Vacation time! Pack the bags and fly to the first place you can think of with a beach! Whoa, slow down. Is planning really important?
Taking a break from your routine and planning a vacation? The world is a big place and it’s important to interrogate yourself about everything related to your trip.
Travel planning can be fun, exciting or even stressful, at times. But if you have a list of what all to plan, things make it easy. It might be your 'THE dream' vacation or just an outing with friends. An organized plan always helps the program run smooth and provides and enjoyable experience. Not stopping at that, you'll always form a heap of memories to treasure forever!
What if you invest a hell of a lot of time on planning, only to find out that the destination is experiencing awful weather and the roads are blocked? Or there's civil conflict taking place? A disaster! So it's good to pre-plan and also know what to plan in the first place! The climate, the socio-economic factors, booking flights, place to stay and several things lined up one after the other. Missing the mark on any might get you into trouble when you didn't need to.
Check these 20 questions to ask yourself before planning a trip. Happy Travelling!
20 Do I care where I'm going? Just Anywhere?
Location! Location! Location!
The first thing that rings a bell in your mind when you think of a vacation is “Where exactly does my heart wish to travel?” If you don’t have the location sorted out, planning other things like hotels and tickets can never happen. You really need to dig your brain as to where it wishes to wander.
If you are staying in a hilly area, then probably a vacation to a big city can be ideal and vice versa. For those who do not get a glimpse of water around them, beaches can be the perfect location for your vacations. If you wish to go on an adventurous trip then probably you should start searching for locations which have the kind of activities you have running in your mind to try.
Picking the perfect location can make you feel happier. It will also influence what you pack, so if you hate heaving giant suitcases, keep that in mind.
19 Should I Travel Local This Year? Or Overseas?
How much time do you have available? What's your budget? Does a flight suit you? and bla bla bla! Almost all questions here are interlinked. Why? Because they are all related. Only if you answer these listed, you will be able to cut down on an international travel or a local trip.
A local trip is more often a spontaneous one with either family or friends to the nearest destination or within the same country. An adjacent state maybe! Bikers who love to bike around with their groups mainly stick to local travel. The distance, time and fun are all feasible and relaxing. There are of course crazy bikers who love to trip internationally too.
An International trip is best suited if you have a minimum of 7-10 days in hand and have planned and booked well in advance. This saves a lot of money and last minute planning stuff. Whether you wish to travel local or overseas is to be thought of and planned well.
If you don't have enough resources for an abroad trip this year but have a dream to go to a particular destination, then research, mark it up, plan your resources and prepare to kick off your bucket list. But don’t let the dream remain on the paper forever.
18 What kind of trip do I want? Relaxing or Educational, Adventure or Culture?
What is this trip about? Sandy beaches, mountain ranges, wildlife safari, music and art, history and culture or enchanting cities? Are you in a mood to relax or are you willing to do exciting activities or is it going to be a mix of both relaxation and exploration. Is it getting soaked in sun or is it going to be enjoying wildlife in their most natural habitat? Your expectations will help you deciding the perfect destination for your vacation.
At several holiday spots, you might have to decide between exploration and relaxation. Of course, any decision of what to do will have its own advantages.
Narrow down your choice of destination by flipping through pages of a travel magazine, by talking to friends about their choice of location and experience, or by using a visual search engine. Regardless of whether you want to enjoy a trek or have an amazing sightseeing adventure, traveling too far or stuffing in too much can make the trip an ungratified one.
17 Who Will I Be Travelling With?
Time and again it is said that the finest mode to travel is by yourself. But what if you have got relation ties, or you only imagine ticking off those adventures with some company?
After all, a trouble shared is a trouble halved, and the excitement of travel can be twice when you combine other people to it. When you plan a trip as a group it is not only your travel dream, but it becomes a collective one.
You will need to understand the age group needs. If you are traveling with kids, you will need to allow play and rest times. Moreover, if you're planning a trip with older people then they may not be physically capable to join you in adventurous actions. Don't forget to consider everyone's budget. A 5 star hotel may be a delight for you, but your friends may think otherwise.
16 How am i gonna get from point A to point B?
The mode of transportation is important to decide while planning a trip because it influences many factors. Based on time, budget, and intended nature of trip, you can decide a particular mode of transportation that suits best.
