly planning your trip will make life easier on the road and allow you to spend less time worrying about details and more time having fun. These articles cover the basics of researching and documenting your travel destinations and other pre-trip activities we find valuable.


Creating a Travel Itinerary

Written by Jessica on May 24, 2011

Map with route plannedTo be honest, the word itinerary makes me shudder. They are terrible, constraining, time-consuming, usually impractical schedules with the goal of making our travels easier. Except time after time, they will fail. That two-week trip will either feel like a marathon or a disappointment.

How do you balance seeing enough, without trying to see too much? You don’t. That is the best part of travel. You never know what the world is going to throw at you. You don’t know if it will be pouring rain when you want to hike the Cinque Terre trail, or if the museum is going to close for a private party, or if the president is going to die and the entire city is going to take to the streets.

The ultimate travel itinerary is one you are willing to forget about at the drop of a hat. Some would even say the best itinerary is the one that doesn’t exist. I agree, in some cases. My mother does not.

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Visa Basics

Written by Jessica on April 21, 2011

Passports and VisasIf you’re new to international travel, acquiring a visa can be very confusing. Rules and regulations differ depending on your citizenship, country of residence and where you’re headed. Here are a few tips to help you understand the basics and avoid making mistakes.

What is a Visa?

No, it’s not the credit card that’s accepted everywhere Master Card isn’t. It’s a document, a stamp, sticker, or simply an electronic record. A visa is issued to an individual, by a government, and allows you to enter a country.

Who needs a Visa?

That’s a complicated question. Short answer: you need a visa if you are traveling to a country you are not a citizen of, and a visa waiver program does not exist between your home country and your destination country.

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Researching Travel Destinations

Written by Jared on March 18, 2011

The easiest way to start your travel planning is to make a few lists of what you want. Something you can refer back to while you're plodding through guide books and web sites. Having a list of criteria helps to keep you focused and eliminate destinations that won't work.

Personal, professional and financial choices may limit your choices. That’s not to say you can’t travel where you please. You may have to weigh options and find creative ways to deal with a location’s shortcomings. If you are a location independent professional, choosing travel destinations that can accommodate your work is crucial.

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How to Document Travel Destination Research

Written by Jessica on March 18, 2011

When planning for a trip, there are three ways of thinking:

Do lots of research and schedule everything!

I used to be this type of person. No matter how long or short a trip was, I planned every day. Scheduled it out. Made reservations. It was exciting – until the trip started.

Do lots of research, but still schedule nothing!

I’m this type of person. I love to know everything I can about where I’m going, yet I’ve traveled enough to know it’s likely that all the research I’ve done is wrong. Or at least wrong enough I’ll end up changing my plans.

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