Top 6 Trip Planning Tips: Getting Things Started

So you want to go on a trip, now what? Where do you start? It can be a little overwhelming when you’ve got itchy feet but have no idea where to start. Well, have no fear! This post is going to be jam-packed with my tride and true planning tips and give you the inside on how I plan my adventures.

  • Decide what kind of adventure you are having and where to go 

Yes, this is an obvious. But when you want to go everywhere it can be a little hard to narrow down where you want to conquer next. One night, I sat down and literally wrote down everywhere I want to travel to in the world. Let me tell you, it’s a long list. Sit down and really think of what is realistic for you. Do you have 2 weeks, or do you have 3 months? What do your finances look like? How much do you think you can realistically save for your trip? Do you want to relax on a beach? or do you want to explore and seek out an adrenaline rush? Do you want to stay in one place or hop from city to city? Sitting down and truly self-reflecting what you want from your next adventure is in my opinion the best place to start.

  • Look at a map 

Currently I’m planning a trip to Europe for 2 months come June and the first thing I did was grab my handy dandy travel list and look up a map of Europe. I jotted down a tentative route based on the bordering countries on the map and the countries I jotted down on my list. Writing down this tentative route (if you are visiting a variety of countries or cities) will help you to be able to refer to it when you are deciding how much time to spend in each place and potential options for transportation. For deciding where to start my route, I tend to pick a starting point based on the shortest flight or the cheapest way to that country/area of the world.

  • Make a budget 

Making a budget is super important. Look at your bank account, salary and your daily expenses to decide how much you can put away. Making a budget also goes hand in hand with deciding what kind of adventure you want. Do you want a luxury vacation or are you going to hit up hostels and backpack? Once you make a budget, you can dive into the next step.

  • Research the countries you will be visiting 

Research, research, research. Look up the general costs of accommodation, transportation between locations and tourist attractions/activities you’d like to see. This will be able to help you decide what actually fits in your budget and revitalize your travel list and tentative route. I do a lot of my research via travel blogs, usually finding them on Pinterest. I also really love guidebooks such as Lonely Planet AND one of the first travel blogs I encountered when I started travelling: Nomadic Matt. I’ve found some other great posts and blogs along the way. But ultimately, research the shiznit out of where you are going. You will not regret it and will know generally what to expect.

Above mentioned resources:
Nomadic Matt
Lonely Planet (I’m using this book for my trip planning right now)
Check out my travel Pinterest board here or see all of my boards here

I acknowledge there are sooo many incredible resources out there and I will say these are not the only websites and resources I use.

  • Book your flight

Booking your flight to your next adventure is so exhilarating. The process itself can be a little daunting however. The balance of finding a reasonably priced flight without having 700 layovers and spending days travelling is quite exhausting. My best advice is to keep looking back. There are incredible apps like Hopper to monitor flight prices for you and Skyscanner (this is my favourite website) to seek out the best deals. As well, USE INCOGNITO MODE (if you have a MacBook, I’m not sure if PC or other softwares have this, let me know!) I literally watched the price of the cruise my mom and I went on climb by $200 by checking back frequently and forgetting to clear my cookies. If you don’t have incognito mode or private mode, make sure you clear your computer cookies before searching up for prices.

  • When you’re ready… PLAN YOUR TRIP!

This is the most exciting part of the planning process: putting it all together. Combining your budget and research together and making concrete plans. This is my favourite part of the process. After booking my flight, I book my adventure in this order: transportation between locations, accommodation and activities. I’m simultaneously a planner and a floater… I like to know generally where I will be, but I don’t necessarily plan my days abroad down to a tee. Here are two ah-maaazing websites to help you book and plan your adventure: RoutePerfect and Rome2Rio 

Make sure to check out one of my previous posts on my MUST HAVE Travel Apps to help you along your planning journey here

Now you tell me travellers and humans of the internet, what are your best tips for planning your getaways and adventures? Don’t be afraid to comment below or reach out to me!

I hope that this was helpful to some of you!

Keep Travelling, xo

Jo

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