As you know Jimmy and I love to travel. In fact in the past few years we have been traveling a lot. We have gone to Vegas a few times, Arizona, Boulder and Tampa a couple of times. At the end of 2019 hubs and I went on our last cruise. For about 5 years or so, Jimmy and I went on a cruise every year. We love cruises, however in March of 2020 we decided to go on a trip that involved hiking. Since that trip we have done a lot of hiking trips and have traveled to different places in the US. 

I’ve been asked a lot of questions about our trips and some tips. So I thought with Christmas around the corner, people are traveling to families for the holidays, others are going on vacation and some people are like us, instead of exchanging Christmas gifts, book a vacation. So I am going to share with you some of our tips and favorite things about traveling. 

First when it comes to picking a destination, we try to pick a new place or a new National Park. Our goal is to travel and hike all the National Parks. We want to go to a place where we know we can create lasting memories. We feel this is so important because it brings us closer together and we always have fun. We also look at pricing for flights and hotels. We normally fly Southwest, their flights are usually less expensive and bags fly free. Another reason why we fly Southwest is because we can change flights without a charge. On this last trip we had flights booked and I went online to check something and saw our flight was less expensive than when we booked it. So I did a change of flight and got a credit, which was great. I recently switched my flight on American and because I had a no change fee flight, I didn’t have to pay a change fee. Some airlines have change fees on flights, so always check that when booking a flight. 

Here are my tips for making flying easier. If you are flying Southwest, make sure you check in 24 hours before your flight leaves. Southwest is first come first serve or you can do early check in for a small fee. Whatever airline you are flying, it is so important to check in before the airport, that way you don’t have to worry about waiting in line at the airport. Even dropping a suitcase is easier with pre-check in and already having your boarding pass. Always weigh your suitcase ahead of time. Check your airline for their guidelines, some are 40lbs and most are 50lbs per suitcase. To help with the boarding process, try to keep your backpack, duffle bag or soft bag under the seat. Your airline will say this. You would be surprised how many people don’t follow this simple rule. 

 

Don’t be afraid to ask for an early or late check in at the hotel. We do ask depending on what time our flights are coming and leaving. I am very picky about hotels, there are certain things I look for. I always check recent reviews, from the hotel and from Trip Advisor. Some reviews are people complaining about dumb things and some people have legit complaints. I think it is important to go with your gut, but definitely read reviews. We were looking into Albuquerque, New Mexico. We read reviews on hotels and they all said great hotels, very nice, but in a bad area. So it is important to read the reviews.  

 

 

We love packing snacks for our trips. We always have airplane snacks and food for vacation. If we are renting a car, we always hit the store for snacks and water. However we usually throw some water bottles in our drop suitcase. We know eating healthy on vacation can be hard, so we try to do what we can do. We buy lots of water. We always pack some healthy snacks in our carry suitcases. We love oatmeal for breakfast, it is easy and healthy. This way we know we are starting the day off healthy. 

 

Once we pick a place, we start planning our days and what we are going to do. I even look at Trip Advisor to see what is highly recommended to do. We love exploring and driving around. It is good to have a day or two of nothing planned. A day of nothing planned is good so you can be spontaneous and do something new or just do nothing. 

 

When it comes to packing clothes, I will say we have gotten better through the years. I pack my clothes by outfit, that way I know I have outfits and know what I am wearing. I always check the weather before I leave, like the day before. Weather can be fickle and change. Last year we went to Vegas in November and it snowed. We bought some winter clothes. This last trip we packed a couple layers, which was good. It didn’t get as cold as it said it would. 

Try to leave positive reviews about the places you have great experiences with. This is a small way to thank and show support in that local area. 

 

That’s the Dish from my Kitchen to your Kitchen 💕

Billie-Jo