Once you have sorted out all the documents, cards and vaccines you can concentrate on travel planning, which is usually the most pleasant part. Ask yourself these questions: what kind of holiday would you like? What is your budget? Do you have flexible dates? Do you want to be more than just an average tourist?
What is travel planning?
It simply answers all those questions above! If you are not sure about the answers, the following points may help you decide. Take your time end enjoy it: indeed, to await a pleasure, is itself a pleasure, isn’t it?
So take your favourite guide, check our website and start to think about what you want to do with your time on vacation.
Here are the steps you should follow to plan a perfect travel or holiday.
What kind of holiday you want to have
That’s the most important question for you to answer. Animals, nature, cities, culture or beach: whatever you like the most, you already know what it is. Every travel, every country is different, so make sure you choose the right one. In order to do that, internet and travel guides will help you a lot.
You should do a list for yourself, writing down what kind of experience you expect from your holiday. If you haven’t made up your mind, simply open Google Maps and start searching!
Let’s say you want to lie on the beach for the most of your time, but find a day or two for sightseeing as well. Then open Google Maps first and google all the countries you are thinking about. Write down several places that meet your needs and that you would like to visit. In this case, you could easily write down these ones: Italy, Greece, Turkey, Spain, Mexico, Thailand, and the list could be ten times longer.
This first step leads us to the next one, a pillar of every travel planning.
When you want to go
If you work for a big company, you should not have any problems planning your vacation for whenever you want to go. If you are self-employed, it’s even easier!
After you have done the “list of countries”, it’s time to consider the best season for going there. Again, googling is the answer. If we continue with the example above, you should visit those countries during the following months:
- Italy, Greece,Turkey and Spain: from June to the beginning of October;
- Mexico: from late March to May;
- Thailand: from December to May.
Now, these places altogether are visitable during a period that covers more or less 9 months. Depending on when you can travel, you see that the choices are unlimited!
What is your budget
Your financial situation is obviously one of the most important things to consider when travel planning. Let’s be honest: our travel budget is often lower than our desire to travel. Fortunately, there are many ways to save money before and while travelling, so don’t despair.
Low budget travellers are becoming very important for tourism and their possibilities are not limited anymore. However, some of us like it comfortable and become big big spenders when on holiday. Anyone with the same problem?
Well, there is a solution for you as well. In a few steps you can evaluate your expenses during your travel and understand how you can possibly cut them.
We prepared an Excel worksheet, which helps us predict how much we need for our travels. It’s easy, and if the data you insert are accurate, it can be really helpful. If you book your accommodation in advance, you already know the prices; if you prefer not to book anything, check out some prices on Booking, in order to know what to expect. You can also check out local prices of food and transportation in advance on this website. It’s pretty reliable!
If you want to download and use the Worksheet for free, you will find it here.
When to buy flights tickets
There is no travel planning without buying flights ticket, right? This topic is so discussed everywhere that we want to give you our humble opinion as well!
It’s good to understand the difference between low-cost airlines from the standard ones, and from continental and inter-continental flights.
- Low-cost and continental flights: they usually go together. Excluding the exceptions (like Christmas, Easter, and so on), we always find the best prices about 3 months before the travel date. It’s not a rule, just our experience.
- Standard airlines and intercontinental flights: in this case, you better buy the tickets in advance. We always try to buy them from 5 to 6 months in advance. We always save tons of money: for example, we bought tickets in September for a travel in February. When we checked the price of the same tickets in December, it was 50% higher than in September.
Of course, you can find also last-minute flights that are really cheap. Check out our travel resources page to discover where to search for them!
Some general tips in order to know when to buy a low-cost flight ticket:
- When searching for a flight, use an incognito window. In this way, airlines will not recognize you, and you can search the same flight every time you want. If not, it may happen that the price will be higher for you after the first research, because that means that you are interested in it. Diabolic, isn’t it?
- Buy your tickets during the week, preferably on Wednesday or Thursday after working hours. Avoid the weekends, when the prices are higher.
- If you need to buy more than 1 ticket, it is often better to buy them one by one. Try to avoid buying a lot of tickets together: for example, when purchasing a lot of tickets, Ryanair checks and applies the highest fare possible, depending on the number of tickets that are still available.
How to move around
Flight tickets, cars and taxis can easily become the most expensive part of your trip. Travel planning also includes understanding how you want to move around while being at your destination.
Usually, the cheapest way is public transport, which can be a little uncomfortable for someone, and maybe dangerous in some countries. However, we don’t have any negative experience and we are convinced that using public transport can be a great way to get closer to the locals and their culture.
For those with a larger budget, renting a car or a scooter can be the most convenient way to move around. We love to drive around in a new place, because it allows you to discover less touristic spots and visit rural areas as well. Again, it might be difficult to drive in some countries if you are not used to the local “rules”. While it’s great to ride a scooter on a semi-deserted tropical island, it would be at least “challenging” to do so in the center of Hanoi. So, clear this topic in advance.
In some countries internal flights are so cheap and well-organized that you should really consider them as an option. They will also make you save some time, but our advice is not to abuse them: flying around all the time will not allow you to see the real soul of the country and its people.
Where you want to stay
We could say that when it comes to accomodation you have infinite possibilities. You can become a couchsurfer and sleep on someone’s couch for free, or book a room in a 5-star hotel. In our opinion, once in a while you should try something new and we recommend a few websites which offer alternative accomodation and most of them will save you a considerable amount of money. Check them out, because travel planning goes great with our Travel Resources page!
Now, the main question regarding the accommodation is: do you need to book in advance? It is up to you and only you! Basically it depends on how many days you have and in which period you are travelling. If you don’t have many days and you are travelling during the high season, you better book your accommodation in advance. If you travel for months, without a plan or a schedule, you should book something for the first few nights, and then you can consider what to do day by day.
Did you find this content useful? If yes, please feel free to share the page with your friends!
Do you need information? Do you want to consult us about your travel planning? Subscribe now to our website and send us an email, we will try to get back to you with advice, sharing our knowledge!