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How to Plan a Trip: Your Step-by-Step Travel Planner

by Louise W. Rice

Planning for a dream vacation can feel overwhelming. How do I pick a travel destination? What are the things I should consider before traveling? How do I find and book suitable accommodation? These are some questions you may have at the back of your mind.

And while we would do our best to answer them, a lot of them will require further research on your part. Read on to see our step-to-step guide while you plan your travels.

Pick Your Travel Destination

The first step in planning your travel is picking a destination. Saying to yourself, “I’m traveling to Africa” or, “I’m traveling to the Middle East,” doesn’t specify a particular location. While having a vague idea is a good start, you can also ask yourself some simple questions to help you narrow down your options. 

What is the purpose of the travel? Do I like the city or the countryside? Do I want to be highly active, or do I want to relax? If you are going with a group, maybe with family or friends. You can all sit down and ask what each person wants? 

Understanding why you want to travel is paramount to you enjoying your trip. If in a group with your family and friends, finding out their purpose helps to spice up the trip and makes it enjoyable. Get their views on what they want to experience and come to a compromise so everyone can have something they are looking forward to seeing or doing. 

Make Your Findings of Your Destination

So you have narrowed down your option and picked a country or a group of countries you want to visit on this trip. The next thing to do is check with travel advisors and your country’s travel guide on that country or group of countries. 

The travel advisors will provide you with the necessary information for the country. Some of this information includes;

  • The entry and exit requirements of the country.
  • The security of the country.
  • Political climate.
  • If you need a visa to gain access to the country.
  • The laws of the place.
  • The offseason and on season destinations for tourist
  • The local culture and how they act towards tourist
  • COVID-19 vaccination protocol

Getting hold of this information will help you decide if your choice is an eventual destination or you have to pick a new location.

Booking Your Flight For The Trip

booking your flight for the trip

Booking your flight can be tricky. It’s about finding good deals on the date you intend to travel. While you can do your research online, there is also the option of getting a tourism specialist who can help you with your bookings. The specialist will also guide you through other processes, so it’s worth the investment.

But let’s assume you are the DIY (do it yourself) type and still want to book your flight yourself. You can google websites that offer cheap flights and go through them. It isn’t a complex task, but it can be time-consuming, and you have no reference point for some of these flights except for what they say on their websites.

Overall, I say play it safe, but then again, if you have a sense of adventure, then go for it.

Secure a Travel Insurance

If you are traveling, this is one of the most important things to do. You must have travel insurance. What would you do if you suddenly find yourself in the hospital because you fell sick or got injured and they’re ready to charge the hell out of you, or you experience a climate disaster that leaves you with little or nothing? Or What if your luggage and passport get stolen?

Travel insurance helps you to get by in unexpected or unplanned circumstances. If you are struggling to find one, you can use the special search tool on SignalHire to find companies that have favorable travel insurance deals for you.

Book Your Accommodation

The purpose you are traveling is the crucial thing here. Booking an accommodation may not be at the top of your list if you aim to visit various cities, sites, and multiple countries or meet new people and experience their cultures. It’s unlikely you will spend over one night in a place, so why bother. Staying in Airbnb or booking Airbnb alternatives may be your best bet. 

If planning a vacation and prefer long walks on the beach, tanning under the sun, or trying out restaurants in the city, then booking well in advance is for you. Do this to get the rooms on the cheap before the festive season draws near. You can use websites like booking.com to help find the best deals out there.

Research Destinations You Would Love to Visit

One thing you should also try to do is plan your destination visits. By planning, I mean to plan the activities you would engage in during the trip. Your planning will also depend on your purpose and duration. 

If visiting tourist sites within and outside the city on a tight schedule, then research those places and map out how to get from one tourist site to another.

Traveling at night to see the various tourist spots during the day may be ideal in most cases.

But if looking to relax and have a long vacation period in a city. Then, doing some google search and visiting those tourist spot websites will be ideal for you. You can get all kinds of information from your research like seasons they are open, the opening times and closing times, prices of their tickets, and other valuable information. 

You can then use the information to plan what days to go to what site and what time you intend to leave the hotel/rental home for the site, and what time you intend to get back.

If visiting popular tourist spots or historical sites, book months in advance to get tickets to those places.

Plan How You Will Get Around

plan how you will get around

Transporting yourself in a foreign land can become tricky quickly. You may have to get a rental car if the country allows an international driving license. Alternatively, you can also apply for an international driving permit online which you can use and show during your trip. It’s a document that allows you to drive a motor vehicle legally in 174 countries. If not, you may have to learn how to navigate through public transport or if you have spare cash on you, hire a private taxi for the days you go out. 

They may be expensive, but they’re much more comfortable. Transportation always tends to be overlooked, but not planning how you would move may be the difference between an enjoyable day and a stressful and tiring one.

Where to Eat and Drink

The cuisine of a foreign country is one of the main reasons many people travel. And it doesn’t have to be a five-star restaurant or an expensive place. Street foods are a good option if you are the adventurous type. Planning where to eat can also be a fun activity. 

You can also ask family, friends, or colleagues about spots they will recommend or do a quick search on cuisines you would like to try while in the city.  

Plan Your Spending

Vacations and traveling are synonymous with spending. Charges for using an ATM abroad can be very costly, so you want to open an account with a bank that supports foreign transactions or at least don’t charge an arm and a leg when you withdraw money. 

Another way of limiting your spending is by using a debit card instead of a credit card when you travel. A debit card allows you to spend money you have and not the bank’s cash like a credit card. MasterCard or Visacard support most debit cards, and so you can use them in stores that support MasterCard or visa cards.

Lastly, Pack Your Luggage In A Smart Manner

When packing, it can feel you have to haul a mountain of clothes in your traveling bag, but you don’t have to do that. There is every chance you will buy local cloth or something that catches your attention. So pack light, pack clothes that are loose and flexible. Also, take colors that can easily combine with other dresses.

And that’s it, a guide to planning and enjoying your holidays. Travelling and vacations are fun, so we hope this guide is of help to make your trip more memorable. Now, go forth and enjoy your trip!

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