Here's a Checklist on How to Plan a Trip in 14 Steps:
- Choose a Destination
- Decide on the Trip Duration
- Plan When to Take the Trip
- Decide Who your Travel Buddies are or if you want to Fly Solo
- Draw out a Budget Plan
- Book your Flights
- Apply for Visa if you’re going to a Foreign Destination
- Decide on Your Stay
- Look for Precautionary Measures
- Make the Perfect Itinerary
- Notify Your Credit Card Company that You’re Travelling
- Buy Travel Insurance
- Get Packing and Keep it Smart
- And Off you Go!
1. Choose a DestinationBe more specific on your travel destination here. Saying you want a trip to America or a trip to Europe won’t cut it. Narrow down on your destinations, choose Paris or Los Angeles instead. Also, would you prefer a nature trip to the jungles of Kenya, a glamourous trip to the stunning Paris, a backpacking trip to the culturally rich Vietnam? This sets a more realistic approach to the trip. After choosing the destination, keep in mind the details of it -
- Places to visit in a said destination with other activities
- Study the climate and the best time to visit the place
- How to reach the destination. Whether there’s a direct flight from your city, or you’d have to make a few stops and layovers (this will help in planning the duration of the trip and how many days/hours go in the commute)
2. Decide on the Trip DurationThis is the essential soup of the trip. There are 3 elements to deciding this:
- How many leaves can you take? This depends on how many days of leave you can BEG for from your workplace too.
- Based on Costs: Deciding on the duration will put the costs and itinerary in place.
- Ideal Destination Travel Duration: To see or explore a destination properly, you would require a certain amount of days. For example, you’d need 10 days to backpack across Vietnam and experience it all. And 3 days to see only Dubai, so spending 7 days in Dubai won’t make much sense.
3. Plan When to Take the TripNow that you know where to go and how many days you’ll be visiting the place, you need to do some research regarding the best time to visit the place. Weather conditions have a huge impact on your trip. Make sure you research ‘Best time to Visit (destination) on your search engines so that you get the best months. This way, you can avoid rains, harsh weather and more unfavourable conditions when visiting.
But….if you’re looking for cheaper flights and hotels and can withstand any terrible weather conditions, you can look to visit during the offseason. This depends on your budget after all.
Pro tip: Make sure you plan and book your flights and hotels much in advance so you get the best and cheapest deals on them.
4. Decide Who your Travel Buddies are or if you want to Fly SoloThis determines the essence of the trip; whether you want an exciting trip with your best friends, a peaceful trip with the family, a romantic getaway with your partner or just by yourself, a solo trip to explore at your own pace. Also, you get an idea of the budgets when this is decided.
Trip perks for various types:Group Trips:
- Costs would be divided by the number of travellers
- Get better deals on flights when booking many flight tickets at a time
- Would bring down your overall budget
- You get help in planning the trip (this is nothing like the dreaded group project in college so teamwork is much more fun when planning a trip! )
- Never a dull moment with your best friends!
- Explore at your own pace
- You have the options of exploring the best hostels and you also get to meet like-minded solo travellers!
- You have the luxury of flexibility in plans. Don’t want to see the Eiffel Tower? Why not? No one’s stopping you :)
- You can make an indefinite backpacking trip too!
5. Draw Out a Budget PlanNow that we got all the major factors in play, make a budget for the trip. Look at the flights around that time, the hotel prices and you get a preliminary idea of all the prebooking costs. Take out a notebook, jot down the various elements and their costs so you get a whole image of the trip financially and if any saving is needed.
Things to Consider When Planning a Trip Budget
- Flight prices at cheaper dates
- Visa charges
- Hotel prices and availability
- Commuting costs within the city
- Travel costs between destinations if the trip has multiple places in the itinerary
- Cost of each meal in the city
- Keep a decent sum for shopping and backup costs
6. Book your FlightsVisit Skyscanner and look for the exact date around the time you wish to travel. This should be the first step in booking as it allows you to get the best flights at cheaper rates. Check for the credit cards that offer the best deals on flight bookings.
7. Apply for Visa if you’re Going to a Foreign DestinationOne of the most important things when visiting another country is its visa policies. Some countries don’t need a visa based on the nationality you are. So keep a check on that. The destination will have its official government website and it’s recommended that you get started on this right away. First, check for the requirements needed and what you’d have to submit. Then the Visa charges and processing fees. Thankfully all visa processes are online and are hassle-free.
8. Decide on Your StayBefore booking your stays, decide on what kind of place you want keeping in mind the hygiene processes at the stay. And travellers have the luxury of choosing across various types like hotels, cosy Airbnbs, Couchsurfing, backpacker hostels, homestays, beautiful resorts or booking homes or villas if you’re a large group.
After deciding on this, you book your stay through the various portals like Holidify, Booking.com, Airbnb and more.
Pro tip: When booking, look at the distance and the location of the stay. This helps in creating convenience when commuting to and from your stay to various attractions.
9. Look for Precautionary MeasuresBeing in a new city and country will be a little alien to you. So it is good to learn more about the city.
- Are any vaccinations one needs to take before visiting.
- How conservative are the locals
- If you’re a vegetarian or a vegan, does the city have food that’ll cater to it? Find all the restaurants available. If not, you can book an Airbnb and cook your own meals!
- How safe is the country? Are there pickpockets, are there scams that you should be vary of, how trustworthy are the rentals and other vendors there and other safety measures which can be found when reading forums.
- Be a good tourist and don’t litter and treat the other country like it were your own.
10. Make the Perfect ItineraryAnother cross-check with the budget, the trip has to be planned to the very cab ride you take from the restaurant to the attraction. This helps in budgeting the trip better and leaves no room for you to laze around when on the trip. This also helps in assuring that you don’t miss any attractions or activities when in the city. It’s better to not have any regrets once you come back, right?
You can make your very own itinerary here on Holidify.
11. Notify Your Credit Card Company that You’re TravellingThis is an important step as it prevents the transactions you make abroad look fraudulent. Hence, your card NOT being blocked.
12. Buy Travel InsuranceTravel insurance is like a safety cushion when anything goes wrong in your travels. Be it being scammed or robbed, expensive equipment breaking or any other inconvenience, you will be less worried if you have travel insurance.
13. Get Packing and Keep it Smart!This is important as you need to first know how much the weight limit on luggage is at the airport. Accordingly, pack only what’s necessary and avoid carrying heavy equipment and appliances like hairdryers, etc. And for your toiletries, find travel sizes of the same products so they fit nice and snug. Keep in hand all the medicines and their prescriptions, a first aid kit and other emergency supplies.
Pro tip: Purchase luggage cubes so your things are nice and organised.