We all want to get the most of our trips. We worked all year to afford them, we only have 10 days to visit as much of our dream city as we can, and we feel a little overwhelmed at the idea of doing this right.
Where to start?
I used to plan every single detail of my trips, and to be honest the more I travel the less I plan (if I plan at all, like I did in Nicaragua). Nothing is going to go exactly as you expected anyway. And it’s always great to be flexible not to miss out on awesome opportunities that will arise out of nowhere.
But the way I plan a trip can be divided in THREE CATEGORIES. Here they are:
ONE: THE BORING STUFF I DEAL WITH BEFORE I BOOK THE FLIGHT
- Check if you need a visa, and how long you’re allowed in that country. Don’t be like silly Audrey, waking up in Europe after three months and realizing she needs to get the hell out, pronto.
- Check if you need any vaccines. Don’t be like silly Audrey, who loses her vaccination booklet literally EVERYTIME she needs to take care of this.
- Budget like a freaking Ninja. Can you afford this trip? Of course you can. You just need to budget it right.
You might like this video!
TWO: THE FUN STUFF I DEAL WITH AS SOON AS I BOOK THE FLIGHT BECAUSE I CAN’T WAIT
- Check bus/train fares. In Europe, for example, travelling last minute is crazy expensive. So I try to at least book the rides I’m 90% sure I’ll be taking in advance.
- Weather. I need an idea of the average weather at the time I’m travelling, so I can pack appropriately and comfortably.
- First hostel. I love not knowing where I’ll sleep tomorrow, but the first hostel is something I always book in advance. You don’t want to add the stress of finding a bed over being jetlag and everything.
- Things I really want to do & see. Like taking a surf lesson in Nicaragua or visiting the Louvre. It’s good to know the schedules and discount days, not to get there and realize there’s a three-hour waiting line to enter Anne Frank’s House. Or that it’s closed on Wednesdays because Europe is weird.
THREE: THE STUFF I DEAL WITH LITERALLY FIVE MINUTES BEFORE GETTING ON THE PLANE BECAUSE I’M A TERRIBLE PROCRASTINATOR
- Travel insurance. It can be dealt with online in precisely 42 seconds, so no stress, amigo.
- How to get from airport to first hostel/airbnb/hotel. Landing in a new country already has its load of stresses, so you want to make sure you know how to get to your first accomodation. Bus schedules sometimes change depending on the season you’re travelling, so really google this right. Know what the fare of a taxi ride should be before you hop into one. Scams happen everywhere and you’re one big, flashing red target with your backpack and foreign accent, so it won’t be uncommon for taxi drivers to try to make a little profit out of that.
- Packing. I’ve packed my bags so often now I can do this with my eyes closed. I used to fret over this for days, convinced I was forgetting something crucial, but now I figure as long as I have my passport and my wallet, I’m going to be fine. I can always buy whatever it is that I might be forgetting, and it’ll be a nice souvenir to bring back.
Other than those three main categories, I really don’t plan my trips much anymore. I wait until I’m there to figure out what I want out of this adventure.
So grab your travel journals, book that flight, and just take a leap of fate, my friends. That trip doesn’t need to be perfect, but with just the right amount of planning it can be goddamn amazing. 🙂
Was this post helpful?
How do you plan your trips?
What’s the first thing you plan once you’ve booked your flight?
Let me know in the comments!