Planning a long trip can be a daunting task. It’s quite easy to get overwhelmed in the beginning, especially when you haven’t planned such a trip before. Planning appropriately will ensure that you and your family or friends enjoy a hassle-free trip.

Try following these easy but detailed steps to ensure you enjoy every bit of your journey:

WRITE DOWN A CHECKLIST

Writing down every thing you need on your journey is as important as the journey itself, you do not want to travel to your destination and realize you forgot vital documents/belongings at home, it can be really annoying. So do yourself a favor by writing in detail everything you need for your trip. If you forget something, try surfing the internet, asking people around you or just sit down and brainstorm carefully.

 

DECIDE YOUR DESTINATION

Knowing exactly where you are travelling to, is the first step towards planning a easy trip. It gives you a definite goal, your trip becomes more concrete for you and easier to commit to. Try to narrow down your destination e.g don’t just pick Australia as your destination, its a big country with different territories. Try narrowing it down to probably Melbourne or Sydney. Be specific so you don’t get confused. Try to also check the weather and climate conditions.

 

DECIDE THE LENGTH OF YOUR TRIP

Be sure to know how long you are willing to stay there, because your accommodation and food expenses will depend on this factor e.g 3 nights 4 days or a week long trip.

 

PREPARE AN ITINERARY

Write down how you want your trip to go, by preparing things you want to do and places you want to see e.g Museum, beach, restaurants, shopping mall etc. You should have an idea of things of interest you want to do. Group the common ones together and spread them in to the number of days you want to spend so you do not get too tired some days and bored other days. Include how you’re going to get around. Does your itinerary involve cab rides? Using the subway?  If you are taking public transportation, make sure you know how that’s done wherever you’re going.

 

RESEARCH THE COST

So you know where you are going and how long you will be there, but to really nail down how much money you need, your next task is to research the total expense of your destination. How much are hostels, hotels, restaurants, and attractions? Knowing will allow you to estimate how much money you will need for your trip. Try to assess all the cost and overestimate everything so you don’t shortchange yourself. Put a price tag on your itinerary for example room rate, flight ticket, attraction fees, shopping expenses, food cost etc.

START SAVING

If you don’t have the money on ground to cover all your expenses then save towards it. If you need to assess areas where you are over-spending, then try cutting down costs like the habit of eating out, unnecessary shopping etc. Another way to save is to look for cheap deals on flight, hotel and even supposed attractions you would be visiting. Try to book early that is a sure way of getting great early bird discounts. You can also check if your bank has discount partnerships with Airline or Hotels.

CHECK FOR IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS

Some countries require a visa to enter and exit the country. Does where you’re going require one? If so, do this as soon as possible. Keep your passport, travel documents, visas, and similar items in a safe pouch. You may want to make copies too, and keep them in a safe place. It will make it so much easier to replace anything that you lost.

 

BEGIN BOOKING

If you are sure you have a reasonable amount of money to make reservations for your trip, then go ahead to book your seat, reserve your hotel accommodation and other attractions(Many attractions have ticket sales online where you can skip the lines and go right in) ahead of your travel. Don’t wait till the last minute, you don’t want them to be booked or almost booked (because by then prices will  skyrocket). For the best deals, book your flight about two months in advance.

 

CONSIDER TRAVEL INSURANCE

While you may not want to pay premium rates for something that might not happen, you should nevertheless have some protection in case you could not travel during the time your tickets are booked for. Check my post on Importance of Travel Insurance.Only you know if you are one of those people that changes their mind often, or often does re-scheduling – or if you are one of these people that will fly out in a hurricane, no matter what. Try using a travel guard to ensure a smooth travel.

 

PACK LIGHT

No one has ever said to themselves while on vacation, “I’m so glad I practically packed my entire closet.” Leave space for shopping and buying souvenirs. Moreover, traveling with lots of luggage restricts your movement and causes discomfort. Pack only the necessities. Regardless of how long your trip is,  few basic shirts and a few basic pants, shorts or a skirt, and a couple pairs of shoes will do the job. You can then mix and match as necessary. Roll your clothes when packing, this will save you a ton of room and mean you can buy extra during your trip.

GO!

Itinerary? Check. Passport and documents? Check. Reservations for practically everything? Check. Now all that’s left to do is get going and enjoy yourself. This is the easy part. Now it’s time to relax. Don’t keep sharp objects in your hand luggage. Security has been greatly beefed up, and your luggage may be checked. Traveling can be hectic. If traveling to a new place, make sure you keep medication (especially for children). Keep your documents and precious possessions safe.

Try and avoid these 5 frustrating mistakes when planning a trip

 

 

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