Planning a trip, whether overseas or in your home country is exciting. It offers a glimpse into the things your destination offers and what your vacation days will look like.
However, I know personally that planning a detailed itinerary for a vacation can also be overwhelming. But it doesn’t have to be.
By simply dividing a holiday plan into easy-to-follow sections, the process of planning a trip becomes a lot easier and interesting rather than frustrating.
Here I will go into the 10 steps for planning a vacation and at the end of this article, I have a list of useful tips you should know especially if traveling abroad.
TRAVEL PLANNING IN 2021
With the current situation, planning a trip will need some more research compared to pre-Covid 19 trip planning.
We know this from a personal experience where we paid over $400 in visa fees and agent fees for a trip in Indonesia. Only to find that the country implemented a tourist travel ban shortly after receiving our visas. Thankfully we still hadn’t booked any flights or hotels.
Our mistake was mainly not following what was going on in Indonesia during the time we were planning our trip or before paying for the Visas. (we actually received our visas but were of no use due to travel restrictions)
Therefore, due to constantly changing restrictions and travel bans, it is essentials to follow news related to any destinations you have in mind. And if the situation is getting worse, you may need to find an alternative for that particular destination.
As things stand right now, FLEXIBILITY is probably one of the best solutions if you are determined to travel any time soon especially overseas. Being flexible will allow you to change plans and choose an alternative destination if your planned trip and destination implement travel restrictions.
With many travel insurance policies covering COVID-19 related health problems, it is now important more than ever to get yourself covered. And it is a misconception that travel insurance has to be expensive.
PLANNING A TRIP
3 PRINCIPLES TO FIGURE OUT YOUR BUDGET
Your budget will set the tone for planning a trip and is the foundation for creating an ideal itinerary.
Start off by figuring out what your budget is and create the plan for your vacation around these 3 principles: travel style – destination – trip duration
- Although choosing a destination may seem like the easiest part, you have to factor in that not all destinations cost the same.
- Therefore, choosing a destination that fits within your budget will allow you to stretch your money much further and get much more out of your trip.
- Alongside your destination you need to keep in mind the main purpose of the trip or your travel style.
- Are you planning a stylish trip where you will spend nights in luxury hotels and dining at high end restaurants?
- If you have a limited budget and don’t want to break the bank, choose cheaper destinations where everything from accommodation to transport and food is cheaper. This way you can stretch your travel funds further even if lodging and dining high end.
- And finally is the trip duration. Figure out how much you want to spend on your trip and divide that amount into the number of days you plan to travel. If the daily turn out to be too low for your destination you will need another plan. The options would to be to either shorten the of your trip or choose a cheaper destination.
START SAVING UP
So many people book trips that they really can’t afford and pay them off using the money on their credit card.
I’ve never been through this situation but I know for sure I wouldn’t really have the motivation to pay for a trip that has already passed.
Also if you save up in advance you will have your own money to pay for the trip which in turn will make the cost cheaper since you won’t pay the bank’s late credit card interests.
If possible, work an extra shift or add some extra time into your own business. And use your upcoming trip as motivation possibly marking the trip on a calendar or placing an image of your destination on your home screen.
RESEARCH FLIGHTS AND DATES
Flights are one of the biggest costs for any trip. And flights around festive seasons or holidays are even more expensive.
The best way to find good deals is to play around with different dates and times. Flights are known to change in price constantly and by doing this you may bump into a good deal.
However, if you have specific dates for your holiday or have already planned the entire trip and travel itinerary, the best way to find good deals is with the help of a search engine.
One of the best places to find cheap flights is with kiwi.com. It is super easy to use. Just enter your dates and destination and the website will do all the work by filtering through all options and showing you the best deals.
You can also choose which airlines you’d prefer to travel with and the number of stops if any in your flight.
GET TO KNOW YOUR DESTINATION
Researching your chosen destination will help in the trip planning process and in structuring your itinerary.
Here are some questions to ask yourself that will help in your search:
- What does the place offer?
- What are the most popular attractions?
- What are my favourite things to do?
- If moving around, how many nights should you spend in a place?
- How will I get from one place to another?
Do you want to go on vacation but have no idea how to choose your destination?
You can follow the 7 steps in this guide to help you narrow down your options and figure out which destination is right for you.
LIST YOUR FAVOURITE IDEAS
Once you’ve done your research, you can start piecing together all the amazing places and tourist spots that you like.
Make a list of your favorite or the best attractions and things to do.
It is a good idea to make a separate list of places where you will stay like hotels, hostels, homesteads..etc…
A good idea is to pre-book your favorite activities in advance. This is one of the best ways to secure your spot, especially when visiting popular destinations where entrance tickets and activities sell out in advance. Or if you want to combine a few of your destination’s highlights, why not consider a tour. Tours are a great way to cover a few highlights in one day.
GET A TRAVEL INSURANCE POLICY
Whatever the type of trip you are planning, it is good to have yourself covered.
Besides giving you extra peace of mind, having a reliable and comprehensive travel insurance policy will cover the expenses in the case of lost luggage, delayed flights, and most importantly any medical bills.
There are loads of travel insurance policies out there. However, when I want a reliable and comprehensive travel insurance policy that won’t break the bank I choose Safetywing’s policy.
Their travel policy is versatile enough whatever your travel plan or itinerary. And can also be purchased or extended if you are already abroad. Safetywing also offers coverage for Covid 19 which is rare to find in many other policies.
CHECK SAFETYWING.COM TRAVEL INSURANCE FROM $40.
If you are planning a trip know that certain times of year are more popular than others. This also means that some accommodations and hotels may be already reserved for your dates.
Booking your hotels, hostels, or homestays in advance will avoid any hiccups once you reach your destination and find everywhere booked or more expensive.
When I want to find the best deals for any destination I use Agoda. A quick search on Agoda brings up the best deals and most popular options for the specified destination and within minutes I find what I’m looking for.
CREATING A ROUTE ON GOOGLE MAPS
What you should do is put your list of ideas, activities, tourist spots, and hotels onto a new google map for your destination. Doing this is a great way to get a visualization of your itinerary and allows you to easily figure out where all the places of interest are located.
Google Maps trip planner is the best tool to plan any detailed trip. Most importantly it is free and also super easy to use.
Your packing list will depend entirely on your trip and what type of itinerary you created. But there is a way to create an ideal packing list that is relevant for any destination.
If every time you get back from a trip or vacation, you realize that a lot of items you didn’t use, then you’re doing something wrong. And definitely, you are over-packing with stuff that has no use for your trip and destination.
You can avoid over-packing and having to haul around loads of bags and travel gear by simply following a few steps and figuring out what you actually need.
And that brings us to the conclusion. In this easy-to-follow trip planning guide, there is everything you need to know to plan your next trip.
Follow the steps in this guide, save on Pinterest for future trips and share it with friends and family. It will definitely help anyone that easily stresses themselves out while putting together an upcoming vacation.
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