Traveling around the world is a dream for many people, yet many still have a fear of doing it. I understand that fear… not being familiar with the new place or not knowing where to start, makes the trip planning difficult… it’s sometimes just too much to plan that traveling becomes obsolete.
After traveling to a few places, I’ve learned new ways to always better the next trip. From making wise travel plans to finding cheap flights or accommodations, every single trip gets better and less expensive. So, if you’re curious about how to plan your next trip, read along since you’re about to learn some tactics that are effective and have been very useful for my trips.
Do Your Research
The moment you decide where you want to go, research the bananas out of that place! One of my favorite ways of learning more about a new destination is reading travel blogs – like this one ;) Typically, these blogs have valuable information from experience, and you can most deff get great advice or tips. Reading up on other travelers’ adventures will also inform you of vital details like safety.
Set Your Dates
During your research, you are most likely going to learn when it’s the best and worst time to visit your chosen destination. Some websites will encourage you to go during the busy season. But watch out for those since accommodation and flight tickets could skyrocket. You can find out the recommended, the worst, and the okay time of the year to visit a country. In my experience in India, I visited during the off-season when it was getting very hot. Although it was uncomfortable, I later learned that I avoided higher-priced tickets and accommodation.
So really, it’s up to you! If you can afford to go during the busiest season when it’s most likely also full of other tourists, do it. If you want to save money, consider going during the off-season, but not at the worst time of the year.
Do You Need A Visa?
Once you have set the dates and before creating your travel itinerary, make sure to know if you need a visa. Those who are U.S citizens have a variety of places to visit with no visa. If you find out that the country requires a visa, it’s essential to read how long it will take for the visa to process. Some agencies have longer timeframes than others, like over a month!
Thankfully, a lot of the visa government websites have pages with simple instructions on how to apply for one. Ensure that when you are going through the application, you read carefully all it entails and do it slowly. These government agencies do not mess around for hiccups in the forms. It’s exhilarating that you are about to take a trip to somewhere new, but don’t allow your excitement to rush you through the visa process. If you are interested in knowing which countries do not require a visa, click here.
Book Your Flight
To the fun part, booking your flights! If you are traveling only to one place and back, it’s cheaper to do a round-trip flight. However, if you are choosing to go to over one site but leave from another, it might take more of your researching time.
Skyscanner, a website for flights, hotels, and car rentals, is an excellent option for flights. The site allows you to search for the cheapest month to travel to your chosen destination. You can also view price charts, so you’re able to see what dates are cheaper to depart or arrive. I suggest taking notes of all the options available to you. Search your flights on several websites and note their prices, so you are not missing out on travel deals. Once you notice one site that stays on the cheaper end compared to other websites, stick to that one.
Yes, it can be time-consuming, though, if you’re looking for the best options and the most affordable, you must do the research. At the end of it all, it will lead you to travel to your dream place!
Purchase Accommodation for Arrival
After purchasing your flight, if you plan to travel to different cities in the country, it’s fundamental to book your arrival accommodation. There are several simple methods to do this depending on if you are traveling alone or with a group.
A solo traveler on a budget might want to look up private or shared rooms via Hostelworld.com or Airbnb. Someone who plans to vacation with friends or family in only one place has higher chances of finding great deals for hotel rooms or packages via Trip Advisor or Hotwire.
If you are visiting a place that isn’t as well-developed, make sure you read the ratings and review photos from the listing. There are countries with small villages that have accommodation but in a very unsafe area. Google Maps is a great tool to know the exact location of the place you might book and what’s in the surrounding areas. For those traveling on a budget, check out Couch Surfing. It’s a platform of travelers who hosts others in their homes for free. You can learn more about the community here.
Get Mentally and Emotionally Ready
Depending on where you go, culture shock could have a massive impact on you. Despite all the research you do, you will not know the realness of the new place until you arrive. So…. get mentally ready for anything to come up and the possibility that not everything will turn out according to plan. Anything can happen, and it’s essential to be patient and understanding. If you’re going to visit villages, be emotionally prepared to live like the community with fewer amenities. When traveling through a developing country, you’ll most likely experience difficult sights that you’re not used to.
The best advice I can give per my personal experience for your trip planning is to maintain a positive attitude and use your common sense. Continue to look forward to discoveries and always go with your gut instinct, and I guarantee a memorable experience.