Celebrating a Big Birthday? Here's How to Plan a Progressive Birthday Event That You Won't Forget! by Cassandra Conyers
Feel stymied about how to celebrate a big birthday? Try a progressive birthday event, combining travel with favorite activities! Recently, I planned a three-country celebration:
Dinner and Broadway Show in NYC
High Tea in London
Pub Crawl/Castle Hop in Ireland
Friends were invited to join all or part – whatever fit their time and budget. I planned 10 days away from work, nearly three weeks total including weekends. The extra time allowed me to add in more activities. In NYC we visited the 9/11 Memorial, in London we did a foodie and a rock 'n' roll tour and in Ireland we hired a driver to take us to the Ring of Kerry, just to name a few. But if visiting other countries is not in the budget, plan a domestic progressive celebration.
- Start with local or regional events or activities.
- Figure out time needed (day, weekend, week, more).
- Make your guest list.
Here are some more tips to help make your event successful:
Awaken your inner tourist by researching travel blogs or top/best lists to get ideas for places to go. For major cities Timeout.com is a great resource. Local resources are often city magazines or national magazines and newspapers, all accessible online. (Note: Skip anything where you have to pay or subscribe; there are lots of free online resources available.)
Book or reserve early. A good hierarchy is start with nailing down your flight, then find a hotel and book any tours or sightseeing last.
- My favorite flight search site is Kayak.com because they umbrella several sites with your one search. But once you find a great flight, purchase directly from the airline rather than any third-party site such as Expedia or Travelocity. This keeps you dealing directly with the airline in case there are flight changes or you need to cancel. Airlines often mirror the same flights and fares you see on third-party sites.
- For hotels, early bookings tend to garner the lowest rates. Make sure you can cancel the room. This way you have a place to stay and now time to research other lodgings that might be a better deal or location. I like using Booking.com because they provide several choices for rooms and cancellations options. And you do not have to pay for the room at the time of booking.
- A really good tour company for activities and sightseeing is Viator.com. They offer many themed tours the world over.
Don’t skip purchasing travel insurance from a company like AllianzTravelInsurance.com. This is especially helpful when you’ve paid for nonrefundable flight tickets but you need to postpone your trip last minute. Overall it is an inexpensive security knowing you are covered if you have to deal with changes or cancellations.
Share event plans with your invitees as soon as you can. Of course you can just send an email, but it’s more fun to design your invite and manage communications with online tools like Evite.com. Keep invitees updated as you finalize details. Most important, have invitees purchase their own tickets or make their own reservations to keep things simple. Create an electronic “BIRTHDAY” folder to store any emails or communications so you can easily find needed information.
Bon Ton Roula!