Go See Do Photography

The Photo Blog of Mowers Photography, LLC

Category: Travel Tips

6 Tips for Planning Your Next Trip

Silver Lake Sand Dunes in Mears, Michigan

In honor of National Plan for Vacation Day, I thought I would share some of my best tips for planning vacations.

Flight Deals: Everyone is always searching for the best deal on flights. Assuming you’re not loyal to a specific airline, I recommend you check out the Hopper app. You tell it where you want to go and when and it will watch for flight deals. Every week it gives you an update on prices and if there’s ever a great deal, it will notify you. If you don’t have a set date or destination, I recommend Skyscanner and Airfare Watchdog as well.

Look Outside the Hotel Box: Hotel rooms are small and expensive. Get more space for less money by renting a room or a whole house. HomeAway, and airbnb are great places to look for a hotel alternative for your next trip. HomeAway  has been around longer than airbnb and is more sophisticated, HomeAway is great option if you are looking for accommodations for a larger group (castles and whole islands are available to rent on Homeaway).  On airbnb you are able to rent a whole home, but you also have the option of sharing a room or even renting a couch for even cheaper travel.

Hotel Deals: That being said, sometimes you want to amenities and comfort of a hotel. There are so many different sites for booking hotels that it can be really overwhelming. I typically look at two site: Priceline and TripAdvisor. Priceline is great because it has the name your own price option and express deals if you’re OK with not knowing exactly what hotel you’re booking. I have used Priceline quite a few times and I have never had a bad experience. Its a great way to get a high end room for a discount. Since you can’t book through TripAdvisor, I find that their reviews are the most honest and accurate.

Plan a Road Trip: I absolutely love using Furkot for planning road trips. It helps space out stops and helps you find a place to stay along the way. It can even help find stops along the way to help break up the drive.

Take a Cruise: Want a vacation where you visit a tropical island, go to sleep and wake up in a new place while dining in Five Star restaurants and seeing world class shows? Take a cruise. Don’t know where to start? Check out Cruise Critic. Also, listen to cruise reviews on Cruise Radio.

Things to Do: You have arrived at your destination. What do you do now? Check TripAdvisor. As mentioned above, users of TripAdvisor rate experiences and allow them to rank restaurants and attractions in a designated area. I have found some hidden gems while traveling (in my home town) because of TripAdvisor. If you travel without TripAdvisor, you are really missing out.

Do you have any travel tips for me? I would love to hear them in the comments or on Facebook or Twitter! Thanks for stopping by! If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.

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Vacation Planning

Bodie Island Lighthouse I’ve probably mentioned this before, but I LOVE planning trips. Its possible that I enjoy the planning as much as I enjoy the trip itself. As we are getting closer to our summer road trip, I am really buckling down on the planning. Furkot has been very helpful in planning this trip and where to stop along the way.

Here’s our plan: 2 nights in Williamburg, Virginia; 2 nights in Frisco, North Carolina; 2 Night in Ocracoke, North Carolina; 1 night in Nags Head North Carolina; and 1 night in Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia.

One thing that is tough about planning this kind of trip is that there are not a lot of resources out there for camping road trips. A lot of the recipes I’ve found online are campfire recipes, which are fun, but when you’re not camping to relax around the campsite all day, you don’t have time for that kind of cooking. I’m having a hard time finding quick and simple recipes that we won’t get sick of on a 10 day trip.

The photo is from my last visit to the Outer Banks, back in 2009. That was before my DSRL days. This photo was taken with my old Samsung point and shoot.  I did pull it into Lightroom to do some basic edits. I think it turned out OK for a mid-day shot with a low level camera.

Thanks for stopping by! If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page.

Road Trippin’

Dunes & Clouds
Since Spring Break is over, I have been busy planning our summer road trip. I was looking for an app or website that would help me with this planning; something that could help me choose an order for stops and let me know if the distance between stops was unrealistic. Well, after a quick Google search, I found exactly what I was looking for. Furkot.com does all that and more (and no one is paying me to say this). Furkot can help you find lodging in your chosen destinations or at certain intervals throughout your trip that you can customize. It will also help you plan your meals and activities once you’ve finalized your stops. If you are planning a road trip, you’ve got to check out Furkot!

About this Photo:
This photo was taken near the Little Sable Lighthouse at Silver Lake State Park near Mears, Michigan. This shot was taken right as a snow storm was blowing in off of Lake Michigan. It was a single RAW exposure with basic edits done in Lightroom.

Camera Gear:
Nikon D3100 with 18.0-55.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 handheld

Date Taken:
April 1, 2016

Thanks for stopping by! If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr!

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