If you are planning a trip in the future whether you are planning a law. Long backpacking trip for a few months or just a short week long trip. These are all the things that I do when I’m planning. I narrowed it down to five steps and I’m going to try to keep this blog post pretty short and simple and to the point because I don’t want to over complicate things but we’ll just start with step number one, which is to determine your budget.
Figure Out Your Budget
So first and foremost before you even think about where you want to go you have to figure out how much you are willing and able to spend on your trip because this will really determine Where you’re actually able to travel to how long you can afford to go for and all sorts of things like that. So the first thing you want to do is to try to get a ballpark estimate of how much money you have to work with. And then the next thing I would do is one check the cost of transportation from your home to that place. So whether that’s a flight a train a bus whatever it is look into how much it’s going to cost to get there because that can really determine whether you’re actually able to travel there. So if you’re looking for a flight, two of my favorite sites are Skyscanner and Kiwi.com.
Checking Out Hotels And Accommodation
So I usually just hop on their apps and figure out what a round-trip flight would look like what the average cost is and that’s a pretty good indicator of whether you can even afford to travel there. And then the next thing I do is check the average price of accommodation in the place that I’m interested in going to so the average hotel price. I will hop on booking.com or Airbnb and just kind of get an idea of whether there is anything affordable. And just kind of scope out the scene right now. I’m planning a trip to Morocco. So I’m going to be using this as an example throughout that blog. But the first thing I did is look up a round-trip ticket. It was about $300 which fit in my budget and then I looked into hotels, which also there’s a very big price range in Morocco from really cheap hostels for less than 10 bucks to very luxurious. But there were definitely some affordable options in there. So I moved on to the next part of my research I want to do a road trip.
In Morocco, so the first big expense other than the accommodation and the flight that I want to look up was how much it was going to be to rent a car for about 10 days. So I would recommend also researching bigger expenses that you expect to have while you are on your trip. If you have a certain thing that you definitely want to do like zip lining or if you want to do the Gibbon experience and Laos, for example, if you have no idea what that is, I will link it down below. But any kind of major expense that you may have while you’re traveling. It’s a good idea to research and make sure that it will fit inside your budget. Some countries are super expensive when I went to Iceland. I didn’t eat at one single restaurant. I lived off of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and cucumbers from the grocery store because it was just such an expensive country.
Know The Goal Of Your Trip
So moving on once you’ve figured out your budget you can move on to step number two, which is to figure out what the goal of your trip is. Do you want to have an action-packed adventure? Do you want to have a very relaxing revitalizing vacation? What is the goal of your trip? This will help you with the planning process because you can really focus on the best things to plan for what you want to actually bring home with you at the end of your trip.
So for example My trip this dog doesn’t really going crazy for my trip to Morocco. I wanted to be a road trip. I want to spend at least 10 to 12 Days kind of exploring. Just me and Tim on our own. I want to kind of avoid the whole tour guide thing, which is a very popular option in Morocco.
So my goal is to have a road trip to see the countryside to get out of all the touristy areas. But I also want to see three major cities and I want to see this the Sahara Desert. So that’s the goal of my trip and having that As my focal point makes the planning process much easier, but for you, for example, if you want to travel Europe and your goal is to have more of a cultural experience. Maybe you want to focus on what churches and what museums you definitely want to see so it just totally depends on what you actually want to accomplish on your trip. Maybe you just want to sit Margaritas all day on a beach. I don’t know but just come up with your goal so that you can make sure you’re planning.
Moving on into a step number three, which is research and I think this is probably the most intimidating part of the whole planning process because there is just so much information out there and we’re definitely very lucky to live in a time where we have so much information at our fingertips, but there is like travel blogs and Lonely Planet and TripAdvisor and Instagram YouTube and all the things and it can just be really overwhelming to even know where to start and how to figure out what the best things to do are what you can probably skip what are like super tourist traps and just find all the best things to do. So my advice is with your goal in mind, whatever you want to accomplish on this trip just start searching for that specific thing. So for me, my goal is to have a road trip. So the first thing that I’m going to search for online is other people’s road trip itineraries in Morocco so that I can just kind of Get an idea of what other people’s experience was like and what they would recommend. So I really like to read travel blogs.
Not one specific one in particular, but normally when you search for things like that, a lot of travel blogs will come up and reading about personal experience can be very valuable as opposed to just looking at like a ten must see things list like on TripAdvisor. You can see the most popular destinations in each place, but it doesn’t really tell you much about it after you kind of start with your initial research. One thing leads to another you find one thing that looks really interesting in this travel blog and you look up the city and then things do in the city and then maybe you can go on Instagram and look at the tag of that location and see what other people are doing. And yeah, honestly, there’s not one really clear-cut way best way to research.
