Travel Desk, Delhi Magazine: Let’s face it, traveling can be incredibly stressful, expensive, and generally not worth the effort. You might spend hours scrolling through pictures of tropical islands or majestic mountaintops only to Google for flight prices and realize it’s not going to work out. But with just a few extra tools in your tool belt, it’s actually possible to plan a professional-level vacation for yourself, even if it’s your first time planning a trip.
The Pre-Departure Steps
The most important parts of traveling occur before you even leave your home. Sure, you might be able to spontaneously make choices outside of the plan once you’re at your destination, but doing a little planning ahead of time is going to help you save money and feel less anxious about the whole process. Once you’ve decided where you want to go, you’ll want to decide what your budget looks like and what you can do within it. It’s always a good idea to leave some budget left over for emergencies or those spontaneous adventures you want to have.
The planning process is also important for helping you really settle on what you want your trip to look like. You might begin by thinking you want to hike across Europe and then realize that you really just want to do some cruise planning. Remember – your vacation should be all about what you want to do, not about what you think you should do or what other people recommend.
Research Before Booking
It’s easy to get carried away once you know where you want to go and start booking excursions, tours, and other fun experiences. But before you start making non-refundable deposits, it’s important to research every possibility that can impact your trip. Things like travel restrictions (easy to find via embassy websites, tourism boards, etc.) and an expired passport are simple factors that are easy to overlook and could completely throw off your plans. Make sure you’ve gotten those issues out of the way and you’re good to proceed with planning.
Review Others’ Experiences
While a destination may look amazing on the influencer’s Instagram page or the resort’s website, it’s easy to be disappointed by a place you’ve only ever seen in pictures. Take some time to find honest reviews by travel bloggers or vloggers who have been where you plan to go. What do they have to say about the local culture, the entertainment options, food, and other important aspects of a traveling experience? You could find out some really crucial information that could help you further narrow down where you’d like to go and what you’d like to do on your trip.
Create an Itinerary
As you’re getting ideas for what you’d like to do on your trip, start jotting your ideas down in a rough itinerary. Keeping in mind how many days you’ll be in the location, see which activities you might like to do and in what order. It’s generally a good idea to limit the activities to just a couple per day to avoid getting burnt out and having to spend the rest of your vacation in your hotel room. Keep in mind the possibility of jet lag and how that might impact your daily routine. Remember to factor in plenty of time for traveling from place to place, as well as your own need for rest and relaxation between strenuous activities.
Once you know what you’d like to do and when, you can start making any necessary reservations. A great tip that not many people take advantage of is that the front desk wherever you’re staying will likely have a lot of information about fun local activities, transportation options, and safety recommendations. Getting advice from locals, especially when traveling abroad, is truly key to having a great experience in a new place. Traveling can be incredibly liberating and enjoyable, so use these tips to ensure that your next trip feels like it was planned by a pro.