Things to Know Before Group Travel

After spending a week at a beach house in Florida with some friends, I can say, I have a couple of take always that I think could be really helpful for any of you that are considering doing the same thing or something similar this summer (or anytime). Just a few things to think about of before heading out on adventures with other humans.

While I am coming from the position of traveling with a group of friends, I think these points can apply to any environment where you are going to be spending an extended period of time with groups of people (family vacations/reunions, couples trips, girls getaway, etc.).

Be flexible. // Remember that everyone is different, simple as that. Be willing to compromise on things for the good and enjoyment of the entire group. Also, depending on how well you know the group yo’re traveling with, it may be a good idea to mention this in your pre-travel conversation so that everyone is prepared and willing to have this mindset.

Know your musts. // Think through the things that, if you don’t do them, you will wish you had when you get home. Whether that’s stopping in at a local coffee shop, having a meal at a specific restaurant, or visiting a shop, make sure you make that a priority. If your goal is to sit back and have no agenda and really unplug, make sure you make that happen and enjoy your agenda-free time to the fullest.

Plan to do things on your own. // I find it is incredibly helpful to plan to do a thing or two on my own when I travel with groups. You experience things so uniquely on your own, and it gives you something to talk about with your travel companions that night at dinner. It can get boring to do everything together and when you find you have nothing to talk about because you are all doing the same things. Even if it’s waking up before everyone else and going for a walk or run or heading to that local coffee shop, it can really help to have that time to yourself to re-center and enjoy the peace of vacation.

Be a team player. // This goes right along with be flexible. But it’s worth mentioning. When you travel in a group, the trip is not just yours. If you want to do only what you want to do, then go on a solo trip. So, unless you want to be the person that grates on everyone’s nerves, be willing to work with everyone else and consider the overall enjoyment of the group as well as your own.

Travel separately. // I have found that meeting up is a lot more fun than traveling together with the group. Obviously, this isn’t always or can’t always be the case. But I find that it is so much less stressful to drive or fly or train myself to the place than trying to coordinate with everyone else. Also, it means when I meet up with the group, we are at location and ready to start the festivities! If you are traveling with the group, make sure you talk about dividing up travel cost (like fuel if you’re driving) and scheduling ahead of time.

Book ahead of time. // If you are planning a trip to a museum or any place that requires admission, it’s a good idea to check ahead of time when it comes to getting tickets. Often you can save a bit purchasing tickets online. And if you have a big enough group, you may be able to get a discounted rate.

Talk about your expectations BEFORE the trip. // This was something that I have found to be extremely helpful and prevents a lot of potential discord down the road. So while it may be last in this list, I believe it is the most important. It can be easy to think that everyone has the same idea of what a perfect vacation is, but more often than not, that just isn’t the case. Even when they may be very similar, there are typically still few deviations. Talk with everyone ahead of time about the outings and activities you all want to do. Talk about the things you want to do with other people and the things you would rather do on your own. Also, you know you’re going to need to eat, so find out if there are any places people want to try or what your grocery list needs to look like, how are you splitting meals, etc.

Any group travel plans in your future? I would love to hear your your do’s and don’t’s of group travel below! 

 

 

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Packing for a Week at the Beach

I am leaving for the beach in just a few days! So I figured I would round up my packing list and share with you what’s going in my bag!

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For this trip I will be driving to Destin, Florida to spend the week at the beach with some friends. I will not be using my regular, go to carry on suitcase this trip. Instead, I am using my favorite Adidas duffel bag (really similar to this one, and bonus: still carry-on size) that I really love, but don’t normally fly with. Honestly, it may be my soccer background, but I really prefer traveling with a duffel bag when I can. I still love the rollers for trekking accrues the airport! Since we are driving, I have a little more flexibility, which can be both good and bad. I am still keeping it to a “carry-on” and a backpack (minus things like a beach chair and a blender… keep reading!). Honestly, this is pretty easy to do for beach trips because I typically just live in a bathing suit and/or comfy clothes.

