Are you planning your next vacation? Trip planning can oftentimes be one of the most exciting aspects of travel. From figuring out where you’ll stay, what you’ll do, and relentlessly researching about the area to prepare your mind for your next great adventure – preparation is key for a successful holiday. Here are 10 things you must do when planning for your next trip.
Reflect on your vision and goals for your trip
Traveling not only allows you to explore a different geographical area but also to explore a different part of yourself. When we travel, we tap into different parts of our identity through foreign experiences which we might not have discovered otherwise. So, when you’re planning your trip, ask yourself: what kind of an experience would I like to have? Do I need time to relax in a tranquil paradise to tap into my mindfulness energy, or do I need an experience in a busy, urban area to indulge myself in a different culture and way of living? Or should I combine the two through wine tours in San Diego, architectural sightseeing in Singapore, or similar hybrid experiences?
Choose your location
The next step is to choose which part of the world to go to meet your wants and needs. This could be as simple as a road trip up to the mountains in your area, or a flight to the other side of the world. There is always something new to discover in every new place. It is essential to take the proper time to reflect on your holiday destination.
Start organizing your travel gear
Being detail oriented when preparing your packing list is an important travel tip. Try to think about everything you’ll need during each part of the day – morning, afternoon, and night – as well as things you’ll need to make transportation smoother. This includes a memory foam travel pillow for long bus or plane rides, the appropriate medicine in case you’re prone to motion sickness, and all required paperwork if you’re crossing national borders.
Study the map
Once a location is chosen for your trip, study the map of the area. Get yourself acquainted with the different regions, its various terrains or climates, and how far away landmarks are.
Figure out the ideal season
If you’re from a city which stays relatively chilly year-round, you might not want to visit the tropical humid jungle of Siem Reap, Cambodia in its hottest month of April. Likewise, if you’re looking for a place to soak up the sun and lay out on the beach, New York City in January might be a bit too cold for your taste. It is essential to consider the seasons and corresponding popular activities during each month when planning for your trip.
Construct a realistic timeline
Whip out your calendar, your favorite colored pens, and start constructing your timeline. If you’re hopping around multiple locations, how long will you be in each place to get the full experience of that area? Don’t forget to factor in transportation times – an often overlooked mistake – when creating your timeline. Sometimes taking transportation, especially public, can be a day-long activity, and it might wipe your energy for the rest of the day and night!
Book transportation and accommodation
Once you’ve mapped out your vision, timeline, and familiarized yourself with the area, start booking! Nowadays travel is made super easy by nearly every type of hotel, hostel, bus, and train having an online booking portal. When reserving a spot in your ideal accommodation, keep in mind where its location is relative to the landmarks and activities you’d like to partake in around the area.
Choose your tours and activities in advance
What kinds of things are you looking to do on your next vacation? Be sure to research the area or browse through the many travel blogs available on the internet to plan fun activities to fill your days and nights. This could be a wine tour, rock climbing, a visit to the local museum, or just a day of relaxing on a local beach while sipping a cocktail.
Research and read about the area and culture
Nobody likes a tourist who is not well-read about the customs and culture of a new foreign land. If your big trip is an adventure in a city halfway around the world, be sure to read up on the local cultural etiquette, which might be drastically different from your own country. Traveling makes you a guest of an area. It is always important to be mindful of this in order to have a memorable, learning experience in a new place.
Prepare your mind – and go!
Never forget – travel is about learning and about having fun! Traveling experiences are truly enriched by proper research beforehand. When you’re walking through the proposed Forest City of Malaysia, you’ll be thankful that you read about the history and cultural importance of nature to the region. So pick up a book on the area you’ll be visiting, download a podcast, get you travel-tune playlist in order and – go!