Planning a trip can be exciting and incredibly stressful at the same time, especially for overseas travel. I mean, there is a lot of stuff to do and remember when it comes to travel planning, like first where you want to go, how much you are going to spend, where to book flights and hotels, what to pack, etc. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the amount of information when jumping into the unknown. That’s why it’s so important to plan your trip. Here’s a practical guide on how to do it step by step:
Find a destination
The first step in planning a trip is knowing where you want to go. If you haven’t decided on a destination yet, many websites contain stories and videos posted by real people sharing their experiences. Look for traveling blogs, those can be a great way to research a trip. Just Google it and find a blogger who has been to your destination. You can also browse forums with travel destinations like the r/travel on Reddit where you can ask questions, discover places, and find plenty of travelers that share their experiences and tips. Once you’ve decided on a place you’d like to visit, it’s time to make it happen.
Set a budget
Your budget will largely depend on where you are going to travel, how long you will be traveling, and what kind of vacation you enjoy. Before you start planning your trip, the very first thing you need to do is decide how long your trip will be and what’s your final budget. Preferably, make a budget for major things like transportation and accommodation depending on where you like to stay. It will significantly affect your travel budget. Include things like travel insurance and average food expenses. You can use google maps to filter restaurants in the area by their cost. They show a symbol instead of an exact number but in general, it works like this:
$ = Inexpensive, usually $10 and under
$$ = Moderately expensive, somewhere between $10-$25
$$$ = Expensive, somewhere between $25-$45
$$$$ = Very Expensive, usually $50 and up
It’s also a good idea to set aside some emergency cash (in the local currency or an easily convertible international currency like USD or EUR) or an emergency card and store these separately from your wallet or everyday cash. It ensures that you”ll have a safety net if your wallet is stolen or lost.
Booking flights & accommodation
You might want to book directly from an airline’s website so you’re guaranteed the actual price without extra fees and when flight cancellations happen you don’t have to contact the third party to rebook or refund. To easily compare and find the cheapest flight using Google Flights. It finds the direct airline website and shows the prices to easily compare flights. As for accommodation, try booking early. You will have much more options to browse. In general, Airbnb rental prices are much more affordable than hotels, and some Airbnb hosts will offer a weekly or monthly discount if you stay longer. It’s up to you to decide what fits you the most and what’s within your budget.
Research for things to do
You can search for the best activities by looking for ‘Top 10 things to do in X’ or ‘Must see X’ you will land on various articles and blogs that might help you find your next activity. Make a list of the activities that you find interesting. There are guides on sites like Airbnb and TripAdvisor that can also be helpful for travelers to learn more about various neighborhoods and businesses. You can look for recommendations on Reddit or in social media groups. Don’t forget to also search for food and drink so you don’t miss any amazing new experiences!
Minimize travel risks
When making a road trip your chances of arriving safely are greatly increased by careful planning. Every country and company will operate under different standards but as a general rule, it is wise to do your research around every place separately.
Fatigue is one of the most common consequences of poor trip planning and is a major contributor factor in road incidents. Schedule your trip ahead to avoid night driving and those times of day when falling asleep is most likely. Think about the timing of your trip and how busy the roads will be and take into account road conditions and weather.
Plan your trip and allow extra time to account for unexpected delays. By planning your journey more carefully, you are more likely to stay fresh and vigilant at the wheel, safeguarding your safety and the safety of others.
Pack like a pro
When it comes to packing, the best way to keep it organized is using a planner app. Planndu has the exact feature you need to start your packing process. You can either use the templates for travel or create a list from the start. Set a reminder for the list days ahead of your departure date to remember to purchase any additional items you might need for your vacation and finish in time.
These are the main things you want to consider adding to your list:
Depending on the season, and what you plan on doing, however, for most vacations, light clothing is usually best. Even if it means packing less than you think you need. You’ll be dragging your pack around with you for days, weeks, or months, and you will start to feel the weighing dragging you down. Remember that tightly rolled clothes take up less space than folded ones. Plus, they are less prone to getting deep wrinkles from fold creases.
It’s usually best to bring your toiletries in your checked luggage rather than your carry-on because you’ll most likely use a lot more of your liquids and gels than what is allowed by the TSA on a carry-on. If you do need to put your toiletries in your carry-on luggage, remember the TSA’s 3-1-1 rule: all liquids, gels, aerosols, creams, and pastes must be in a container of 3.4 oz [100 ml] or less. All must be zipped in a 1-quart-sized clear plastic zip-top resealable bag, per passenger. It includes toothpaste, mouthwash, shampoo, lotion, makeup remover, etc.
Unless you have a medication that you would need to take while you’re traveling, it’s best to pack all your medicines and first aid items in your check-in luggage instead of your carry-on. If you want to bring these in your carry-on luggage, the TSA’s 3-1-1 rule applies to these also.
It is also a good idea to bring proof that all of your prescription medications do indeed belong to you to avoid any complications that may arise when taking them through Customs and Immigration.
Lost baggage happens; don’t let it ruin your trip. Always keep your expensive electronics close to you. The biggest thing to remember here is to take your power cables. If you’re traveling to a different country make sure your chargers are compatible. A portable backup external battery bank is also something you might find that you need, especially if you’re away from your hotel/Airbnb for long periods, you will be surprised how fast your battery drains when constantly using the camera and the GPS.
Many have found it best to have all your documents printed on paper just in case you run into some technical issues with your internet connection or something will happen to your mobile device. Also, it may be helpful to make photocopies of important information and phone numbers for the rare occurrence that you may lose your passport or wallet.
Here’s an example of a typical travel checklist:
• Long-sleeved shirts
• Warm sweater
• Socks + underwear
• Light jacket
• Comfortable shoes
• Reusable laundry bag
• Swimwear + shower flip-flops
• Soap + body wash
• Toothbrush + toothpaste
• Small towel
• Set of bandaids + essential medications
• Phone + charger
• Emergency cash + card
• Relevant documents (e.g. travel insurance, international driver’s license, visa paperwork, medical prescriptions)
• Ear plugs
• Day pack or purse
• Portable power bank
• Notebook + pens
• Kindle/eReader or books
• Emergency snacks
• Sunglasses + sunscreen
• Small umbrella
• Small padlock
Remember to check your airline’s baggage-fee policy as each company may have its additional policies and rules.