Straight From An Experienced Traveler: How I Prep For A Trip

Prepping for a trip is one of my favorite things to do.

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UNSPLASH Arnel Hasanovic

My family recently decided that as our Christmas presents to each other, we would go on a trip to Patagonia. I was also recently gifted with the graduation present of a trip to Burundi to visit my sister who has been living in east Africa for the past year. With these trips coming up, I’m basically bouncing out of my seat with excitement. Unfortunately, I still have two months before the first trip (to Burundi) and then another five-month gap until Patagonia. In the meantime, so I don’t go crazy while I faithfully watch my countdown to my departure dates, I’ve allowed myself some shameless internet surfing to prepare for my travels.

Right now, my flights are booked and accommodations are arranged, so most of the logistical planning for the trips is worked out. This means I now spend most of my spare time drooling over Google images and Youtube videos of shameless promotions for my two destinations. I also frequent the Facebook albums of friends who have visited these places (I might as well use Facebook stalking to my advantage for traveling as well). Another trip prep habit I’ve formed is looking at LivingSocial and Groupon escapes/getaways for itinerary ideas (and, obviously, the pictures). I’ve also been guilty of camping out in bookstore (or library) travel sections to flip through as many guidebooks as possible (my go-to when I actually buy one is almost always Lonely Planet).

When all else fails, I look for the food. To start this, I do some research for what the local dishes might be and where I can find them. In Burundi, I’m hoping to try some urwarwa (banana beer) and I’m still researching which freeze dried foods will be the best for my time hiking in Patagonia (I can truly get excited about almost anything when traveling, even freeze dried food).

Although I have to frequently remind myself to occasionally live in the present instead of dreaming about my future adventures 24/7, prepping for a trip is one of my favorite things to do. This is also one of the few ways to keep me sane while I eagerly await my next trip. Only 36 days!

Lizzy Monroe

Originally from Eugene, OR, Lizzy graduated from Stanford University. She's a coffee & street market enthusiast, her travel style involves planning ahead but never hesitating to improvise. Her favorite country is South Africa, she never travels without her Swiss Army Knife - mostly because of the hidden pen, tweezers and corkscrew.

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