I mean you can get a Lonely Planet book and that will give you so much information on certain particular areas, but above All in my opinion the absolute best way to find information about a place is to talk to other Travelers because the personal experience aspect is just so invaluable and if you have the opportunity, if you know someone who has been to a place that your you really want to go to just ask them ask them what their favorite parts were what things they think you can miss but we’re worth it. There’s also a lot of great Facebook groups, which can be really helpful people tend to be really active on those. Oops, so you can ask a bunch of questions and yeah, basically step number three is just to do your research but I did want to mention a few things that are very important to research before you leave at your home country for one. You should definitely look up whether there are any visa requirements because a lot of countries you wouldn’t think you need a visa for especially if you’re American or if you have a passport that tends to be very free traveling, but you need a visa for Vietnam. For example, you can’t get one on arrival.
You need one for Australia. You need one for tons of countries and you have to apply a few days before you leave for that country. So tons of places you can get a visa on arrival.
Usually there were valid for 30 to 90 days depending but definitely look into visa requirements before you just booked your ticket. Another thing is you are going to a new place and if you’re going to a country far away from home, you should probably make sure that one the place is safe, especially if you’re traveling alone.
Looking Into Cultural Standards
Another really important thing is to look into the cultural standards in the country that you’re traveling to for example, I’m going to Morocco. It’s a very conservative country. So I know that I’m not going to like have my shoulders and my chest exposed. I want to be respectful of your culture. Remember when you’re traveling to someone else’s country.
You are a visitor in their country and it is your job to respect their culture and one more thing. You should definitely look into especially if you are traveling throughout a country is research what the common tourist scam. Are because there are certain countries where if they know you’re a tourist they might try to get a little bit more money out of you because if you’re traveling usually means that you have a little bit of money and sometimes unfortunately people can take advantage of that. So just look into the comment or scams. You should always also check the average price of a taxi or airport transfer because a really common thing is getting scammed when you arrive at the airport in a new country. The taxis will try to charge you away more. Then they should so you should always look into how much the taxi should cost from the airport to your accommodation and yet just tourists cams in general. But yeah research and moving on into step number 4, which is to create a loose itinerary.
Making Your Itinerary
So it totally depends on what kind of trip you are taking again. If you just want to go chill on a beach for a week, then you shouldn’t really have to do a ton of planning as far as creating a itinerary goes, but if you are planning on The traveling more and moving from place to place it probably is a good idea to plan at least a little bit day by day, but my rule of thumb is if the trip is 10 days or less and then I try to plan about one thing that I definitely want to do per day for each day just to make sure that I’m on schedule that I have enough time to see and do everything that I want to do. But if the trip is longer than 10 days, I wouldn’t recommend planning day by day. You can kind of just have it in your head that you want to do. These certain things at this time, but you don’t have to get too crazy with scheduling and that is my one big tip is to not over schedule if you’re traveling for your first time and it makes you feel really secure and it makes you just feel very great to know like that you have something to do at every hour of the day then whatever floats your boat, but for me, I want to feel good. I want to feel free. I don’t feel relaxed when I’m traveling and I don’t want to feel pressured to get in as many things as I can. Can in a day and when you plan to much back-to-back, it can feel very rushed and then you don’t enjoy the actual place and you want to be present in the moment.
So I recommend planning one major thing that you want to do per day so that you can make sure you get that done and then anything else that you can fit in between after before that then that’s great. But definitely don’t over schedule because you don’t want to stress out traveling is about fun and about experiences and most importantly you want to leave at. Ton of room to be spontaneous because the best thing to do is get to the place and then talk to other Travelers and figure out what the best things are to do and step number five is to book your flight or if you’re not flying your transportation and book your accommodation.
So I would definitely recommend booking your flight. If you’re flying far in advance not too far, but you can definitely save some money if you book at least like three weeks in advance, I think three weeks is actually Cheapest statistically, I’m not totally sure it definitely varies by Airline and then as far as accommodation goes I recommend booking at least your first second and third night just so that you know that you have some place to stay when you get there and it totally depends on whether it’s High season or low season.
We’re traveling for example in Morocco will probably only booked our first three nights because it’s turning into low season there and based on everything that’s available. It seems like It will be okay to kind of book as we go and figure out where we want to stay when we’re there. But sometimes if you’re traveling at high season, you have to book all of your accommodations beforehand or else you’re going to be stuck with nothing. So it totally depends but again, I’m not someone who likes to totally planned everything.
So I think that’s just a preference and that’s it. You’re ready to go on your trip. Those are all the things that I do to plan.