Planning a trip can be exciting and overwhelming at the same time.When it comes to make a travel plan, Leticia is a master and I am usually the one who tags along with it. Of course, I already suggest the things I want to do, what all pictures I want to click on the trip. But then that’s not enough! And yes it’s a LOT OF WORK ,but worth doing to make your trip comfortable and fun.
Leticia, has mastered trip planning art over the time. She has taught me also several things to keep in mind while I plan for a trip. This guide for planning a trip would eventually make you also a pro for your future trips or your vacations. I am going to share all the travel planning tips in this post. Giving you a big heads up, this is gonna be long.So either bookmark this post or read this when you have no distractions.
Here’s what’s in this detailed post to guide you to learn how to plan a trip.
Table of Contents:
Estimated reading time 20 minutes
WHAT TYPE OF TRAVELLER ARE YOU?
Leticia and I love to travel ,especially to cold places, with mountains and snow. We love to travel so much that, we decided to start a blog to share our wanderlust stories with the world. Leticia and I are those type of travellers, who loves to visit less explored places over hyped places.
We love to plan our trips well in advance. Especially if it’s a long trip. Why? Because it gives us panic attacks when the trip goes over the budget or we do not have right type of clothes for the places we will be visiting. Ah! It’s terrible! We have tried not planning and it was not cool for us.
We love to ride a bike instead of taking cars/taxis during our trips. Enjoy eating at local street food joints more than eating at fancy restaurants. We hate crowded places except for Khao San road in Thailand. So yes we are budget travellers who likes to explore new places, new cultures more close to the locals.
Here’s the thing, though: it’s gonna sound like a lot of work. But we’ve found that the planning process actually makes us MORE excited for a trip.
So yeah before making any travel plan, it’s important for you to know what type of traveller you are? What type of places excites you to visit?What type of things do you like to do in your trips and so on. This is an important part of planning a trip.
PLAN A VACATION : WHAT NOT TO PLAN FOR TRIP
Knowing what to plan for vacation or a trip is good, but to know what should not be in your planning for the trip is equally important as well. Because you don’t want that your raw experience in the trip should not be ruined because you stuffed your day too much with your plan.Or if something went wrong and you cannot go somewhere in that time, you don’t know what to do.
But yes, you surely don’t want to spend most of your trip time looking for where to go and other stuff. If this is there in your planning list you can enjoy those places more easily and plan your day accordingly.
“I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.” –Robert Louis Stevenson,Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes
I personally believe in this quote. It’s important to plan the overall trip, but do not plan too much or to say, DO NOT PLAN YOUR DAY OUT COMPLETELY.
Please do not plan that everything will go smoothly in your trip, this is from our personal experience. Always leave some scope for failure and mishaps.
You must avoid planning for trip
If you are travelling solo, do not plan for only solo activities, try to meet new people more during the trip and tag along for the group activities also.
Also, give yourself at least a day or two in your trip that is totally unplanned. Do whatever you might have missed, try some un explored places or just take a day off and relax!
TRAVEL PLANNING : WHERE TO START AND WHEN
Many of us give up on the idea of planning for the trip because we don’t know when and from where to start the planning. At least this is the dilemma I use to face before traveling. Once you know what type of traveller you are, it’s easier to know from where you need to start the planning a trip.
We usually start off by roughly estimating the duration of the trip. It helps us to narrow down the options when it comes to destination or the time of the year to travel. Once you know the duration, it also helps to figure out how much money you would need for the trip.
Depending on the duration of the trip, we decide how early we must start for the trip. To give you an example, if you are going to really exotic country for 20-30 days like Tunisia, India or a country which has tough visa process. You need to start planning the trip way early in order to avoid any hassles.
So yeah, planning starts with deciding how long the trip would be.
HOW TO FIND THE TRAVEL DESTINATION
This is the fun part of planning. Leticia & I exchange pictures of places we want to visit via Instagram.
Once you know the span of the trip, there are several resources which you can use for finding the travel destination.
- Pinterest- This is by far best tool for searching for destinations and what to do in those destinations. Just search for your destination and you’ll find a lot of travel posts that will help you plan your trip .There you will find several pictures and guide links for various places. Pinterest can be a lifesaver if you are visiting those sights which are not very common on Guides or so.
- Skyscanner– For us it is like social media. We check it every week to see if there are some cool deals or if they are better prices on flights available in the time we want to visit. Cool tip, subscribe to their email to receive price alerts and about new destinations.
- Trip Advisor– This website helps a lot when you are in a dilemma between some of the shortlisted places, as you check in detailed manner the places to visit and also see reviews and feedbacks about them. In our trip plan, it plays an important role as we don’t want to visit those places where there is not much to do or the ratings of the place are questionable.
HOW TO BUDGET FOR TRAVEL
Coming from a middle class Indian family, every time I use to share about my travel plans, I used to hear “Where do you get the money for traveling?” or “How are you going to manage your expenses while travelling?“
We often compromise on our travel plans or vacations because we do not plan them well or I should say we do not make proper budget and work for it till the time of trip.
Budget for travel is very crucial part of your travel plan. To start with, flight tickets and hotels amount need to be accounted for. Because the flights and hotels are usually expensive in high season, try to choose those destinations which are not having high season in that moment or if you already have decided the place, then look for the off season, or time which is before or after the peak. This helps to cut down costs for flights and hotels upto 50%-60%.
