Planning for a trip can be time consuming, tedious and even stressful (the good kind of stress) at times, but I enjoy it. I like looking for cheap flights, reading up on tons of reviews on accommodations, mapping out my itinerary and finding ways to get from point A to point B. I never like to rush through this process because it’s one of the fun parts of traveling.
Steps to plan for a trip:
1 – Choose a destination
It’s a small, small world, yet so many places waiting to be discovered. I have a mental list of countries I would like to see. I decide on one depending on the length of time I have, the season and price of the air tickets.
2 – Decide on length of your trip
Before I book my air tickets, I like read travel forums to have a rough idea of the different cities to see and the number of days needed in each place. Whenever possible, I like to fly into one city and depart from another, so I don’t have waste time backtracking.
3 – Book tickets
Such a thrill to click on that confirmation button! After searching a few websites for the best deal, I buy my air tickets and tell myself not to search again. Airline tickets do fluctuate daily so it is best not to compare once you’ve made your purchase.
4 – Get your documents in order
Getting visas has always been fast and easy for me, until I apply for the Russian one! I must say it is the most tedious process ever. More on that next time.
5 – Look for accommodation
After I have my itinerary planned out, my favorite part of the travel logistic is looking for places to stay. Finding a highly rated accommodation in a good location (convenient, but not too touristy) is the goal.
Sometimes I get so excited about the place from all the great reviews that I look forward to the hotel more than the destination itself. Yes, we will be out most of the day exploring and only go back to our hotel to sleep, but it is nice to go back to a comfortable and homey place at the end of a long day.
6 – Read up on things to do
After I take care of my flight and accommodation, I can sit back and learn more about the destinations – how to get from the airport to the hotel, places to visit and eat, other travellers’ stories. I don’t set things in stone though – That way I can be flexible and spontaneous. Planning as I go works out fine for me – for example, picking up some brochures and maps at the airport and decide what to do the next day. Looking at guidebooks is fun but I almost never carry one with me since we have all the information we need on the internet nowadays.
7 – Final logistics
Before departing for your adventure, make copies of your passport, prepare some local currency if necessary, decide if you want to purchase travel insurance, register your information online at the US embassy abroad, contact credit card companies to let them know that you will be using your card abroad, and jot down necessary information and phone numbers just in case you lose your cards.