Ok, everyone who knows me knows this: I am bad at planning ahead. I love not knowing where I will be two weeks from now. So planning my travels months in advance just doesn’t work for me.
I often still have to book hotels, flights or rental cars just weeks or occasionally even days before I travel. And yes, that does cause stress sometimes! That is, until I finally sit down and plan everything I feel I need to plan before I take off on my next adventure.
But no matter when you decide to start planning your trip and no matter what type of traveler you are, every trip requires some form of planning. The planning will determine how successful the journey is, but it can also be the most challenging and stressful part of your travels.
If you have a trip coming up and you are responsible for creating a plan, here are a few handy tips.
How to Make Travel Planning Easier
1. Create a Virtual Meeting Place
Set up a Facebook event, a WhatsApp group or any virtual meeting place for the people you are traveling with.
This will allow you to easily discuss and plan for the trip without having to arrange to meet-up in person. Make sure that the virtual meeting place is solely used for discussing the trip and encourage every member to get involved.
Initially, use this space to discuss the destination, the budget and the dates. Then start focusing on the details such as which flights to book, whether to book a hotel or an Airbnb, whether to rent a car or not, etc.
Travel planning can be much easier when members of the group each have a job to complete.
Therefore consider delegating aspects such as accommodation, activities, and food to other members. This also helps people to get in the right mindset for traveling.
Make sure that they are relaying this information in the virtual meeting space so that a logical itinerary is produced.
Although delegating can be easier, be sure to supervise and be proactive in each area.
3. Compare Everything
Check the price on individual vendor’s websites to ensure that you are getting the best deal or use a comparison website such as Skyscanner.
Use this for flights and hotels and always check if it is cheaper to book on the vendor’s website (or call them up to see if there are any unadvertised savings).
I recommend using Get Your Guide for activities.
4. Look Into Travel Services
Consider using a professional service to book and manage all your travel in one place.
Specialist companies can arrange all the bookings for a trip to take all of the stress out of planning. Often, this is a good way to find the lowest prices too.
5. Make Sure You Have Travel Insurance!
I ended up in an Indonesian hospital once after I got dengue fever in Bali.
I can tell you, that wasn’t a great experience! And the last thing you want is to have issues with your health insurance when you feel that ill.
Thankfully I always make sure that my travel insurance covers me in the countries I am visiting and for the entire duration of my trip – some insurances don’t cover long term travel.
And of course, I hope nothing as serious as dengue fever happens to you. But if you travel enough you’ll very likely miss a flight at some point, lose some luggage or have something stolen. All of that has happened to me too and every time my insurance helped me out.
Which travel insurance is best for you depends largely on where you are from. Therefore check in your home country what travel insurance is available.
Note: if you are planning to do some extreme sports while traveling (ie: scuba diving, skiing, paragliding, etc.) then do make sure your travel insurance covers this too and if not, get additional insurance for this.
Plan Your Trip and Enjoy!
Travel planning can be a real headache, but it is also the key to a successful trip.
Yes, I believe in spontaneous trips and not sticking to a set itinerary all the time. But I have also missed out on some incredible places and experiences because I did not plan anything or did not do enough research.
On several occasions I hardly knew anything about my destination until after I arrived. I have often run out of time to do the things I wanted to do or I simply found out about cool spots to visit and things to do too late…
I hope my tips will help you to plan your next trip and I promise I will do my best to follow them myself to prevent some of the last minute travel stress I have had to deal with too often! 😊
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