How often do you travel?
Do you find yourself pulling out your suitcases often, filling them with all of your belongings, so that you CAN survive for a week? Or is packing your least favorite part of going on a trip because you know you are bound to forget something?
- So what do we look for when it comes to renting a condo?
- Room Amenities – does it have a full kitchen where we can cook our own meals? Trust me, our meals are very simple – cereal for breakfast, sandwiches for lunch, and suppers (salad, pasta, even a frozen pizza here and there).
- Condo Amenities – If we are going somewhere warm, we always look for a place with a pool, condo on the water, kayaks (definitely a perk), free parking, and close to other attractions
- Price – the whole point of a condo is to save money, for us. We do not stay in elegance, but we stay in a place with a bed, kitchen, bathroom, etc. It has to be worth the price!
- Reviews – it is amazing what you can gain from the reviews of others! Everyone has a different opinion, but if most would say they would go back (considering most come from different backgrounds), you can pretty much guarantee it’s a good place
- Airlines – we watch prices for usually a month or 2. I know they say there are “ideal” times to book airline tickets, but we have found that really, they change so often, that you can’t depend on anything, except just keeping an eye out for a deal. We have found round trip tickets to Florida for $100/person, but we have also paid close to $200. Which is still a GREAT deal, but quite a difference. You can sign up on Kayak.com for email notifications when prices go down or up, so that is an option too.
- Look at different cities around the area. We recently flew into Fort Lauderdale instead of Miami, because we could save over $100. Plus, then we did not have to deal with the bigger city.
- We also pay attention to the flight schedule. Yes, we could save $50, but is it worth 12 hours vs. 6 hours of travel time?
- Look at car rental prices. A drive from Minnesota to Florida, would not be worth our time and money, considering the gas it would take to go down there! So flying is our best bet. We once made the cheap choice of renting the cheapest car out there – an economy size. Now, we both are over 6’1″, so a little Mazda 2 was interesting to say the least. We learned our lesson, that a dollar more a day, is worth the comfort of a vehicle. Next time, we rented an intermediate, but still only paid slightly over $100 for the week, for the rental itself (fees not included). Well worth it in our minds!
- Check the weather forecast. Yes, forecasts change dramatically at times, but you obviously wouldn’t pack your winter clothes if you were heading to the south in the fall or spring. Even if it would rain, you at least know what TYPE of clothes to bring.
- Decide what activities you might be doing. Laying on the beach and hiking require different clothes. But if you will only be hiking 1 or 2 days, that is all you need to take clothes for.
- Decide how many you need of anything, TO GET BY. Do not bring clothing items so that you have choices. Bring enough for one outfit each day – this eliminates choices and overpacking.
- I have created a personal packing list that I use for EVERY over night trip I ever go on. Some things on here I rarely take, but that means I just get to cross them off! This helps me to never forget a single thing. If it’s not on the list, it’s not coming with me. I keep it in a plastic sleeve that I keep in our home management binder, and use a vis a vis marker so that I can reuse this list at anytime. You can create your own packing list by using this printable packing list.
- Make packing something you ENJOY. Yes, you can enjoy it, by not bringing more than you need because when have you ever not packed enough? Honestly? Yes, you may have to wear a pair of shorts a few times, but who cares? I guarantee you the only person who cares is you.