For my first post I thought I would start with one of my trips that's coming up soon and go from there to past adventures and continuing with the big one coming up.
I planned a trip to Vancouver B.C. a couple months ago, because I was excited for a break from my work life. It seemed fitting seeing as it's pretty similar to the Seattle area, just for one, a different country and two, I've never been there!
It's funny because I've been across the Atlantic and I've also been to Mexico, but not across the border that's the closest to us. So therefore, obviously I'm ready to go and say I've been to Canada finally.
I thought I would go ahead and share my steps to planning this short weekend trip, because while we'll only be there for a couple days, we're trying to pack as much in that we like and want to do as possible.
Steps for planning a weekend trip:
First step was of course choosing the desired destination for where we wanted to go. Driving a few hours to somewhere you've never been can be exciting and sometimes all you need to relax and get away from where you always seem to be.
We chose Vancouver because of the proximity to us, the variety of options we can do there, and for me, the fact that I'd never been.
In the future a weekend trip for us might be to Portland or even Northern California for a beach stay, just other options to keep in mind.
The second step, although step 2 and 3 could probably be swapped around if you wanted, is deciding what you want to do while you're there.
Initially we were excited to go to the Vancouver Aquarium because they have Beluga whales and other exhibits we'd like to look at, but digging deeper and doing more exploring online, I found some other things we might enjoy, these are just a couple that we might end up going to:
Vancouver Public Library
VanDusen Botanical Garden
Capilano Suspension Bridge
Other people also suggested we go to Grouse Mountain and around Stanley Park, as well as, to see the Sea Wall.
These are just some of the options we had and after doing some even further investigation, I found a band we both like was playing up there, so we will be going to a concert our first night (to see Lord Huron at the Vogue Theater).
Apart from that, there are so many restaurants and shops in the area, for that we'll probably wing it and see what we find, although we did make reservations at Cloud 9 for a fancy night out (this is the revolving restaurant up there, which seems like it could make for a great view and pictures).
Third step would be to plan out where you're going to stay. Now like I said, I probably did these two steps simultaneously and therefore it doesn't really matter which you do first, just as long as you do it in good time.
For this step, we had agreed upon looking through Airbnb to see what could be available for us at a good price. Initially, being the cheap person I am, I wanted to find something well below our budget so that we could spend more while we're up there and on the trip itself, but we found a great apartment to rent for the weekend up there at a reasonable price (comparable to a hotel) but we could have access to a kitchen if we want it was just a homier feel with amazing views of the city.
Personally I would recommend Airbnb (and this is my first time using it) just because of the amount of options you have at the location you're looking to visit and price ranges vary depending upon the place as well.
I also chose to get in contact with the renter of the apartment early and make sure we had a clear spot for our weekend time away. 2 months in advance might seem too soon, but you'd be surprised how quickly things book up the closer you get and then your options are more limited.
The exchange and messaging was great and it was an easy process to use to book the whole place.
I reached back out to her a week ago and made sure of the plans and what we would do when we got there (how to get keys, where to park, etc.)
She also had a lot of great recommendations for restaurants and things to do as well. Asking locals is a great way to get the inside scoop on where to go.
The final step of course, is packing and in general making sure that you're ready to go.
Now we don't leave till Friday but I'm already anxious and already planning what to pack in advance.
Mostly it will be casual attire for walking around, but that fancy night out begs for something a little more, well, fancy.
Here will be my packing list for the weekend:
2-3 t-shirts all various is style
1 long sleeve shirt since it might be cool
1-2 pairs of jeans/any kinds of pants
Fancy dress for dinner out
A nice jacket plus a regular casual jacket
Deodorant, shampoo/conditioner (not a lot), make-up and other toiletries (face wipes, face cream, comb, hair brush, etc)
*Also since there is a pool in the building, maybe a swim suit just in case.
Other miscellaneous things would be my camera, phone and chargers for both, passport (important!), and snacks/water for the ride up.
We are driving up to Vancouver even though we do have a train that goes up there as well, it'll be nice to be able to blast music and sing during the short road trip.
All in all, it should make for a good trip and I'll take as many pictures and notes as I can to review things when I get back.
Thanks for reading!