Vacation Planning + The Perfect Beach Dress

Dress & Beaded Necklace c/o The Clothing Bar | Kendra Scott Necklace | Tory Burch Sandals
How perfect is this maxi dress for a beach vacation? I'm sooo wishing I had found it in time for our Belize trip last month. Any dress with pockets is a winner in my book, but pair it with a low back and it's love at first sight! I also appreciate the muted colors in this maxi - there are so many bright or neon dresses out there right now, which I love, but sometimes it's nice to tone it down with a more neutral/earthy color palette.

Speaking of vacations, I have a bad case of the travel bug right now! I am waist deep in planning one BIG vacation that C and I are taking later this year (!!!!) but that means we have to lay low and save up in the mean time. I am such a planner (I really need to focus more on being in the 'now' - who else can relate?), so I have been researching and making spreadsheets and itineraries like its my job. Go ahead and make fun - I know I sound so type A - but I love every bit of vacation planning!

Since I'm clearly a self-proclaimed Travel Agent, I wanted to share a few tips I've learned throughout our travels! These are definitely geared more towards big city trips like NYC, LA, etc. - if you're going to a resort at the beach, there's no need to go this in depth, ha!

1. Do Your Research
To make the most of vacation, we research things to do, sights to see and places to eat. We read blogs, ask friends, look on Pinterest, scour through Serious Eats, Thriller and Eater, and make notes of which places stick out to us the most. Then, we go to those place's websites, Instagrams and Yelp pages to see pictures and menus and to get an overall feel. We also look into the best times to visit attractions and figure out the best way to pay for tickets, whether that be ahead of time or at the door. This sounds extensive, I know, but it's worth it in the end!

2. Get On The Same Page
After doing our own individual research, C and I create a Google spreadsheet that we can both access and edit. We make lists for the 'musts' and the 'maybes' in all categories (activities, shopping and most importantly, food). We then click and drag the items into a daily itinerary that we create below the lists. It makes it easy to rearrange and see which places are leftover. I always want to find photo-ops and the best donuts in town while C wants to find a unique Asian dish..... combining our lists helps to ensure we make time for the most important things!

3. Plan Each Day Geographically 
This will allow you to best utilize your time! You won't have to waste time or money on extra transportation back and forth across town. I posted about how I use Custom Google Maps a while back - it never lets me down! I cross-reference this when I'm creating the daily itinerary I mentioned above so I can pick each day's activities to be close in vicinity to each other.

4. Always Schedule Time for a Nap
This might sound silly, but having downtime really helps you recharge. We typically take a break from sightseeing around four or five o'clock and give ourselves a few hours to rest and clean up before dinner and any nighttime activities. There was one trip where we didn't make it a priority, and we were spent...we felt physically sick from exhaustion every evening. We'll never make that mistake again!

5. Squeeze in a Healthy Meal or Two
It can be hard to make yourself eat healthy while on vacation... I mean, I get it, all you want to do is eat, drink and try everything in sight when you have the chance, but fitting in a healthy meal here and there will help tremendously! The more healthy meals you squeeze in, the more you'll enjoy devouring other meals.

WHEW! Sorry I'm such a chatter box today!

This dress is from The Clothing Bar and is not available online, but if you contact them and tell them I sent you, they'll gladly ship it your way! You can reach them at 405-488-4353 or visit their storefront in Norman. They have something for every occasion (and spoiler alert, it's all adorable). I also tagged a few similar items in the widget below!

What do you guys have going on this weekend? I'm so excited to be leaving work early today and heading to Texas for my cousin's wedding. I grew up in North Texas and it has been far too long since I've been back. I'm really looking forward to seeing some of my best friends and family members and catching up with everyone. Plus, who doesn't love weddings? Getting dressed up, champagne + cake, lots of pictures with my all-time favorite people.....sounds right up my alley! Of course I might have to swing by ShakeShack and pick up some of my all-time-favorite $4 Rosé at Trader Joe's.....when in Dallas!

Happy Friday, ya'll!

Thanks to The Clothing Bar  for collaborating with me on this post! All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Photos by A.W. Photography

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