Apr 17, 2010

Necessities for Trip Planning

I have to admit, I have ZERO experience when it comes to planning a trip.  All I've ever done is book flights on Southwest from Salt Lake to Seattle and browse prices of flights and hotels in Florida when I am wishfully thinking. 

Since Trey and I are planning a trip to the Oregon Coast this summer, I have to get serious about it, especially since we need the best deal possible, yet need it to be the perfect getaway (since our next one probably won't be until after grad school in 6 years) :)  We have ruled out travel agents...I might share why some other time...

This last week I started looking at hotels from the central to northern coast and just felt so lost!  For one thing, I really want a nice view and beach access, and it is hard to tell on a lot of these websites if they have either.  Also, these prices are a lot higher than I thought they would be, so we will probably have to go with a smaller motel, but I am so worried we are going to end up in a dump!

So, as I was expressing my frustrations to my mom, she suggested using Google Earth to see where things are and what the beaches and cities look like.  She is a genius.  Google Earth is AWESOME for trip planning!!!

While I have been using that to see what the areas are like, I have also been using TripAdvisor.com to get reviews and also to see all the hotels I want in the same city.  It also gives you a good estimate on pricing.  It also lists some of the dining and things to do in the area with reviews on those too!!

I feel so much better about things now and I just had to share my new favorite tools to trip planning with you.  I have really appreciated all the suggestions when I asked about the Oregon Coast, and have looked into everything you have shared with me - so thanks so much for your help!

Do you have any favorite tools or websites for planning your trips?
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Kelsey said...

Hey! Trip planning IS stressful and you don't want to get ripped off. Where did you decide on for a destination? I wanted to mention, even though its a tad pricey...if your going with Lincoln City for your coastal destination then you might want to consider staying at the Inn at Spanish Head. Its a gorgeous hotel that is RIGHT on the bluff overlooking the ocean. Its laid out kinda cool in that you walk into the lobby on the TOP floor of the hotel and then it goes down from there with all the rooms being snug up against the cliff. Stay on the 1st floor if you can because that means you are on the sand. I stayed there with my mom one year for Thanksgiving (got great holiday rates) and it was amazing! Walking on the beach first thing in the morning with it totally deserted was super cool!

Melanie said...

Jessica! I found your blog and LOVE it! Have fun on your trip. I've done trips to Newport Oregon on the beach and it is really fantastic. The last time Matt and I got away we did a bed and breakfast and LOVED it. There's a lot of variety with bed and breakfasts so some are good and some aren't really my style, but it was a less expensive way to romantically enjoy a get away. That's my two cents. :)

Natasha in Oz said...

I would love to visit Oregon one day. I hear that there is some great wine coming out of there at the moment. I can't wait to see your pictures!

I too am a big user of Trip Advisor and don't book anything until I have read the reviews on there.

Good luck and best wishes,

Judy@judyfriendphotography.com said...

Trip planning can be exhausting but it is fun. Contact the local Chamber of Commerce to get some brochures mailed to you. If you are a member of AAA you can get free stuff from them. If you are not a member let me know and I will be happy to get stuff and mail it to you. You can email me at friendje@ptd.net
Let me know. Jude

Unknown said...

Jessica, ask me any questions you like. We're about an hour from the coast and have been to several spots. We're just south of Portland in Sherwood, Oregon. :)

Jessie said...

Most hostels have a common lounge with TV and internet access.

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