Summer is one of the best times to travel in Canada but travelling can also be a bit of a hassle. As a wife, mother of two young boys and an entrepreneur, it can be difficult to coordinate a fun travel itinerary for my family and still get to that business meeting on time -- all without breaking the bank. Below are a few of my own summer travel hacks when it comes to packing, planning your itinerary and saving a few loonies along the way.
Hacking the Suitcase
We all know packing a suitcase is one of the hardest parts of travelling. What do I bring? How much do I bring? Well here are a few tips that will help you minimize my worry and make sure I have everything I need to look my best.
• When packing, always roll garments instead of folding them. This will allow for more space and *bonus*, less wrinkles.
• Pack by outfits, not individual pieces. I think about my itinerary and where I'll go during the trip and pack outfits to suit.
• The majority of pieces should provide double duty; they may either be worn with multiple items or they serve multiple purposes e.g. a lightweight sun dress makes a perfect beach cover-up, tunic over pants and an evening option with heels.
• Utilize a larger purse to maximize packing potential. I carry toiletries, evening clutch and even undergarments in a pouch in my purse to ensure you have the essentials should *heaven forbid* my luggage be lost. It also helps save on suitcase space.
• Put dry tea bags in shoes or the "salt" packets found in new purchases are great for deodorizing and withdrawing moisture - this will help make sure items are their freshest upon arrival.
Hacking the Itinerary
Planning your trip is one of the best parts of travelling. Where to go? What to see? But the first part of planning is all about preparation, scheduling and making sure I've done my research. These tips help ensure I get to see and do everything on the list.
• Read up on destination blogs before a trip. It always helps me see determine what areas I may like the best and plan my itinerary accordingly.
• After I've checked in to my room, my next step is to try to become good friends with my hotel's concierge. They will have a wealth of suggestions for things to see and do especially - if you're looking for those local hidden gems like restaurants or fun show for the whole family.
• When travelling with kids in the car, I always find planning games ahead of time will make the ride much more pleasant. Games like 'I Spy', 'Name that Tune', and 'Travel Bingo' (download from Pinterest) are great choices to keep your kids occupied and your mind on the road ahead. But just in case those games don't work, I have their favourite movies on a phone or tablet in my reserve.
• Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and when I travel and on-the-go, I look for hotels that offer a free breakfast with my stay.
Hacking the Loonie
Who knows where the Canadian dollar is going to end up this year and when constantly travelling for work or pleasure, those dollars can add up. Here are a few ways I like to save a few dollars along the road and I'm actually rewarded for it!
• A fantastic holiday, needn't bust your budget. I like to book my stay direct with the IHG app so I'll get the best booking prices every time. I am an IHG Rewards Club member, and I gain points with hotel stays which can later be redeemed for more nights, flights, and countless other products like iPads and gift cards to restaurants.
I hope these travel hacks will help you as much as they've helped me and I wish you all safe travels this summer.
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