Trip Planning

My husband says I’m an optimizer, trying to maximize time in order to see and do everything!  My travel style is to do a lot of pre-trip planning and reading so that I get the most out of each place I visit.  When I don’t do that, I sometimes feel a little let down by wasted time.  Yet I am open to serendipitous finds and if something comes along that’s cooler than my pre-planned ideas, I am all for rearranging things on the spot!

I’ve always been a big destination researcher but I used to be much more cavalier about arranging places to stay but after wandering too much in Barcelona looking for a hostel (2001) and sleeping in a Brussels train station (Easter 2002), I decided that having lodging taken care of was a pretty nice thing to have settled.  Also, if you notice the dates of my mild misadventures, it was essentially pre-internet with regards to online travel resources and things are much easier and so awesome with online bookings.  (I was also much younger in 2001 & 2002 but let’s be friends and not talk too much about that!)

Without further ado and before this page has too much text and not enough links, here are a few of my favorite sites for trip planning.

Destination Research
36 Hours NY Times Column Archives
My #1 ichiban go-to for trip research.  Occasionally, the articles can be too-cool-for-school but most of the time, they provide a nice overview of touristy sites and new finds, especially of the restaurant and club variety.
   This is a great magazine with articles that are helpful for the actual traveller, not just the armchair variety.
52 Places to go in…
These articles are a little on the aspirational side and short on details but it’s cool to hear about an eclectic variety of places.
On the other side of the Atlantic from the NYTimes, the London Guardian has a nice travel section with excellent “48 Hours In…” articles
This magazine has great National Park/Road Trip Ideas for the entire West Coast of the US.  I love it!



A great online magazine for the San Francisco Bay Area and regional surroundings (read: Tahoe).  It’s a really good source for upcoming events, new restaurants and suggestions for mini-trips.
Blogs I Reference


This year, SMS and I are taking a July Southern States road trip because we like traveling in furnace-like conditions and a September trip to Europe.  I’m so excited and, trust me, I  feel very lucky!

Sateless Suitcase

The posts have slowed down recently but her archives are filled with excellent posts!

The British Berliner

We decided to add Berlin to our Sept 2017 itinerary and I’m really excited.  I’ve always wanted to go but knew very little about it.  This blog has helped.  There is an incredible two-part “Berlin in 48 hours” post!

History in High Heels

Great posts for specific places and a few packing guides.

Rear View Mirror

If you’re driving, this is very helpful to plot out good routes!

Bon Appetit

Seriously good city guides!  SMS and I really like foodie experiences and, well, Bon Appetit is here to help!


The below blogs are/were each written by traveller(s) who tend to have a strong Japan and/or SE Asia section, which I used quite heavily when I lived in Japan from 2013-2015.


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