Not all who wander are lost, but some are definitely lost. Planning your trip by managing your expectations.

I started this blog because I noticed over and over that I was getting my travel advice from 20-somethings who’s idea of a great vacation was Instagram pics from the top of Mt Vesuvius. They were not concerned at all about retirement savings nor do they have a kid headed for college next Fall. They probably don’t have plantar fasciitis and certainly no extra pounds in their bikini pictures from gorgeous beaches. They can sleep outside with a rock for a pillow but I’m partial to air conditioning and luxury bedding. And I’m FOR SURE not sleeping in a hostel. The other reason I started this blog is because no one tells you that NOW is the time to take these trips. Don’t put it off until you can’t enjoy it. The key to having a wonderful adventure wherever you travel, is taking an honest look at yourself and planning accordingly.

What would make your trip amazing? What would ruin your trip? What is your energy level and your level of interest in what the location has to offer? The last may seem obvious but if you could care less about art history, why are you standing in long museum lines? But would you go to Rome and not see the Sistine Chapel? Prioritizing what is your absolute must-do’s will help you have your best trip. It also helps you manage your budget and time. What would be an absolute deal-breaker for you? We recently visited Italy and our careful eye on the weather forecast told us to expect sweater weather but we found ourselves washing our short sleeves to wear again as temperatures flirted with 90. Had we booked hotels without air conditioning, I would have been an unhappy traveler. I also like to be close to transportation and walking distance to a few sites and restaurants. Looking at accommodations search engines with a map view or getting those details to your travel advisor will help you find a place to stay that meets your needs. A quick check of the address in Google Maps with street view can help you rule out any locations that might have a lot of graffiti which can be an indicator of neighborhood safety. Being aware of details that are important to you will help you make good choices.

Research, Research, and more Research

Do you know what your destination really has to offer? Finding those must-do’s for your trip means understanding what your options are. I like to browse by searching my destination and then taking a very realistic look at the destination in Google. For example there are beautiful hot spring pools made from mineral deposits in Saturnia in Tuscany that has become very popular due to social media trending. The pictures are beautiful on Pinterest and IG but they don’t give a realistic view of seasonal crowds or red worms that are found in the pools. The mineral deposits can also be slippery and rough in places for those who are not steady on their feet. While this six hour trip is a must-do for some, others would be disappointed they spent their time and resources in Saturnia. is a great place to research destinations from recent reviews. Just take that advice with a grain of salt and be objective. Additionally, I enjoy and his TV show available on his site and streaming on Amazon, about European travel. His website has many good tips and tricks about what to see and expect in Europe. Finally check out travel agents. Have conversations with them after you have done a little research. Have them help you with itineraries or recommend tours and great attractions. Not only is it often free to use a travel agent, their expertise and guidance will most definitely save you time and money but you can wander without feeling lost.

Please visit my contact page to have a conversation about how my travel business Guide to Adventures can help you make the most of your next vacation.

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