Travel Planning is not for everyone, and not planning your trip doesn’t necessarily mean it won’t be amazing. However, if you, like me, like to have things planned out, then you might find this post relatable and/or helpful. I detail the various stages of travel planning, with useful tools and tips to help you go along the way.
Stage 1 : Getting Travel Inspiration from everywhere
Most of my travel inspiration comes from Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Conde Nast Traveler magazine, Other Blogs, books, the Internet, TV shows, Chrome cast default pictures, amazing restaurants and pretty much everything in life!
Stage 2 : Creating wistful Travel Dream Boards on Pinterest
Yes we’ve all been there, and even if you haven’t, you will after you read my Pinterest for Travel Planning post!
Disclaimer : Cautionary word if you subscribe to Scott’s Cheap Flight’s email, wanderlust can get very addictive!
Stage 4 : Figuring out visas if you have an unfortunate passport (like my Indian one)
Start doing this as soon as you book flights, because visas can take forever to get during peak seasons. You don’t want to cancel your plans just because you delayed getting a visa.
Tip : If you book your flights in the US, you usually have 24 hours to cancel for a full refund. Take advantage of this time to look up visa requirements and how long it will take to get a visa.
Stage 5 : Scrounging up Vacation or the premise of one
Most American companies only offer three weeks (that’s 15 days) of vacation a year, unless you’ve shown your undying loyalty to them by being there five or more years. Then you might get 20 whole days of vacation a year!
Stage 6 : Researching the perfect accommodation
Don’t fool yourself into thinking that it’s not important where you sleep as long as you are at the destination you want to be. Convenience, safety and comfort are much more important than you think, so choose wisely.
Stage 7 : Asking for recommendations for the destination from your FB friends (aka humble bragging about your upcoming trip)
These recommendations can honestly be much more useful than Trip Advisor, because your friends are (probably) more like you and enjoy similar things. Trust their word over a random person’s on Trip Advisor or similar review sites.
Stage 8 : Collecting all the information you have about what to see, where to eat etc. on Google My Maps, downloading offline maps, and creating a Google folder with all your travel documents
Stage 9 : Creating a detailed (here the extent of detail truly depends on the trip, number of people and your own personality) itinerary on a shared Google Sheet.
I like to plan out roughly what I want to achieve each day, and at least list my MUST-DOs. That way, I don’t come home disappointed, but leave enough time for the real joys in traveling – serendipitous meetings and chance discoveries.
Stage 10 : Frantically making a list of what you need to pack for your trip that’s coming up in less than 24 hours.
I always make a list – it is definitely helps me from forgetting things I would otherwise be bound to forget, like my toothbrush or my phone charger.
Leave a comment if you’d like help with packing lists? I feel like there are so many packing tips articles and videos out there, that I don’t know if I’d really add much value. But if you want to see my lists, I’ll definitely share them!
And viola! Your bags are packed, your plans are laid and you are ready for your trip! At this exciting moment, please double check that you have your passport (or an ID for travel within the country), a confirmation number for your flights and screen shots of your hotel booking.
Now, off you go! Happy Travels!