How to plan a trip the "Travel Blogger" way, explains Sahib Singh Sadana.
Updated: Apr 1
Planning a trip is both exciting and exhausting part of travel. When you decide to go on a vacation, the most critical part is ensuring that the experience is both smooth and enjoyable. You need to have a detailed step by step itinerary for this.
1. Deciding the Destination The first and most crucial part of planning a trip is deciding the destination. Naturally, this depends on three significant factors such as interest, availability of time and budget. Once you know the time and budget you have it becomes easy to decide a place. You can seek suggestions for the destination based on your interest. These suggestions can either be recommendations from a friend or from social media. After you have narrowed down your list to 5 to 6 places, you can then check for weather forecasts for those places. I generally finalize the place where the weather is most favourable for travelling. I usually avoid going during the monsoons. Besides this, I also check for visa requirements before deciding the destination; I typically avoid travelling to a place where getting a visa is tedious and time-consuming.
2. How to make travelling inexpensive
The second step is essential if you want to save some money and avoid huge crowds. I prefer visiting places in the "Shoulder Season", which is the season between off-season and peak season. Shoulder Season is the time when places are less crowded, and the prices are more affordable. Hence everything becomes pocket-friendly, and you can enjoy those beautiful places to your heart's content. The duration of my trip depends a lot on the weather conditions and I pack accordingly.
After deciding the location and the duration of the trip, the next step is selecting the cities you want to visit and the things you want to do there. A lot of planning goes into finalizing the travel routes and mode of transportation as it can help save a lot of time when travelling between cities. You can then use this time to relax and meet the locals. Generally, during the shoulder season air-fares are very affordable, this helps in saving a considerable amount of money which I typically spend on other luxurious things like expensive hotels, fine dining etc. You can also save this money for future travels. Many airlines also run huge discounts on business and first-class tickets during the shoulder season. I highly recommend that you to take advantage of this opportunity.
Depending on your budget and requirements, you can select the type of accommodation most suitable for you. If you want to save money on lodging, backpacker hostels and homestays are good options. If you like staying in expensive hotels, then check the prices directly on the hotel websites and then compare them with various aggregators. Usually, you will get better deals if you book directly as the hotels don't pay any commission on direct bookings and can pass on the benefits to the customers thus making the price much cheaper. You can also get great deals on hotel bookings if you have enrolled yourself into various loyalty programs of those hotel chains. You can also earn some cashback if you pay via your credit card. Make sure you know all the benefits that come with your credit card. It is of the utmost importance that you don't forget to pay the credit card's bill on time as it can lead to huge penalties and interest burden.
3. Importance of planning in advance
The final step of planning a trip is to make the packing list at least one week before the actual trip and keep adding things to that list. It is essential to double-check your bookings and keep at-least one photocopy of the passport along with the tickets. It is necessary to inform your banks if you are planning to use your credit or debit card abroad so that your banks don't block your cards if and when you make any international transaction. Banks representatives can also help you by providing information about whether your card will be valid and workable in that country or not. Card rejection while paying the bills can cause embarrassment and a lot of difficulties.
Which is your next travel destination? Let me know in the comments below.