Internal flights can be the best option as it involves long distances travelling without getting exhausted. If you can find a direct flight, that's even more of a timesaver.
If staying on the ground is more your style, and you're keen to enjoy the surrounding nature then transport by train is suggested. It is affordable as well as convenient for average distance. In Europe and Asia, some trains can take you between countries in a matter of hours. Or for those budget-savvy travellers, bus transportation is a recommended mode.
In addition, if you wish to explore the place you are going on a trip thoroughly, a rental car is usually the ideal mode of transport for those who want maximum freedom. The bonus point is that driving too enables effortless access to certain tourist sites that are badly served by public transport
15 What is the Length Of my Trip?
Are you concerned about the money spent? Well, you're not alone! Make sure you spend some time deciding the duration of the trip. Are you too busy with your job and have limited time off? Plan a short trip.
Very few are lucky ones who have a private business or who are retired. For them, long duration trips are best as they have fewer burdens on the time limit to return to their work. When you appropriately decide the duration, you can perfectly plan your budget as it all depends on a number of days.
Moreover, you can decide how much luggage to pack and what kind of luggage to pack. If the decided duration is short, you can plan to visit only the most famous sites of a particular place. However, if the decided duration is long, you can visit more places, in addition to the most famous sites of that place. If you are going on a family trip, the demand for kids and your family also needs to be considered while deciding the duration of the trip.
14 How Much Am I Willing To Spend?
The next important thing to consider is to set a budget and try to stick to it. You definitely do not need a lot of money to travel, but you want to feel comfortable with choice of travel and accommodation. It’s easy to divulge into the details of planning and scheduling, but before you do, make sure you have a clearly defined budget in mind. In fact, the budget can play a big role in choosing the destination and duration of vacation.
Try to book flight tickets and hotel accommodation well in advance. After this initial spend, invest some time in doing some research about eateries and shopping centres. Keep a track of the foreign currency, so you don’t blow through a huge amount on a tip.
One last thing! It is very tempting to pick up souvenirs for you and loved ones. Make a list of what to buy and for whom, hit a nice shop and try to buy in bulk and negotiate a discount. Vacations are well-deserved luxuries and money shouldn’t be a veil over these precious times.
13 Am I looking for a Quality Vacation Or A Quantity Vacation?
One of the most significant choices a traveller can make while planning their trip is whether to emphasize quality vacation or quantity vacation. Will you be satisfied if the trip encompasses only the major and famous places in your visit? Well, go for quality vacation. People who aim to attain maximum fun in stipulated time usually goes for quantity vacation. This type of vacation is a kind of smart one as you get the ultimate happiness of your trip as per your expectations and trend going on.
Those who are choosy ones usually need to go for quality vacation as it would meet their expectations of travel enjoyment. Whereas those who are bored of their routine life and wish to spend holidays for long duration needs to go for quantity vacation as it can encompass many places to visit as well as lots of activities.
12 Where Am I Going To Stay?
Have you decided to stay comfortably while on trip, like you stay at home? If yes, then carefully plan for accommodation options. Based on the number of people going on a trip, budget to spend, personal preference, and availability, there are lots of accommodation options to choose from. This decision is one which has the capability to make or break your planned trip, so you need to decide it carefully.
Guides provided on websites like Foursquare and Airbnb are useful for travellers to know more about different neighbourhoods and businesses around there. In case you are running on a budget, websites like HostelWorld, HostelBookers, or CouchSurfing are considered as alternative options for getting comfortable accommodations at affordable rates.
Hotels are the most common options found among people looking for accommodation while on the trip. But if you prefer to stay in apartment space, then the condo is the best option. Travellers can experience freedom while they stay in a condo because condo provides a separate unit, enclosed by common areas jointly owned. In addition to hotels and condos, hostels are gradually evolving, and they are rapidly becoming a wonderful option for the mid-market traveller.
11 What If People Around Me Don't Speak English? Will It Matter?
Whenever you are travelling to a particular destination that is acquainted to deal with tourists, locals can be found who speak some basic words of English. However, it is important to keep in mind that while you talk to them, talk slowly and clearly, and not in loud tone. Try to make use of simple English vocabulary. While travelling, a high level of English fluency is not needed.
