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Planning to Travel this Summer?

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By Aileen Choi

Summer is almost here, and I’m sure everyone has been itching to travel. With COVID restrictions easing up, my friend and I decided to finally take the trip that we’ve been planning since 2020: we’re traveling to Morocco!

It took a while to warm-up our travel muscles, but we started by looking up sample itineraries and creating a to-do list for everything that we had to check, book, and confirm. Here’s what our to-do list looked like:

First, we looked up the COVID situation/CDC recommendations and the political situation in the countries that we were interested in visiting. Once we decided on the countries that we wanted to visit, we searched for itineraries to see how many days we wanted to stay, while playing around in Google Flights/Skyscanner to find the most affordable flights.

After booking our tickets, it was time to figure out accommodations. While building an itinerary is important, the highest priority on our to-do list was to make sure that we wouldn’t be homeless in a foreign country. We looked up blogs to research where we could stay in the city and found recommendations. Two helpful ways that I found activities was by reading travel books or by searching “___ [insert number of days here] day itinerary in _____ [country name]”(for example: 7-day itinerary Morocco). As we found accommodation options, they were all added to our handy Google Sheets for organization. This Google Sheet acted as our one-stop for all our travel plans (activity ideas, food/restaurants, trains, accommodations). Since it’s difficult for my friend and I to find time to plan together (she lives on the West coast), we decided to do some research on our own, create lists of activities that we wanted to do, and then hop on weekly calls to reconvene. As a huge foodie, I made sure to research the best food options. 

Last but not least, I looked up the logistics, like phone connection, conversion, the average cost of things (so I don’t get scammed, especially by taxi drivers), weather, and cultural norms. I made a to-do list of things that I needed to do prior to leaving for the trip, as well as a packing list. This time, the list included: 

Phew! Traveling takes a lot of executive functioning skills, especially planning, time management, and forward thinking. At the end of the day, I remind myself that I can only plan so much. If a trip isn’t in the cards for this summer, you can still help your children strengthen their executive function skills! They can research a country, plan a trip, and maybe even cook a dinner based on what they learned. Happy Travels!

Erica MechlinskiPlanning to Travel this Summer?

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