Wait For It...

Planning A Trip Abroad

How to Plan a Trip

If you’re wondering how best to plan a trip then you’ve come to the right place. Perhaps you have already made certain decisions or perhaps you don’t know where to start. No problem, just follow these simple steps.

Decide on a Destination

This might seem like stating the obvious but deciding on a destination goes further than picking a country. How much do you want to see during your trip? Do you want to travel around or stay in one destination? If the answer is to travel then is this a trip going to span across multiple towns or multiple countries? Or multiple continents? Because of course, travelling distance is going to open up the question of transportation. You are also going to need to weigh up how much time you need to travel further at a steady pace. For instance, you don’t want to have to travel 400 miles every single day. You’ll be exhausted and you won’t have time to enjoy anywhere. How far is manageable and comfortable for you?

Work Out a Budget

Working out a budget is difficult because there are so many variables. Of course, destination and travel time are going to be the biggest influences. If you’re planning to travel any distance check the costs of flights and trains before you set your heart on anything. Also, if you’re looking to save some pennies try looking at Airbnb rather than Booking.com. Oh, and don’t forget to Google for local payments and tourist taxes so you don’t get stung.

how to plan a trip - pile of euros

As well as budget, you’re going to want to think about how you’re going to pay for stuff. You might want to pre-book and pre-pay as much as possible so you’re working with a budget which is mainly spending money and therefore easier to handle. Or you might want to pay your way and change your currency as you go along to allow you more freedom.

If you’re looking for a credit card for travelling I’d recommend the Halifax Clarity Credit Card. This card won’t charge you fees when you spend abroad and there’s no hidden mark up in the exchange rate.

Check Your Passport

The last thing you want when you’re standing in the check-in queue is to look down at your passport and see that’s it’s out of date. Some countries like 6 months remaining on your passport to pass the border and it will most likely take at least 3 weeks to renew so make sure to check early enough.

Establish an Itinerary

Chances are you already have some idea of the itinerary and this will have had an impact on deciding upon your destination, but there might be lots more you just don’t know about yet. The answer here? Google is your best friend. See what’s typically included in the itinerary of organised tours. See what others get up to. These days there’s just as much, if not more, information to be found on social media as there is on mainstream Internet channels. Instagram is your next best friend. People will tag themselves into locations and from here you’ll probably find out where else they’ve visited. I suppose this is the virtual method of asking for recommendations.

Book Flights and Accommodation

Both flights and accommodation will be cheaper if you can be slightly flexible with dates. I would say try and avoid any school holidays but easier said than done as school holiday timetables vary all over the world.

Be flexible with flight times and you’ll probably find that those painful 4am starts or equally painful midnight take-offs are half the price of more human hours. If you can travel with only hand luggage and you’ll save yourself time and money.

When it comes to booking accommodation there are plenty of deals to be found. Look at Booking.com and Airbnb for some good rates and remember to share codes with other travellers on Booking.com for both discounts and cash back.

Tips to book cheap flights

Find Travel Insurance

When it comes to travel insurance a comparison website is going to come in very handy. Find something with the coverage you want and remember it can often be cheaper to go for annual cover than paying out per trip.

Work out Local Transport

Are you planning on renting a car? Are there convenient bus routes to take? It’s surprising the number of places where Uber has taken off as well. These are all things to consider and of course are going to have an impact on things like budgets and timings. Local transport is always going to be cheapest but is it going to take hours and throw you off course? Do some research and make the best decisions for you and your trip.

What to Pack

Holiday packing again has so many variables but there’s some essentials you’re always going to need. Read my post here for the ins and outs of packing.

I do, however, have two top tips for holiday packing. The first is to roll your clothes instead of fold them. This saves space and clothes don’t tend to crease as much. The second is to invest in packing cubes. These can be found really cheap on Amazon or eBay and can be used to separate out your clothing, making it easy to pack and repack as you travel.

Wondering how to plan a trip? Not any more!

Hopefully these few tips will put you on the straight and narrow when wondering how to plan a trip. Any questions? Drop me a comment.