You can still have a satisfying and enjoyable journey even if none of the people around speak English, surprised right? Under such cases, hand gestures and miming function well. If you don’t know English and wish to order food while on the trip, then you can do that effectively. It is fine if you can’t speak English to describe what type of meat something is, then moo like a cow, flutter your arms like a chicken, or swim like a fish. While showing these gestures, you need not worry about appearing silly, because such gestures can be effectively understood.
There are translation apps these days which can be downloaded on your mobile and communication can be much more simpler. Thanks technology!
10 Which of my activities take priority?
We all are aware that when the kids and family are content, then everybody is cheerful, so if you are planning to travel with family and kids, kid-friendly events and attractions are important.
Indeed, if you are planning a more kickback vacation then making certain your lodging has enough to keep everybody happy is going to be a significant part of your trip. Beach villas with swimming pools, spa centers, game zones, etc., give you something to do even where you're just chilling at the hotel.
If there are a couple essentials that you've been wanting to tick off for years, make sure to prioritise them. If you can only see three cities, choose which of those cities you'd rather spend the extra couple days in. Planning that itinerary beforehand will allow you to maximise your time abroad.
9 Do I Want To Step Away From Technology?
Technology is concerned with stuffing the most applications into one small device. It has progressed so much throughout the years and at the present, if we wish to listen to our favorite music, we no longer have to carry a Discman.
If you love reading books or novels, if you are a frequent traveler, then opt to purchase digital books, it will save you loads of space in your bag. These days, try to travel lighter and smarter, as technology has so many versatile items that you can put into use.
When you leave the house to travel, your parents ask you to call him/her every time you change countries. With several applications available, they prefer online calls at no cost like Viber, Whatsapp, and Skype. Without these, quick communication would be difficult.
Do you want to continue posting on social media sites? Or would like to take a break from the world, get disconnected, relax your soul and get back afresh?
8 Will the destination suit my food habits?
Are you a foodie? Then we are sure that this stands among the top in your list as you’d wish to try new items on your vacation.
We foodies, are familiar that holiday is all concerned with the food. Yes, sunbathing and sightseeing is cool, but not as amazing as the variety of foods. Do you imagine yourself exploring local vibes from the city’s top restaurants, or would you like to cut the costs and prepare up your much-loved dish in your private kitchen? If you prefer the latter style—or if you desire to explore a combination of both—think about investing in a holiday rental consisting of a full-size, implement-stocked kitchen. Food safety is highly important during traveling.
If you are a Vegetarian, countries with non vegetarian dishes as their main food can cause your trouble. You might not find food for yourself and end up having a bad travel day too!
Make a good selection of restaurants you want to try. A happy meal is a happy day!
7 When Is The Best Time To Travel?
Weather is vital - it can be a mood enhancer or spoiler. No doubt, right? A rainy day can spoil your family’s day out if you’ve decided to take your family trekking. Its always good to take a look at the weather, or in fact, plan your trip according to the weather you wish to stay in. You wouldn't go hiking in an Alaskan winter, right?
Also, ask yourself, are you fascinated by different festivals? If yes, then plan a trip by considering the festive season of the place you are going to visit. For instance, if a foreigner is fascinated to enjoy Diwali while planning his/her trip to India, he would schedule his/her trip at the Diwali festive days so that he/she could enjoy the trip along with enjoying the festival.
6 How Are My Fellow Travellers Going To Be?
Before going for a morning walk, can you tell what type of people you would meet on the way or in the park? The answer is certainly not. The same goes true for the type of fellow travellers during your journey. It is impossible to say how fellow travellers can be but it can be certainly said that you're in for some of the best travel experiences, provided you adjust well to those around you.
The fellow traveller whom you meet during travel can become your lifetime friend. They are companions who share food, new experiences, and can make a trip even more interesting. They can teach you many new things and lessons of life. During the entire trip, they have seen you at your best and at your worst as well.
If you stay at hostels, you're much more likely to meet similar travellers. If you prefer alone time, a private hotel room may work better
5 How Important Is Insurance?
Yes, this is one important point to consider!
