If you have been wondering how to plan a trip, you have come to the right place. With time, planning trips would become second nature to you if you want to be a committed traveller. I had my fair share of trip-planning problems when I thought of travelling for the first time. Today, I have jumped over those hurdles and I will show you how to plan your trip in easy steps.
Before reading START HERE to check out the full series.
- Pick a destination
If you haven’t chosen a destination yet, I’d recommend you check out my article on How To Choose A Travel Destination. Picking a destination is the first step in trip planning as it gives you a sense of what you are about doing.
- Draw up a loose itinerary
Vacations hardly go as planned, so it would be wise to make your itinerary not-so-rigid. Try as much as you can to give room for spontaneity. Write down places you’d like to visit, the activities you’ll like to indulge in, the food you’ll love to eat, etc. Consider how long you’ll spend there, consider the weather and make the necessary changes or adjustments, consider how you will get around the place. On foot? Taxi? The answers to these questions will give you a sense of purpose and won’t render you lost when you finally embark on your journey.
- Estimate the cost and make a budget
After researching your destination of choice and estimating how much it will cost you to travel there and return, airfare inclusive, it’s time to draw up a budget, set a target, and work towards hitting the target. You can get more insight from my article on How To Save Money For Travelling. You’ll have to avoid using travel agents so that you can save money for your travels, travel agents will always charge you for their services. Use travel websites to research, plan, and book your travels.
- Consider getting a “travel” credit card
Travel credit cards are cards that give you travel rewards in the form of miles/points or cash back. The cards have unique ways of accumulating points, airline flights or upgrades, miles, gas station reward points, etc. I would suggest you get this. Every traveller should have a travel credit card as it will make your travels easier while taking some of the financial weight off your shoulders.
- Consider getting a travel insurance
Your travel insurance wouldn’t only cover your medical care, they’ll also cover your properties in case they are stolen, they’ll cover your delayed or cancelled flights, they’ll cover the cost of fixing your devices that get spoilt while on travels. It will really help a lot of you get travel insurance. You never can tell what may happen. I recommend World Nomads (worldnomads.com) for the regular travellers and Insure My Trip (insuremytrip.com) for travellers above the age of 70.
- Ensure your documents are in order and ready
There are countries that would require a visa for you to enter and exit them, there are countries that would require just your passport. Always be sure to check if the destination of your choice requires a visa. If it does, get it as soon as possible or your travel plans are going down the drain. All your documents should be kept handy. If possible, make copies of them so that you can replace anyone that gets missing.
- Book your flights and accommodations
After you have figured out where you want to go, what you want to do while there, and how you plan to get around the place, it’s time to make your reservations and book your flights. I’d advise you to book your flight about 6 weeks ahead and your hotel reservation about 3 weeks ahead. You don’t want a situation where they’re almost fully booked and the prices hit the roof.
- Buy everything you’ll need and pack
By now you must have made a checklist of things you’re going to carry with you. You can start buying them and packing in preparation for your trip.
Word of advice: don’t travel with lots of luggage, it would heavily restrict you and make you uncomfortable. Try sticking to simple clothes and shoes, and roll your clothes while putting them in your box to have space for other things.