Cutting budget on these helps you to do more things in your trips. We usually have these as the key things in our budget for travel :
- Flight Tickets
- Your Meals
- Ticket charges ( For the places you will visit on the trip)
- Activities to do on trip
- Shopping/ Souvenirs
Always have a room of adjustment in your budget, like if you have allotted X amount for Activities and you realise on trip that it will be more, then you should adjust it with maybe shopping. The point of budget is not to spend exactly what you allotted. But to make you to not overspend too much unnecessarily.
For having a smooth trip, budget should be made well in advance, so you have enough time to save money and add as many spots to visit.
VACATION ACCOMMODATION: HOW TO PLAN FOR HOTEL
Imagine! You are travelling to your dream destination and you are super excited for the trip and you have not booked any accommodation before the trip. And it turns out you are stuck with your luggage and you have pay a lot for the accommodation. NOT THE BEST SCENARIO RIGHT!!
To avoid such circumstances, it is really important to reserve the hostels/hotels for thr trip in advance. When we went to Kashmir, we did try arriving there and look for accommodation. We ended up overpaying to the hotel, which certainly spoiled few days of our trip.
Since then, we added this in our planning for the trips in future. Especially on our international trips, because in foreign environment to have issues with accommodation can really make your trip stressful.We use several websites and applications for it.
- Booking.com- For us this website is best. It has some really cool filters for selection of places. That helps you to book the place which suits best to our needs. From a whole house to a bunk bed in hostel, booking.com offers you all type of accommodation options for booking with several offers and options including breakfast or other necessities.
- AirBNB- If you really like to stay by yourself in the place and you want to experience living in some of the most exotic places. AirBNB is your place to check. When we went to Tunisia, through Airbnb we stayed in one of the best places in the world when it comes to an experience. We stayed in years old man made caves in the Sahara Desert.
Only downside is, on AirBNB they charge you the amount in one go before the trip. So if you have any change in plan or if you don’t like the place as per your terms, you might loose your money for the booking.( Do check before you book).
- Hostelworld- If you are not a hotel person, prefer budget travel and meeting new people, staying in hostels is a great way to do it. I went to Nepal for a solo trip and there I stayed in one of finest hostel in Kathmandu, where I met people from Australia and England who are still very good friends of mine from last 4 years. Hostelworld is great platform for finding hostels all over the world.
WHAT TO PACK FOR THE TRIP
What’s next in planning? Learning about what to pack! By the way there is very thin line between “I packed too many things now, now I will have to drag my bag all the time” and “I think I didn’t pack enough and now I have to buy a lot of expensive stuff I already have at home!” The trick is finding that balance.
Especially if you are planning to go on a long trip, not knowing what all stuff you should carry. The trip can become a havoc for you. We will share what we usually pack for our trip overall.
- Clothes– Of course! If you are going for a trip you would need clothes. But how many? and what type? To answer these questions, you need to understand what will be the weather conditions and what type of trip is this for you? are you going to do hiking? Are you going to beaches? The essentials would be 2 pair of your favourite jeans, t-shirts/shirts then add variety: a pullover/jacket , a belt, shorts. Boom, that’s like 10301 different outfits. We both love to wear colourful clothes, so it’s important that they match according to the colour palette. Because looking good while traveling is important .Duh!!
- Travel Essentials- I have a tendency to get sick whenever there is huge difference in climatic conditions or if it’s too cold on the trip. So Leticia always carries a small medical kit with us which has some paracetamols, some Vicks for sore throat and few bandages. Apart from this she always insist on carrying travel adaptor and portable charger for the phones especially if we are traveling to remote places.
- Toiletries – Oh my God! This is very important part. Please on your trips you don’t have to take whole dressing room with you. Just take some basic things like shampoo, conditioners, some sunscreen, and and Deodorant. Yes deodorant is very important for the trips because you don’t want to stink in your trip after having real good day. Always carry these things in small bottles or packings. And keep them in a place where it doesn’t damage your clothes in the baggage.
- Travel gadgets- We always carry our DSLR camera, portable tripod in our long trips. For short trips we usually manage with our phone.Apart from this always carry travel adaptor and portable charger for the phones especially if we are traveling to remote places.
- Bag pack – A small bag pack for the day to carry your camera, some snacks and water bottle.
SAFETY MEASURES FOR THE TRIP
It’s something that lot us neglect hoping everything will be just fine during the trip. But one should always be prepared before he takes the trip. We will share some key measures you must take care of before and during the trip.
- Travel Insurance- Always travel with a travel insurance. It doesn’t matter how long or where you are travelling. Not taking it can be really terrible idea during the trip. If you are planning to visit some exotic areas or places you will be in contact with nature, travel insurance can be really handy.
- Vaccines- Always check online or on the consulate website of the country which you are visiting for it. In some countries you might not be able to visit certain places if you don’t have the documentation of the vaccination with you.
- Documents and Passport Copies- While traveling, always have several copies of your documents and passport. Keep a e-copy also in your phone or laptop with you. You don’t want to be in a trouble if by any chance you lose these documents during the trip.
- Travel Cards- In today’s world one must not carry a lot of cash for the safety and to avoid mishaps. Always check if your credit cards are working and can be used internationally. Also, carry travel cash cards in case of emergency when you are in some situation where the credit cards can’t be used.
Now, you are all set to go on your trip and have fun! Head to the airport, board your plane (don’t forget your passport!), and enjoy the fruits of your labor. You’ve worked hard and planned well.
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