Back when I was young, my parents would never tell us that we were traveling until a day before the travel date. This helped reduce anxiety and we had no time to make several demands. Even so, we still wouldn’t sleep fantasizing about how the trip would be. Today, traveling has changed quite a lot and it has become more efficient. However, without prior plans, you could be in for a big surprise. Remember they say if you don’t plan, you plan to fail.
This is a guide for planning your next trip to be a success
For that reason, I have some steps for planning your next trip that will make it a success. If you have traveled before, then you probably know that planning for a trip is indeed daunting and sometimes intimidating. Where do you begin? What’s step one? What’s step two? What’s step three? It’s easy to get overwhelmed, especially when you haven’t done something like this before.
Steps to planning your next trip
In this article, I am going to guide you on how to put all your plans together to have a well thought out plan that will unfold without hustle.
Decide Where You Want To Go
The first thing before anything else is defining where you want to go for your vacation. This helps you to outline your goals of planning. Most pals out here talk about going for a vacation but they really have no idea of where they want to go. Stop the mentality of am going ‘somewhere’ and start setting your mind to a more specific though like I am going to ‘Kenya’. Not only will your trip become more concrete for you and easier to commit to, but it will make planning easier as well.
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2. Decide the Length of Your Trip
The next thing is deciding the length of your trip. Having already decided on your destination, it is very easy to know what you are dealing with in terms on money. If you are traveling From America to Kenya for example, your return ticket will be $ 1800 while nice hotels charge an average of $100 per night. This way, you can estimate your budget and know the amount you need to save for your trip.
You can even do the math and see how long your budget can sustain you in the country. Having done that, now, you have a concrete plan to work from. “I am going to Kenya for 10 days” is a trip that you can plan for.
3. Start Saving Money
This is where the plan starts to take shape. All you need to do is sit down with a pen and paper, list all your expenses and determine those that you can cut back and save the cash. If you really think about it, you will realize that people bleed a lot of money every day through small purchases. That bottle of water, the dollar for that snack, that extra coffee. Pointing out such purchases helps you to break down your expenses and save on small purchases you can do without.
4. Stay Focused and Inspired
As you continue to save, keep feeding your desire to travel all the same. Planning your next trip can be challenging and in fact some people give up and end up with a failed plan and a broken dream. If your friends and family aren’t that enthusiastic about it, it can be a little depressing because the support you’re looking for isn’t there.
5. Check for Last-Minute Deals
By now, you have a very clear plan of where you want to go, for how long and the budget you are looking to spend. But before you go buy that flight or book that hotel, check for deals you might have missed. You may dream of Kenya but maybe there are great deals to Egypt right now.
Maybe you can get a seven-day cruise for 70% off, a package deal to Hawaii for the price of your flight to Paris, or 50% off sailing trips around Greece. My friends, it’s a big world, and there are lots of places you want to see. So if you end up choosing B over A, make sure you will be happy! If you’re flexible too, make sure you look for any money-saving deals.
6. Book Your Flight
Do you have a travel credit card, things could be better for you if you have one. After you’ve used your travel credit card and received your sign-up bonus, use your miles to book your flight. It is harder to use miles these days due to less availability, so make sure to book early to ensure you get your desired flight. Early booking also gets you cheaper prices.
7. Book Your Accommodation
If you will be traveling on a fixed schedule to Kenya where you visit a few destinations in the same region, make sure to book for accommodation in a nearby hotel. If your vacation is long-term, however, you can book a hotel for the first few days after your arrival.
Love hotels? They won’t save you money, but you can sign up for some hotel credit cards and get free rooms, too.
8. Plan Your Activities
Traveling to a destination is one thing but having fun is a completely different thing. If you just stay in the hotel, you are no different from someone who never traveled. Make sure you plan for activities that you can do in your destination. Activities make a trip memorable and fun at the same time.
For example, if you book a hotel in Mombasa, make sure you explore all the world-class beaches along Mombasa Kenya, visit the marine park and so much more.
9. Automate Your Bills
If you are going on a long-term trip, make sure you automate your bills. Go paperless, and set up online bill payment for your recurring bills to ensure you won’t miss any while overseas. If you are going on a two-week trip, you don’t really need to worry about this, so you can skip this step.
10. Tell Your Card Companies You are traveling
No matter how long you’ll be gone, it’s a good idea to let your credit card companies know you will be overseas. That way any transactions that you make aren’t flagged as fraudulent and your card is less likely to be blocked. There’s nothing worse than having to sit on the phone with your credit card company instead of enjoying your vacation.
11. Pack your bags
It has been a long time since we started planning your next trip. Now the time has come for you to pack your bags in preparation for your trip. On importance is that you pack what will be of absolute importance. Here is an article on packing tips from an elite traveler. Always remember that you don’t need to pack everything you own.
12. Buy Travel Insurance
While a lot of people think, “I’m healthy, I don’t need travel insurance. I won’t get sick,” travel insurance is much more than just medical protection. It covers you when your camera breaks, your flight is canceled, a family member dies and you have to come home, or if something gets stolen. Travel insurance is something you will need on the road. You never know what might happen.
13. Enjoy Your Trip
The day has come; all I can do for now is wave at you. Go on your trip and have fun! Head to the airport, board your plane, and enjoy the fruits of your labor. You’ve worked hard to get here. If you’re feeling nervous, don’t worry, that’s perfectly normal! You’re about to embark on an amazing adventure. Trust your planning, follow your instincts