This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Gulf County Florida for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.
Ian and I travel quite a bit, which is extremely helpful when planning a vacation. We know exactly what we want, so we are skilled at finding the best things to do, places to stay, and places to eat. But, we haven’t always been this way. We used to pick a destination and just head there, without any plans. We would stumble upon restaurants and tours and hope for the best. Most of the time, we would have good vacations, but since we have changed our mindsets when it comes to planning, our trips have significantly improved.
Follow along with me on this post and you will learn how to plan a trip that you actually want to go on! In order to teach you how to plan a trip, I am going to show you how I personally plan ours by giving you a real example. I could just tell you: “Pick a destination, choose activities to do, and find a hotel,” but this won’t help you at all. I think by me actually showing you my process of planning a real trip, you will benefit from it more.
The first step in your planning process is to pick a destination. Make sure you consider who you are going with, how far you want to travel, and what kind of trip you want to have.
For our trip, we have picked Gulf County Florida! While my parents live in Florida and I am in the state pretty frequently, I have always limited myself to my parent’s city, or a few other places that I have frequently traveled to. Exploring more of Florida has been on my bucket list for some time now and I figured this would be the perfect time to start planning my trip.
I chose Gulf County for a few different reasons: it isn’t too far away from me, they are located off the beaten path, they have so many things to do, and to top things off, they are actually running an awesome contest right now. If you are searching for a fun-filled vacation, you should definitely enter the contest!! I knew Gulf County was the place for me once I read this on their website: “Sure! We’re off the beaten path… but that’s what makes this no-worry, no-hurry piece of paradise worth the drive.”
Step number 2 is focusing on certain ‘must haves’ for your trip. I call them my focal points. For us, we always lean towards romance, adventure, and food. While relaxing on the beach is nice and much needed at times, it doesn’t really give you a taste of the actual culture of the town, so we like to mix it up and include some down time to relax, as well as a lot of adventure. To each his own, though – everyone has a different image of a trip and that is why planning a trip based on your likes and dislikes is so important! What are your focal points?
Now that you know where you are going and what your focal points are, you can start planning the fun stuff! What are you going to do while you are on vacation?!
Gulf County makes it so easy to plan and we are so thankful for that because I have been running low on time lately. They offer an amazing Concierge Program, with a fast and easy process. You fill out their online form or give them a call and tell them your interests. I told them that I wanted to find activities that would allow for fun and romance. Once they know your interests, they match you with a guide and your guide will connect you with people, places, and activities that are specifically chosen for you. In addition to their concierge program, they also have a guide to adventures on their website. It is so helpful and very easy to navigate when you are searching for things to do.
So, when you trying to choose what to do while you are on vacation, your best friend will be your computer. Research, research, research. I always look up different hotels, restaurants, and things to do. Make sure you look up their reviews, too! I also try my best to find blog posts on the area that I am going to – I feel like I get an inside scoop this way because that is what I try to provide you all with when I write posts about destinations
One thing that I love doing to make sure that I have all of my bases covered is creating a flexible itinerary or at least a list of what I would like to do. A lot of the time, if I don’t have a list, I will sit around trying to plan my day and when we finally have it planned, half of the day is already over. Having a list allows us to choose a few things to do that day and go with it. This saves us time and stress when we are on our trip.
Once you know where you are going, what you are doing, and you have done all of your research, it’s time to relax and pack! You’ve done it! Get ready to have an amazing vacation.
With all of this talk about Florida, I bet you all are wondering what we are doing when we head to Gulf County Florida. There were so many activities to choose from, but with guidance from the concierge program and the website in general, I think we have narrowed it down to these activities:
Kayaking on the Dead Lakes, Horseback riding on the beach (or paddle boarding in the ocean if we can’t do both), and of course, enjoying their coastal cuisine! I would also love to ride bikes on the Loggerhead Run Bike Path and try scalloping, but I can’t do everything in one trip. Plus, we have to include some downtime, as well – playing in the waves, relaxing on the warm sand, and searching for shells sounds amazing, right now.
No matter what you have in mind for your trip, Gulf County Florida has something perfect for you. Don’t forget to enter their contest, while you are at it. You could win a 7-day adventure, which includes your accommodations, a guided tour in glass bottom canoes and kayaks, $200 for a night out on the town, and $100 to stock your pantry. Sounds amazing, right?!
Where are you headed on your next trip? Do you have any fun activities planned?