What’s in my bag:
  • bathing suits
  • beach/bathing suite cover up
  • workout clothes & running shoes (Going for runs on the beach is one of my all time favorite things.)
  • sweats (After swimming, I am always a bit chilly. Coming back from the beach or the pool and putting on sweats after a shower is pure bliss)
  • a couple t-shirts and/or tanks
  • denim cut offs
  • summer dress
  • flip flops
  • sandals
  • sleepwear
  • long sleeve t-shirt/layer (Something warm and snugly for the evenings.)
Non-clothing must haves for the beach:
  • sunscreen
  • natural aloe vera (I prefer this over any after sun lotion or drugstore aloe vera product. Whether you burn or not, it’s really good to put this on after any extended time in the sun for maintaining soft, hydrated, healthy skin.)
  • beach chair (If I have the luxury {like when I’m driving} I prefer to buy a beach chair BEFORE getting to the beach. I can get something that is much better quality for a much better price than what I typically find at the beach stores.)
  • beach towel
  • beach bag
  • blender (If you are driving and have the luxury, this is really nice to have for whipping up plenty of frozen drinks to enjoy on the beach/porch/pool. Check ahead of time to see if your beach rental has the already.)
  • Kindle
  • waterproof cases or bags for electronics
  • sunglasses
  • SPF lip balm
  • baseball cap/beach hat
  • ENO (Even if I’m flying, this typically gets a spot in my bag. It is so lightweight and compact and is a real game changer when it comes to relaxing!)

 

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I have not linked any of the specific items that I use. But if you are interested in finding out more about any clothes or product I talked about or maybe something in a photo, feel free to comment on this post or send me a message! I would love to give you more details.

What are your must haves for the beach? Anything I missed? I leave soon, so now’s the time to let me know! 

Minimalist Challenge : The Recap

Thirty days later and I own a lot less stuff then I did a month ago.


Stand firm and walk free. 


When I talked about what I expected, I mentioned that I wanted this mindset to bleed over to my wedding planning as well. I have seen how the last month I have been more confident with decisions we make and honestly, I wish I had been this way from the start. I am learning a lot about planning a wedding, and making decisions and it is really eye-opening. You start to see what’s actually important to you and the people who really care about you. It’s a really beautiful thing, but it can be a really hard thing as well. Having a minimalist mindset toward wedding planning means I am focusing on what the two of us want rather than what other people want. I am making decisions according to what we want for the day and the weekend.

I also made a point to organize everything that stayed in my life. Every area that I evaluated each day, has been minimized and organized.


Top Day: Decorations in my home

Honestly, this day is my favorite because it was a breakthrough. I didn’t realize how I was just comfortable in what I had around me, but it was no longer things that I enjoyed. It was so freeing to get rid of so, so much of what has been in my home the last 2 years and clean the slate so to speak. Seriously, it is pretty bare right now, and I could not be happier about it!


Least Favorite Day: Shoes

I said this in the shoe post, but I still don’t feel like I completed this day. I was not able to get rid of as much as I thought I would and I still have so many shoes! Even though I got rid of almost every pair of winter boots I owned (because I just didn’t really like any of them anymore/they were worn out), I still think I could have done better. And it is a little disheartening because I have actually bought shoes since then, and I know I will need to replace those boots for the Fall (maybe not all of them, but I quality pair of leather boots is on the to buy list).


Overall, I think the biggest way my thinking towards minimalism has changed is that it is a bit more difficult than I expected in that, it was sometimes hard to stay on track with my list. But as it goes for making it a lifestyle, it’s not actually that hard. If you want it, you can do it. If you don’t truly want it, it will be hard because you are warring against yourself as part of you wants to simplify your life and part of you wants things. I believe you have to commit, and figure out what you want. Doing that before you start helps SO much. Defining what success looks like at the first step helps the other to clarify the next steps of the journey.

Thank you to every one of you who followed along and joined it! I hope it’s been a great month for you also!