Surely, travel is a great stress buster. It is simply exciting, is it not? To be able to be in a foreign land, away from all of your commitments and responsibilities for a bit; away from the life as you know it. I often come home afterward feeling like a brand new person and feeling incredibly inspired to create new things or achieve new goals. But when it comes to planning the trip, my oh my, I can feel my hair gradually thinning… And yet, it is the part and parcel of wanting to do the best you can so that your trip could go on swimmingly.
I am not much of an adventurous person, you see. While I personally know a person or two who would just drop everything, get a ticket to somewhere and get there with absolutely no plans or some sort but with a bag of suitcase. They would meet new people and sleep on someone else’s couch and I find these people to be rather courageous, to say the least but this kind of traveling is just not for me. And if you are paranoid as I am, here are some tips that I hope could benefit you when planning for your trip.
CREATE A PRIORITY LIST
Planning can be overwhelming. Flight, transportation, accommodation, where do I even begin?!? By having this ‘priority list’, it helps me focus one thing at a time without hurting my brain so much.
Establish your budget
planning your trip, you need to establish your budget as early as possible. We
all want to spend two weeks in Switzerland but how many of us can actually
afford that? By having a budget, you are able to decide on where you want to
go, how long you are going for and when you should be going. Summer season is
the worst time to go and if you are on a budget, you should go in the off
season. This way, you are able to save some money from spending too much on the
airfare, accommodation, entrance fees, etc.
Research on ‘things to do’
Before booking for anything, I love to find all sorts of information I could find on the places that I intend to go. What does the city have to offer? What are the most interesting things that I can do when I am there? Recently, as i was scrolling through my instagram feed i would save some of the pictures from travel bloggers just to get a rough idea of where i really want to visit when i am there. I would jot down all of these information on a piece of paper or Excel and this way, you could decide on the duration of your stay for each place. How many days you should be allocating for this place? If the city is so interesting, stay longer if it is not, shorten your trip or add another day to the place you realllllyyyy want to go.
Create a rough itinerary
is the challenging part but it can be fun! When you have established your
budget, and how many nights you would like to spend in those places, and things
to do, get a rough figure for the accommodations as well as the transportation.
If the accommodation is costing you so much, you could consider shortening your
trip. When you have included everything and get the full figure for your trip,
it is time for you to book!
Book the flight
airfare is often the most expensive part of the trip, it makes sense to book
the flight first before anything else. This way, you could secure your dates before
booking your accommodation. Check Skyscanner to see cheaper options. I like to
book a night flight so that I could sleep in the plane and beat the jetlag. And
I prefer to arrive in the morning (local time) because I don’t like the idea of
paying for the accommodation full price and checking in so late.
Book the accommodations
In my case, you would find me on Airbnb or booking.com most of the time but I am more inclined towards Airbnb when it comes to Europe or Bali. You’ll be amazed by the places you can find for a fracture of the price you ought to spend for a hotel. I often filter my findings by making sure that the accommodation has the perfect location (if not, it is situated near a train station or bus station etc). While some prefer to be in an isolated place for some reason, just to get the ‘local feel’, I prefer to stay in the midst of the city center instead of having to spend more on transportation just to get to the attractions. I prefer checking the ‘super host’ option because I wouldn’t want to deal with unexperienced hosts and if you are travelling when it is hot or when it is cold, make sure you check the ‘heater/air-conditioning’ option. If you are or with someone who is not physically able to climb flights and flights of stairs, make sure you check the ‘elevator’ option because that is unfortunately, a somewhat luxury in European buildings. If you are looking to save money, find the ones with kitchenette so you do not have to eat out all the time.
sure you read all of their reviews
before confirming on anything!! It takes a lot of work but at least they can help
you paint a greater picture of what is awaiting you. Whether the host is a
douchebag, whether the place is situated in a dodgy area, whether the bathroom
is smelly etc. I find all of these to be extremely crucial when planning especially
if you are traveling alone or with your loved ones because you wouldn’t want your
getaway to be stressful because of the things that you could have avoided. Lastly,
I prefer to book the ones that are not
so strict with their cancellations because who knows if you could find a
better accommodation later on. Laughs in
Book the transportation
you have booked the flight and places, you can now book the transportation. Make
sure you do your research thoroughly especially when you are travelling to
Europe. You will be surprised to unravel the hidden costs such as luggage fees,
seating fees, breathing fees etc. If I had not done my research, I would have
not known these things. Find out if there are passes that could save you some
money. Find out the alternatives. Whether it is better for you to hire a car,
or get an Uber or a bus or a domestic flight or a train or by kayak etc. More
work for you but hey, it’s worth it! Make sure you print all of your tickets
Plan your outfit
Not that it truly matters but I love planning my outfit when I travel. Which is why I love researching on the things to do so that I could mix and match the colours or fabric with my surroundings.
Now that you are only a few days away, this is another least fun part for me. I wish I could bring my whole house if I could along with my cat but unfortunately, I can’t and traveling to certain places in Europe for example would not be convenient for big suitcases. This is a struggle for me and I don’t think I am allowed to give any form of advice on ‘packing’. Mom hates me for this.
“Are you moving out from the house? We are only going away for two days.”
“First of all mom, I am a wooo-man.”
Since i have a trip coming up, i guess i am going to make this as a challenge. Let’s see if i could fit 2 weeks of outfits into a small bag. Sigh….
Lastly, prepare your important documents, your booking confirmations and you are good to go!!
And most importantly, have a joyous time! Learn a thing or two and keep an open mind and remember to stay safe always.