West Coast Trip 2015 – Top 5 Lessons Learned

The full Steintinerary travel plan for West Coast Trip 2015

So, the trip recaps are great and all, but what are some tips that you can actually use as you try to plan your own vacation time?  Beyond a sweet list of places to check out in each city, here are some other takeaways from West Coast Trip 2015:

  1. Investigate all modes of transportation.  The pricing dynamics of various modes of transport may be different where you are going compared to where you live.  For example, the train ride from Seattle to Portland was a great cheap option, and allowed us to see some beautiful scenery along the way, which we would have missed with a higher priced flight or a rental car.
  2. Talk to people!  Trick Dog was not on our list of places to try in SF until we talked about our trip with our waiter in Portland.  If you find a friendly server, bartender, Uber/Lyft driver, or any other friendly person, ask for recommendations!
  3. Explore multiple neighborhoods/areas.  Don’t get sucked into spending all of your time downtown, or in the first area of a city that you like.  Cities are big, and different areas can have completely different vibes.  Rather than looking only for specific businesses or activities, have an idea of how the city is laid out, and what areas have the kinds of things you like to do.
  4. Pick a date and commit!  Especially when trying to plan a trip with a group of friends, it is tough to actually find the time that works for everyone.  Nowadays, everybody’s schedule is constantly in flux.  Sometimes, it is best to just put the date on the calendar, book a flight or lodging to make real, and tell everyone that it’s on.   People will make it happen!
  5. RESEARCH! RESEARCH! RESEARCH!  An easy way to avoid stress is to have a plan, especially when you only have a limited amount of time at your destination.  Plan your trip out, identify some must-sees, and have some backup options in your back pocket in case not everything goes exactly to plan.  Or, get yourself a Steintinerary…😉

What are your thoughts on these guiding principles?  Do you agree/disagree?  What are some lessons that you have learned when traveling?  Don’t be scared – post to the comments!

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