Travel Ready — How to plan an amazing vacation

If I wasn’t a physical therapist or a blogger, chances are I’d be doing something with international travel. I love to travel and as soon as I was old enough to do so I took my first international trip to Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. I fell in love with that quiet beach town and have gone back a few times since. I planned the whole trip and it was amazing from start to finish. I then went to Barcelona, Paris, Milan, Cinque Terre, Bermuda, Havana Cuba and Morocco. I’ve planned every trip and I have so many more places I want to visit. I’m really excited to be heading back to Riviera Maya soon. I get a lot of people asking to travel with me or plan their trips so I decided to make a post to show you all just how I go about planning amazing vacations.

Photography by Rose Lazard; Editing by Monroe Steele

Naked Wardrobe Bodysuit | Anthropologie Kimono | Rachel Comey Jeans get similar Here | Dolce Vita Mules | Borneo Line Bag get similar Here and Here | The Salt Empire Earrings


Research Instagram

The first thing I do is research the hell out of a place and by research I mean Instagram. I have a folder of saved photos on Instagram of beautiful destinations and places I want to visit. I start with Geotag locations of the places I want to go and look at as many photos as I can find. I research restaurants and attractions. Instagram is the best place to start because it’s so easy to find what you’re looking for either via hashtags or location tags.

Book a well priced flight

The best time to purchase your flight is about 1.5 – 2 months before travel for international destinations. Any more or less and you’re probably going to end up paying more. My absolute favorite website for pricing flights is Google Flights. It’s the BEST website hands down for finding the cheapest flights because it scans all the websites (way better than any of those low flight trackers). I’ve been using Google Flights for the past 2 years and it’s gotten me some amazing deals. Another site to find travel specific one off deals is Air Fare Spot and Just Fly.

Find One of a Kind Lodging 

I am not a resort person. I feel that resorts are super boring and lazy and you never really get a sense of the people or the culture because it’s all watered down. I’ve stayed at 1 resort in my entire 13 years of International Travel and it was so boring. I like being in the thick of it, where I can learn something and interact with the people. I always do or very small boutique hotels with less than 10 rooms. My favorite sites for finding incredible under the radar places to stay include: Design Hotels and Mr. and Mrs. Smith.

Quick Tip for Bloggers & Influencers 

Don’t forget if you have at least 5K Instagram followers you can always leverage your social media for travel. Check out The Perfect Pitch Template Letter for Travel; Leveraging Your Social Media for Compensation for more information on just how to do that. It comes with 2 letters; one to work with brands via social media for travel and one for pitching to hotels and hospitality PR. It’s always worth it to try before spending your dollars. I was able to get 5 days + breakfast daily by leveraging my social media on my last trip to Paris for Paris Fashion Week with less than 8K followers.

Travel In Style

Create a Wardrobe Capsule Collection

Go ahead and plan in advance what you’re going to wear. Gone are the times of throwing a few things in a suitcase the last minute. You spent hard earned money on a vacation, now look good in your photos! Planning what I’m wearing for vacation is almost as fun as planning the vacation itself. See how I planned what I was wearing in Morocco in this Video. Check out every wooden, straw, net and basket bag under $70 perfect for vacations and the number 1 vacation dress of all time in every color!

Document Your Trip

I love taking photographs every place I travel. I have a wall in my home dedicated to travel photography and I love to add to it. Find a cool way to document your travel so that you will always have a token from your trip. Try vlogging; which I did for the first time in Morocco by renting a camera for a week. I like to rent from Adorama Rentals. Another even cooler way to document your trip is with instant camera’s. They are so fun and less formal.

Last but not least is to find time to learn something new and give back to the place you’re visiting. Learn more about my travels here including guides to Morocco, Cuba and Paris.










  1. Melanie
    March 31, 2018 / 2:01 pm

    Great tips. I definitely plan my wardrobe so I don’t overpack.

    • monroesteele
      March 31, 2018 / 8:34 pm

      Thanks so much Melanie.


  2. Nic
    March 31, 2018 / 9:50 pm

    Thank you! I have a family and I am determined to do something unique just for me. This helped to boost my confidence.

    • monroesteele
      April 1, 2018 / 12:42 pm

      This is amazing. I’m so happy to hear this! Thank you for reading and go ahead and plan that epic vacation love!


  3. Meagan
    April 16, 2018 / 5:14 pm

    What a great post! Do you have a recommendation for cute and comfortable sandals for when you’re out exploring all day? Thanks for the great content!

    • monroesteele
      April 16, 2018 / 7:44 pm

      Thanks for reading Maegan. I’d go with Free People or Anthropologie they have great comfortable sandals.


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