10 Tips to Travel Like a Pro

It’s time to go on vacation. With a few planning tips, you can have the best summer vacation ever!

  1. Find a vacation. If you don’t know where to go, research your options at Wander Fly. You note your price range and type of vacation and it lists possible locations that fit your criteria.
  2. Book your travel 6 weeks in advance. You’ll get the best prices on domestic flights if you plan this far ahead.
  3. Make a packing list. Planning ahead will give you the opportunity to delegate packing. Give each family member a list of what they need and let them do it for themselves.
  4. Find a great hotel. Use sites like Trip Advisor and read about the hidden gems others have found.
  5. Check your luggage. Even with charges for bags, avoid the hassle of schlepping through airports looking like a pack mule.
  6. Check food blogs. Find out where the locals eat by reading Traveler’s Lunchbox or google your destination plus food blog to find a great meal.
  7. Update your guidebook. Find the most updated information, not in a book, but on Wiki Travel, where you can find information on some unusual events and sightseeing.
  8. Eat breakfast at your hotel. You’ll save money and time by taking advantage of the free meal if your hotel offers one. If they don’t, make it simple with fruit and granola bars.
  9. Plan entertainment. How you will spend that layover at the airport or the lazy afternoon at the pool? Bring small toys for the kids and a book (or e-reader) for yourself.
  10. Use apps to find food. When hunger hits, you can find a place to nosh with Yelp, Urban Spoon, or Food Spotting apps.
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Janet Schiesl

Janet has been organizing since 2005. She is a Certified Professional Organizer and the owner of Basic Organization. She loves using her background as a space planner to challenge her clients to look at their space differently. She leads the team in large projects and works one-on-one with clients to help the process move quickly and comfortably. Call her crazy, but she loves to work with paper, to purge what is not needed and to create filing systems that work for each individual client. Janet is a Past President of the Washington DC Chapter of the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO) and was voted 2016 Organizer of the Year by the Washington DC Chapter of NAPO.


  1. Stephanie Bennis on June 12, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    I’ll be planning for a quite long, and quite varied, trip this August and I’ll definitely use your advice. I think a packing list will be most helpful. When you’re gone for almost 3 weeks with a variety of occasions to dress for, fitting it all in one suitcase can be a challenge!

  2. Juli Monroe ( on June 12, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    I use Evernote for our camping packing list. We almost always pack the same stuff, so I can just “uncheck” all the boxes when we’re done, and I have the list for next time.

  3. Basic Organization on June 12, 2012 at 6:05 pm

    Stephanie, a little planning can go a long way. A packing list should help you think and re-think what you want to bring on your vacation. Have a great time!

  4. Basic Organization on June 12, 2012 at 6:06 pm

    Juli, great idea to use Evernote for your packing list. Why reinvent the wheel every time.

  5. Janet Barclay ( on July 3, 2013 at 11:19 am

    I love that you mention lots of internet resources for travelers, but do you have any advice to help people from getting too caught up in this process? You know how easy it is to get lost in cyberspace!

  6. Basic Organization on July 3, 2013 at 11:50 am

    Janet, my first tip is to find web sites and apps, and try them before you travel. Find what works for you and what doesn’t. Then you won’t waste time while you are on the go. While you are practicing, use the sites and apps you like to make a plan. Have an idea of what you want to see in your off-time, where you’d like to eat, etc. Then you will be able to use all your time wisely.

  7. Linda Samuels on July 16, 2013 at 11:12 pm

    Aweseome tips, Janet. I particularly liked the resources you shared like Wander Fly and Traveler’s Lunchbox. Both are new to me and I will definitely check them out. Thanks so much.

    • Janet Schiesl on July 17, 2013 at 11:13 am

      Thanks Linda. Check them out before you head out on vacation.

  8. Nobuko on August 24, 2015 at 4:59 am

    I love to travel light. It is such a burden to have to lug heavy luggage around. One of my colleagues spent six months traveling (one month in each of six big cities around the world) and she managed to do so entirely with carry-on. I’m not quite that disciplined!

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