Travel Tuesday: 5 Tips for Planning Your Perfect Vacation

Happy Travel Tuesday! Today I thought it would be great to talk about how to book your perfect trip in five easy steps. I tried to think of all the things I do when I book my trips and the sites I use so hopefully I compiled a great list for you to reference in the future. Enjoy :)

1. Research
The first thing to do is research where you want to go. Explore top destinations, think of where you've never been, places you've only seen in pictures and then look them up! Make sure to ask yourself: Is it doable? affordable? available? It will help you narrow down places and make sure that you're staying in check. 

My favorite place to research is on TripAdvisor. It has everything you need and everything you never thought you did. It's a great way to read up on places, explore new destinations, get other opinions and find an array of hotels, flights, vacation rentals, restaurants as well as helping you find the perfect destination! I mean, what more could you want? 

2. Read and Review
The next thing to do on your narrowed down list of places you want to go is read and review. This is also where TripAdvisor comes into place. You can read up about anything and everything on here. The hotel, the food at the hotel, places to eat, stay, hang out, go out -- anything! It's always good to hear other opinions on the matter (good and bad) so you know what you're in for. When I went to Grand Cayman, I researched all around the island for what was good and what we should do. TripAdvisor is a really great travel tool.

3. Budget
Now that you've narrowed down your list of places to go, count everything up (like hotel, flights, food, car rental and other expenses) and make sure you're within your budget. There's nothing worse than booking a trip and spending all your money so you have zero left over to actually enjoy your time on said trip. 

4. Compare 
Once you've found your ideal destination for your vacation, it's time to start comparing prices. Make sure you have enough time before you need to book so you can compare prices over the week. They change daily and the best days to book anything (hotels/flights) are Tuesdays. Travel Tuesday, am I right?!

Also make sure to clear your cookies. Travel sites will bump up prices when they know you've been searching around. So find the best places with the cheapest fairs on Tuesday with a clean computer. 

5. Book
Now it's time to book, woohoo! Below are my favorite tools and websites to book online:

Flight: I love using Google Flights (read more about it here) because it's just really intuitive and gives me the ability to easily search and pick out my flights.

HotelWyndham and Hilton are great go-to's because they're affordable and available almost anywhere you want to go. 

Travel Sites: TripAdvisor and JetSetter and great resources for one-stop shopping when traveling. 

Booking SitesHotels.comBooking.comPriceline and Expedia are all great places to book as well.


Saint James Neige-Marine Shirt

Oh springggg where art thou? I’m trying to make spring happen people! The white pants have officially been broken out and I’m wearing them all the time. What are ya going to do about it? I’m just left here wondering if New York will take note of my spring attire and button up its attitude and give me some warm weather. Like what cha doin there buddy? It’s almost April, get it together.

On another note, I finally bought a Saint James top. I know I know it’s only been foreverrr since I said I’d get one but I just finally did it. I was worried it was just going to be another stripe top but boy was I wrong it’s so much more! The shirt just fits so nicely and is so crisp. I’m already dreaming about the days when I can wear this bad boy with some white shorts. Give me warm weather or give me death bed!



Navy Stripe Dress and LL Bean Weekender

Who doesn't love to travel in style? I feel like this look needs to hit the road for a preppy getaway. Between the navy Barbour, the striped dress and the new navy weekender, this look screams for a trip somewhere amazing like Nantucket (I'm dying to go back).

This LL Bean weekender seriously holds everything and then some. I brought it as my "purse" last weekend to Phoenix and it was wonderful. I mean how can you not love navy, canvas and leather together?

 I'm also so happy to have broken out myConverse All-Stars for the first time this year! These shoes were one of my favorite purchases two summers ago and I can't believe how much they go with everything. They just scream summer to me.

This striped dress is new (like I really need another one) and it's awesome. It's super lightweight for spring and summer and it's also a great length. I just hate when dresses are too short to be worn casually. I could walk around the city forever in this outfit, and if it would just stop raining here maybe I'd be able to! I did hear a wonderful rumor that it's supposed to hit 50 degrees this weekend. Fingers crossed! 

Happy Friday everyone!




LL Bean Signature Gingham Poplin Pullover Shirtdress

Gingham on gingham, am I right?! Move over closet, this is my new favorite dress. The mixture of check and gingham is just so wonderful that I couldn't resist not owning it. I had the pleasure of going to the LL Bean spring preview back in the beginning of winter and that's when I first laid eyes on this bad boy. I just love everything about it!

It's perfect for work too (which is always a plus) because it's a shirtdress and it's an appropriate length. I also love that it's a little longer in the back because that's just where you need it. I paired it with my favorite booties to make it more appropriate for the cold weather and I was good to go!

As for sizing, LL Bean usually runs TTS but I found I had to go one size up from my normal number for this dress to fit around my hips.



Travel Tuesday: Phoenix, AZ

Who missed Travel Tuesdays!? 

*only one that raises hand*

Well it's back! Woo! This past weekend I went to Phoenix, AZ to spend the weekend with the family for my mom's 60th birthday. The trip was WAY too short but it was jam packed with lots of laughter, warmth and food. I flew out Friday after work and arrived late due to a weather delay in New York (yes, it was snowing again -____-). The five-hour flight and the three-hour time change did me in. I was however welcomed and surprised with the Sedona two-story suite for our hotel room. It was so nice and made me yearn for a bigger place even more! You only turn 60 once!

Thankfully I was able to sleep in the next morning. On Saturday we woke up bright and early (6am, people) to head out to Lake Pleasant. My mom loves to fish and so for her birthday we rented a boat for eight hours and went out to catch some fishies!

Here's me and my license to kill ... fish, haha! We booked our trip through the Hook Up Outfitters and had a blast. Crazy enough, our guide was cousins with Mickey Mantle! The trip was filled with sunshine, fish and intently checking the score of the UK game (which we won). Here are some snapshots:

Dad with the biggest fish of the day!

 Cheering us on!

Surprisingly enough I didn't get burnt! Although I can't say the same for my mom, haha. She fries out in the sun!

After our day on the lake we went back to the hotel and got ready for dinner at Seasons 52. Did you know that place is super healthy? No item on the menu is over 500 calories and they don't have butter! It was weird at first but boy was my meal delicious! Here's my look for dinner:

After dinner we came back to the hotel, had lots of cake, lots of laughs and then it was off to bed. The next morning we went to brunch at El Chorro and boy was it beautiful! Everything was so pretty and the day was perfect. We even got to sit outside to eat. It was such a treat!!

After that I had to catch a plane back to NYC :( The trip was just way too short!! But I'm glad I was able to see the fam bam and that we were able to spend time together for my mom's big birthday. Sorry there wasn't a more in-depth recap of the trip. It was more about the fam than the blog ;)