Do You Know What You’re Doing? Me Neither.

Do You Know What You’re Doing? Me Neither.

I’m planning my first backpacking trip and I don’t know what I’m doing.

There, I said it.

Let’s just start off by saying that I use the word planning very loosely. I know I want to go to Mexico, Guatemala, and Cuba, but I don’t know where or for how long.

I know I’m flying into Puerto Vallarta (it was the cheapest one-way I could find) and know I need to be back in early September.

So let’s start with that first bit of planning.

Have Epi, Will Travel: Going to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and drinking at the beach

How I found my cheap flight to Puerto Vallarta

I used Google Flights, momondo.com, Kayak, and Hopper over the course of about a month to track the prices of flights. These are my go-to sites and apps for all things flight-related.

Once I saw the price go down, I hopped onto my computer, found the one that spoke to me – meanwhile considering airline policies and the safest one for me to fly – and booked with Alaska Airlines. Without hesitation. Without a return ticket. Without a hotel or hostel or Airbnb booking. Just booked it and went to sleep.

Obviously I woke up the next day insanely excited about the reality that in exactly ONE month from my booking date, I’d be in Mexico.

How I am figuring out my travel route and game plan

Travel blogs. Travel sites. Google. Maps. Must I continue?

To get familiar with the types of things to do and places to go in those countries, I’ve been studying up by reading travel blogs and sites. I’ve learned a ton. From how to budget to how to get around, to what to eat and what areas to watch out for.

This is a list of my favorite blogs and sites to get your wheels turning.

Nomadic Matt
Expert Vagabond
Intrepid Introvert
Young Adventuress
Lonely Planet
Trip Advisor

Figuring out what gear to bring

As I said in the beginning – this is my first backpacking trip. That means 1 month, 1 backpack. 1 girl. 4 epipens… you get the idea.

So figuring out what stuff to shove into my pack is difficult. There are a few things I know for sure:

  1. Guatemala has many mosquitos and I’ll be hiking. Therefore I bought Bugsaway hiking pants from Exofficio… on sale (duh), online.
  2. Gotta keep my meds protected from the sun. Therefore I bought a FRIO Insulin Cooling Wallet. I have no idea how it will work, but I’ll report back for sure!
  3. Allergy cards. I have a whole post on them so I won’t go into detail again. But yes… I’m bringing allergy cards.

I haven’t quite figured the rest out. And that’s ok! I’m not a big planner, so to have 3 items I know I’m bringing before I even begin packing is a big deal for me.

And besides, once I figure it out I’ll write about it all… item by item, destination by destination.



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