How To Plan A Group Vacation On A Budget
Part 3

The flight and lodging have been booked so you're almost done! The last essential item you need is a loose itinerary for your vacation. By “loose” we mean just a basic idea of territories you want to cover and attractions to visit. Of course plans can change on the fly, but a general day-to-day agenda helps avoid the back  and forth “I don’t know…what do you want to do?” and helps keep the budget in control.

The best way to keep the budget in control is to balance expensive activities with cheap or free ones. Depending on your group you’ll probably also want to a variety of activities like outdoor adventures, shopping, neighborhood site seeing, museums, dining and hitting the night scene. On a day when you spend money at the hippest "must-see" restaurant, balance with a free sight-seeing adventure. On a day when you spend a hefty amount on shopping or museum tickets, opt for cheaper meals like at a park food truck.

But how do you avoid all the tourist traps and find the real insider places to visit? When planning our rough itinerary for our Seattle trip this month we looked to the following "in-the-know" sources to hit all the must-sees as well as to discover the city's best kept secrets.

Major Travel Sites

Fodor's
Lonely Planet
Conde Nast


The Curators

Gallivant
Fathom
The New Potato
Design*Sponge
Melting Butter
GQ
The New York Times

Foodie / Bar Scene Sites

Eater
Thrillist
Groupon - always check for deals!
UrbanDaddy

Twitter

Reaching out to strangers on Twitter might feel a bit awkward for anyone that is twitter shy, but throwing out a few questions via the feed is really easy and well worth it. Be sure to use hashtags or specific handles to target the right crowd. For example we asked: “Hey #SeattleBloggers, we’re headed your way in 2 weeks, any must-see recommendations for 3 #BostonBloggers? #Seattle #SeattleBlogger #Travel.” 

Instagram

This involves a bit of stalking. Find the cool hip bloggers and Instagrammers by searching hashtags or googling “Top Instagrammers in (city)” and see what they are taking instas of. It’ll give you insight into some of the best off-the-beating path type places. 

Do you have any other vacation planning tips that we might have missed? Share them with JUGs via Twitter or Facebook!

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