Taking your dream trip is one of the most exciting things you can do. Planning that trip, not so much. It can be stressful and at times overwhelming, nothing but a challenge to know where to start. Questions will arise, where do I want to visit? How long shall I spend here? How much will this all cost me? If you’re head to multiple places, confusion on bookings and transport can become hectic. If you don’t know what to consider when planning a trip…Hopefully, this compiled guide will save you some time, money, and your sanity!
0) Dream, Dream, Dream!!!
This is ultimately the golden question, where do you want to go?
This is the best part of planning the perfect travel itinerary. Search for beautiful travel photographs on Instagram. Go on Pinterest and make a board specifically for your wanderlust filled dream destinations. Make lists of the far off places you want to cross off of your bucket list. What sights are you dying to get to? What experiences do you want more than anything? Do you have a prolonged crush on a location? Dream, dream, dream!
1) Choose your Desired Destination
Your first step in how to start planning a trip is to choose a travel destination that meets your interests and travel budget.
When it comes to choosing a destination, you need to be as specific as possible. Being specific with your destination not only makes your trip easier to commit to and more concrete, but it also makes travel planning a lot easier. Research it online and discuss it with your fellow travelers. Websites are a great place to browse travel photos, journals and videos posted by real people sharing their experiences.
When determining dates and picking a destination, make sure to keep in mind the following things:
How long will you have?
Planning a long weekend away, compared to a 6 month backpacking trip are two different things. You will need to consider if this destination is enough for such a short amount of time or alternatively could I visit multiple destinations during my trip.
What’s your travel style?
When you plan your trip, your destination choices can be affected by your traveling companions.
Will you be traveling solo, as a couple, family or friends?
If you’re not travelling solo, sit down with everyone in your travelling group and discuss your ideas and interests. Memorable trips are those where each member gets to experience something they love.
When to go?
Weather and crowds play an important role when you plan your trip. For your chosen destination, do you know when the high season and low season is?
Do remember that anywhere is going to be good and any time/season will have its own unique flair. If you only have a certain date frame to work with then do not fret, there will always be something you can do somewhere!
What are your interests?
So travellers prefer adventure and a challenge, others prefer relaxing retreats on the beach. Determine your travel interests at the start of planning your trip.
What’s the weather?
Check average rainfall, temperature, during the target month to make sure that it works for what you want at the moment. Sometimes you might want snow and other times it might be sunshine!
2) Research your Trip cost
Done picking a destination? Do you already know how long you’ll be traveling?
Then, your next travel planning task is to do some research regarding the costs of your trip at the travel style that you want.
Below are the points which will ease your task of budgeting:
– Do you want to stay in deluxe hotels or would you rather backpack, couchsurf or sleep in hostels?
– How much do the attractions, restaurants, hotels and exotic locations cost?
– Always add some additional money to budget. There are always expensess you don’t foresee or things you want to do that you haven’t accounted for.
– You should always compute and estimate all the possible costs in your trip, so that you will be able to know how much cash you will need to save to fulfill your trip.
– If the trip is more than you are willing to spend, make cuts where you can. If it ultimately means cutting the trip short, so be it.
– If you plan ahead, you can save on prices by doing your research and searching around for deals, either for flights or for accommodation.
3) Book Travel Transportation and Accommodation
Once you know what your dates are and where you’re going, the next step is to determine whether you are travelling by flight, train or bus and book them well in advance to avoid any hassles later on. The next phase of travel planning is to book your accommodations ranging from hostels and inns to ritzy five-star hotels and find the best deals for the accommodations that suit perfectly to your budget and taste.
Here are a few tips to save a chunk in these bookings!
Check for Last-Minute Deals
Before you book any accommodation and transport, make sure to check any last minute deals. Who knows? You might find amazing deals at makemytrip, skyscanner, yatra or trivago.
If you are flexible with the route towards the destination, you might save a few bucks by not taking direct flight or using some local transport as well.
A travel insurance policy does much more than covering your medical expenses. It practically covers your stolen baggage, broken personal belongings as well as cancelled flights. But make sure of these aspects before buying them as most domestic insurance won’t cover you abroad.
4) Plan your to do Activities
Sketch out the must visit tourist attractions and any free tours that you want to enjoy, including how much they will cost. Make sure to book any popular attractions well in advance, possibly before you depart, as there’s nothing more frustrating arriving at a destination and seeing the one thing you wanted to visit is fully booked for the duration of your stay. For this do some research and gather wonderful information from google, youtube, guidebooks, travel blogs and magazines, instagram and the list goes on.
Make a list of below to document your wish list:
. The free things to do
. Highly rated restaurants and eateries
. Bookable tours
. Day Trips
. Anything else related to your destination
5) Pack Smart and Reconfirm Everything!
Thinking about packing, for some it can be stressful and for some it can be delightful, but the best thing to do is pack the bare minimum because you can always buy it there. Travelers should do a bit of research before starting their trip such as they can Select versatile, comfortable and loose fitting clothes and neutral colors that can be worn in multiple combinations.
– Know the weather of the destination and the activities you are going to do there, which helps reduce over-packing.
– Charge your electronics and load up all your tablets and portable devices with things to read, play, watch. Setup a cloud to transfer all your digital media time to time.
– Roll your clothes when packing to save you a ton of room in the luggage bag.
– If you are planning for international trip, make sure that all the important documents are ready. Print a copy of all the required documents.
– Notify a friend or family about your leaving. If possible, leave them a contact number or address. If anything goes wrong, you’ll be able to hear about it or their help can come handy at home.
– Reconfirm all the reservations and automate your bills if you are travelling for long.
Passport and documents? Check.
Reservations for practically everything? Check.
Now all that’s left to do is get going and enjoy yourself.
Go have fun and create some awesome memories.