How to Plan Your Travels

Going travelling, whether to one place or to many, can be a little daunting. There’s so much to do in planning and preparing for the trip, from deciding where and what, to how and when. Here are seven key steps to planning your perfect trip:

 

1.    Choose where

The most important one; deciding where you’re going is the most exciting and the most important part. If you’re anything like most millennials out there, you will already have a list of all the places you want to visit, so it’s just a matter of picking one. 

2.    Do your research!

If you’re not sure where to go, then it’s time to do some research. The options for travel are endless: a city break, a beach getaway, a road trip, culture, history, architecture, nature and stunning landscapes – you can do anything.

Even if you do have a location in mind, it’s a good idea to do a bit of research to find out what there is to do. The world of blogging is a fantastic tool to help you get a feel of a place and to hear other people’s experiences. If trusty Google doesn’t help, then you could also get in contact with a local travel agent.

 

3.    When

This will probably be largely predetermined by your own availability and work/holidays. If you have the luxury to choose however, it is a good idea to consider the seasonal climate of where you are heading and also other tourists. If you can avoid peak season when travelling to popular destinations it will not only be a better experience, but you’ll also probably save some money on hotels and trips.

 

4.    City logistics

Before you book any accommodation, find out how the city works. If you’re in a big city you will want to stay somewhere that has easy access to the main transport networks to make it easier to get around and see the sights. Similarly, it is important to work out where the safest, prettiest, and most interesting areas of the city are before you make a decision.

Staying in a residential district on the edge of the city might be better for safety, but being a long way from the best bars, restaurants, and tourist attractions will be annoying and inconvenient.

 

5.    Where to stay

Having established where the best place to stay is, it’s now time to decide how to stay. Travelling solo on a budget or over a long period of time means that the days of classy hotels with your parents are sadly over (for now).

Thankfully, there are many affordable and easy ways to stay all over the world; hostels are great for lone travellers who want to meet other people as they go and Airbnb is another safe and often very affordable option. They give you the option of staying in a private room by yourself, a shared room, or even renting out a small flat or house for a few days if you are a group or want a little more space.

When backpacking, it isn’t always possible to book months ahead as who knows where you’ll be or when, but it is best to at least do some research as to what is available before you arrive. If possible, try and book a few days in advance at least for peace of mind and the off-chance that many places are full when you get there.

6.    Touristing and Sightseeing

You should by now know what there is to see and do in the city. Keep in mind that some tourist attractions require booking in advance and can get very busy very quickly. It’s also worth making a note of potential expenses to make sure that you don’t run out of money and don’t miss out on something you had been looking forward to. 

Similarly, keep in mind tourist visa requirements for foreign countries – upon entering a foreign country you are likely to be asked for the address where you’re staying, how long you're staying for, what you’re doing, and ‘proof’ that you're leaving again. In most cases, border controls will accept you without fuss if you are staying for a few weeks or less. In cases of longer stays, you will likely have to show a travel ticket to prove that you really are leaving the country.

 

7.    Get excited

With everything booked and planned, there’s not much left to do except look forward to the trip. Maybe treat yourself to a little travel retail to get those all-important outfits that will make your photos perfect for Instagram, and don’t forget the miracle that is the neck pillow for long flights and bus journeys.