How to Plan a Holiday
Lockdown may not be good for many things, but it's a great chance to plan some future holidays. Since we're spending less and working less (for most), it's a good time to save up and finally get your plans together for your dream trip.
So today I'm going to be detailing steps you can follow to make sure you have a well-planned, seamless trip. Feel free to pick and choose these steps to fit with your pre-existing methods of planning a holiday.
1. Order Your Dates by Preference
Start your planning by thinking about which dates would work for you. This involves taking into account dates you can get off work, and your own personal preferences. For example I tend to avoid travelling in mid-Summer because I don't deal well with hot weather, so I would choose dates that were in Spring/Autumn ideally. Then you'll need to list them by preference, i.e. which dates would you most like to travel on out of the lot?
2. Order your Locations by Preference
Next, start thinking about where you actually want to travel; where are your top locations you've always wanted to visit? Then, repeat step 1; list them in order of which you would most like to go to.
3. Research Flights
This is where you combine steps one and two. Start researching flights to your top location for your top dates, and then continue down the list until you have a combination of flights to a location you want on dates that suit.
4. Get your Visas in Order
This is probably the most important part. Take a look at the country's embassy website and research by yourself all the "boring" stuff you'll need to travel. Consider the following; do you need:
- A Visa?
- Travel insurance?
- Health insurance?
Make sure you have all of the above in order before booking anything else; you can't go anywhere unless you have the legal go-ahead to do so!
5. Research Events and Activities
Now's the fun part! Start researching everything there is to do in that location; watch YouTube videos, read blogs, look up travel websites, everything you can think of to get a full idea of what there is to do! This includes looking up the best places to eat. Write all of your top picks down as you go so you have a list of everything you really want to get done before you head home.
6. Research Hotels
Now's the time to look at hotels. It may be during your research in step five that you already picked a hotel, but if you're undecided, I recommend going into Google Maps and putting in every place you really want to visit. Then, pick a hotel in your price range in the middle of them all! This means you're never far away from where you want to visit. If none of the options take your fancy, I recommend staying near transport links, such as a main bus terminal or a train station.
7. Create an Itinerary
Now it's time to create a plan for each day. This is a very personal thing as some people (like me) like to have every moment planned out, whereas others prefer to go with the flow. Either way, it never hurts to have a general idea of which area you will be exploring each day. So I again recommend putting everywhere you want to go to into Google Maps and planning one day for activities in the East, one day for the South, etc.
Remember to allow for time that can be used if you find something unexpected to do; it would suck to find something amazing you didn't know about but you don't have time to do it!
8. Buy Tickets and Make Reservations
Now that you have your agenda, I recommend booking tickets for activities in advance, e.g. museum entrance fees, theatre tickets, etc. Not only does this remove a stress when you get there as it's all planned in advance, but it also means you can bring less money with you as some of it is pre-paid. I would also recommend making dining reservations for places you really want to visit to guarantee you a spot there.
9. Research Transport
Personally I find this part pretty dull, but I know some people love it! It's time to research how to get from place to place. You don't need to have an exact plan, but it's always useful to know how to get from the airport to the city, or how to get from one city to another. Once again it removes any worries on the day about how to get somewhere, and removes any unexpected surprises if you suddenly find out that the place you wanted to visit takes twenty hours to get there rather than two!
10. Create a Packing List
All of your planning is now complete, so it's time to start thinking about what you'll need to bring with you. Consider the climate, the culture, and the activities you will be doing when planning what to wear and bring. This is a personal part of the planning process, so I'll leave this part up to you!
11. Enjoy Your Trip!
And that's it! From there the only thing to do is look forward to the adventure of a lifetime, and enjoy your holiday!
My question of the day is: what is your number one tip for planning a trip?
Until next time,
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