Travel insurance is yet another ‘must have’ to consider while you travel. It is nothing but an emergency care when things go wrong unexpectedly. It can be anything – losing your baggage from an airline, getting hurt while hiking, paragliding, deep diving or any other physical activity. Travel insurance is not just a health insurance. It includes a medical component for illness and injuries, but many are not aware of the fact that it even covers a cost of cancelling a trip or an emergency transportation. It doesn’t cover an existing illness. Some travel insurance even covers you at home.
Travel insurance is a safety net against the unexpected, never go without it.
Planning and getting a Travel insurance is not a mandatory but it is always a great idea to take one. Covering basics plus an extra always helps. In fact, it might not be helpful at all sometimes, but you never know when you really need it. So talk to your travel agent and get them the best suited one for your and your family if you are going with them.
4 What will be my before-travel and after-travel routines?
Write down a record of the everyday jobs at hand. It is helpful to sort out the significance of each work by generating a precedence list high, medium, and low. Prior to leaving for a trip, create a list to make alterations and additions when you return home. Make use of Bullet magazine, Evernote or Smartphone applications, or trouble-free Excel worksheet to systematize your list. Whether it is your spouse, your children, your buddy, or your co-workers, do not be frightened to ask them for a helping hand to ease up the load.
Finishing your tasks to do before and making a list of tasks to do after returning is a great idea. A day before and after coming back is difficult so do not plan too much very quickly and hand over some of your tasks. Share your tour stories and incidents with your relatives after coming from trip by highlighting the favorite foods, sights and adventures–especially the entertaining ones.
3 How Will I approach currency conversion?
How to deal with foreign currency if you are traveling abroad? You need to enlighten yourself with where to get cash from, what are the exchange rates and fees associated. Credit cards are the first thing that come to your rescue. The biggest advantage it brings along is purchases are exchanged at the interbank exchange rate and usually they provide you best rate you can get for currency exchange.
Even though most credit card issuers charge fees on every transaction, it is way too lower than you would pay while you convert cash. Not to worry, there are credit cards which do not charge anything on foreign transactions. However, there may be hotels or shops that do not accept credit cards, so keep cash handy.
You will also see ATMs along your travel. Get in touch with your bank and let them know before your travel and they will let you know the fees and other helpline numbers. Act wisely, withdraw large amount of cash if you need to pay a fee for every transaction. Not to forget, cash is also an option. You can bring cash from home and exchange at destinations.
Since airports have typically unfavorable exchange rates, it is not a good idea to exchange money there.
2 How will i approach saving money for my Trip?
By working and saving up the money now, you won’t have to deal with payments or credit card interest rates after you are back. Well, since it is your dream vacation you don’t have to find way to motivate yourself. Yet if required, pull up a double shift or take up a freelance work if you are short of budget.
A creative way to consistently motivate yourself is to print an image that is connected with your destination, such as a nice sandy beach, hilly terrains, a wild cat hunting a deer or a paragliding shot. If it's on your wall, it's a constant reminder of your goal!
Asses your expenditure. Cut down on unwanted expenses like fancy restaurants, excessive clothes shopping, night clubs, use public transport instead of driving, skip the spa and cut the Cable TV dead. Start a fund and dedicate it solely for your trip. Invest in a mutual fund scheme that suits your budget and requirement.
Vacations are meant to be relished, not fretted over. With a plan you can do plenty of the former and none of the latter.
1 What do i do If I lose my Passport?
Do you like the situation when you lost your credit cards or ATM cards? The answer is a big no! Exactly in a similar way, the pain of losing a passport feels Oh My Gosh! Just imagine that you go to travel the foreign land and you lose your passport. The though itself is nerve-racking!
If you lose your passport on the trip, don’t panic, simply contact your nearest embassy to cancel and replace it. You need to do this as soon as you know that you lost your passport. Before approaching the embassy to make an application for a passport, you need to arrange the required documents, such as proof of ID (not your passport, obviously) and a statement mentioning the information of the theft. Always take a photocopy of your documents before you leave home!
Also, don’t forget to file a police report. The action doesn’t speed up the process of acquiring a new passport, though it will certainly assist you to stay away from any confusion. Under situations when someone attempts to misuse your passport, police finally knows that it was stolen and the cause was not you. Furthermore, they can assist you to learn the procedure to be followed to obtain a new passport as per the norms of that country.
References: ambertheblack, lifehack