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Your 17 (Easy) Step Guide on How to Plan Your Trip in 2018

Your 17 (Easy) Step Guide on How to Plan Your Trip in 2018

planning a trip overseas
Up to date: 10/9/18 | October ninth, 2018

I keep in mind once I began planning my first journey all over the world. I had no concept what I used to be doing. Once I determined to give up my job and journey the world, I walked right into a bookstore and purchased Lonely Planet’s Southeast Asia on Shoestring. It made the journey appear extra actual, however it didn’t put together me for planning an extended world journey. Again then, there weren’t actually journey blogs, guides, sharing financial system web sites, and apps like there are at this time. I used to be misplaced. I figured it out as I went, simply hoping I didn’t miss something.

Trip planning could be a daunting process. The place do you start? What’s the first step? What’s step two? What’s step three? It’s straightforward to get overwhelmed, particularly if you haven’t executed one thing like this earlier than.

I’ve deliberate numerous journeys and holidays for through the years (for myself, pals, and even group excursions) and I’ve developed an environment friendly guidelines that ensures I don’t miss something essential (I like lists) through the journey planning course of. I don’t need to get to my subsequent vacation spot after which understand I forgot one thing.

And neither do you!

There’s plenty of info on this web site (and much more info packed into my ebook), however one query that comes up ceaselessly is, “Matt, how do I put this all together? How do I plan a trip?”

In a unbroken effort to make it easier to get out the door and into the world, I’ve created this step-by-step information on how to plan a visit. It really works for any type of journey and regardless of how lengthy you’re going for! Simply comply with this guidelines and also you’ll be off in no time!

Journey Planning Step 1: Determine The place You Need To Go

a map of the world
Defining the place you need to go units a aim to work towards. Lots of people speak vaguely about journey. They by no means say the place they’re going, simply that they’re going. Choosing a vacation spot is immensely essential, because it provides you a particular aim. It’s so much simpler to mentally get behind “I am going to Paris” than “I’m going to Europe” or “I’m going somewhere.” Not solely will your journey turn into extra concrete for you and simpler to commit to, however it should make planning simpler as properly…as a result of you recognize what to work in the direction of.

Assets for selecting your journey vacation spot:

Journey Planning Step 2: Determine the Size of Your Trip

How a lot does it value to journey? I do not know with out figuring out for a way lengthy you’re going away. You possibly can’t work out how a lot you want to save when you haven’t determined on how lengthy you’ll be in your vacation spot. After you say “I’m going to Paris,” add “for 10 days.”

Now, you’ve a concrete plan to work from. “I am going to Paris for 10 days” is a visit you could plan for.

Journey Planning Step three: Analysis Your Prices

So you recognize the place you’re going and the way lengthy you’ll be there, however to actually nail down how a lot cash you want, your subsequent process is to analysis the prices in your vacation spot on the fashion of journey you need. Would you like to backpack, or would you quite keep in luxurious motels? How a lot are hostels, motels, eating places, and points of interest? Figuring out will permit you to estimate how a lot cash you’ll want in your journey. Right here is how to analysis prices:

  1. Purchase a guidebook.
  2. You’ll be able to start with my journey information part.
  3. Ask on group web sites like our discussion board and Fb group or Lonely Planet.
  4. Google costs for particular belongings you need to do.

You don’t want to do greater than that. There’s a lot info on the online that for those who go down the rabbit gap of overplanning, you’ll get misplaced and confused by the firehose of data. Stick to these 4 issues and also you’ll be set!

In our instance, in case you are going to Paris for 10 days and wish $75 a day (not together with your flight), you realize you want to save $750 (although spherical up to $800 because it’s good to have additional) on your journey. Should you have been to journey all over the world for a yr, you’d want $50 a day.

Journey Planning Step four: Begin Saving Cash

saving money for travel in your piggy bank
Write down all of your present bills so you possibly can decide the place you’re spending cash and how one can reduce. Individuals bleed some huge cash every single day by means of small purchases: that bottle of water, the greenback for that snack, that additional espresso. All of that provides up and creating this breakdown can let you already know the place you want to reduce and save.

For instance, should you want $2,000 USD for the journey you’re taking in eight months, meaning you solely have to save $eight.33 per day. Couldn’t you discover a method to save $eight per day? Heck, your every day espresso is most of that!

You possibly can learn this publish 22 Methods to Reduce Your Bills and Save for Journey for extra in-depth and artistic methods to reduce your day-to-day bills.

Journey Planning Step 5: Get a Travels Rewards Credit score Card

travel credit cards
When you’re working to get monetary savings, get a journey bank card so you possibly can earn sign-up bonuses to redeem miles and factors at no cost flights and lodge stays. Most playing cards have bonuses of up to 50,000 factors if you meet their minimal spending requirement (typically $1,000 inside a three-month interval). That’s sufficient miles for a free flight virtually anyplace in the world!

If you need a free flight, use the playing cards that assist with that. If you would like free lodge rooms, get a lodge card. You don’t want to join very many playing cards; decide one or two and focus on these. Do that the second you determine you need to journey. Don’t wait — ready equals misplaced miles, which suggests much less free journey.

Accumulating factors and miles (which known as “travel hacking”) is what all of the specialists do to reduce their prices and journey longer. It’s what has stored my prices down and me on the street for therefore a few years.

I’m all the time doing this so I can journey for as low cost as attainable.

For extra ideas, take a look at my submit on how to decide the perfect journey bank card.

Journey Planning Step 6: Change to No-Charge ATM Playing cards

Don’t give banks any of your hard-earned cash. Save each additional greenback you possibly can through the use of a no-fee ATM card. I exploit Charles Schwab, however there are many different banks (don’t overlook to examine your native banks) that don’t cost ATM charges. Moreover, you possibly can be a part of a financial institution in the International ATM Alliance.

Journey Planning Step 7: Keep Targeted and Impressed

Maintain feeding your want to journey. Journey planning could be daunting and a number of work and, in case your family and friends aren’t that keen about it, it may be slightly miserable as a result of the help you’re on the lookout for isn’t there. Fortunately, there are tons of the way to keep targeted and maintain your spirits lifted thanks to the superb group we’ve got on this web site. Listed here are some inspiring journey tales to assist maintain you impressed to journey:

Journey Planning Step eight: Examine for Final-Minute Offers

Okay, you’re impressed, ready, and on your method to saving cash in your journey. However earlier than you go purchase that flight or guide that lodge, verify for offers you may need missed. You could dream of Paris however perhaps there are nice offers to Berlin proper now. Perhaps you will get a seven-day cruise for 70% off, a package deal deal to Hawaii for the worth of your flight to Paris, or 50% off crusing journeys round Greece.

It’s an enormous world, and there are many locations I would like to see, so if I find yourself selecting B over A, I’m joyful! In case you’re versatile too, ensure you search for any money-saving offers. Some deal web sites value testing are:

Journey Planning Step 9: Guide Your Flight

taking off into the sunset
After you’ve used your journey bank card and acquired your sign-up bonus, use your miles to guide your flight. It’s more durable to use miles nowadays due to much less availability, so ensure to e-book early to make sure you get your required flight.

There are nonetheless some ways to keep away from being the individual on the flight who paid probably the most. My favourite websites for locating low cost airfare:

  • Momondo – A terrific platform for locating actually low cost flights.
  • Skyscanner – Skyscanner is among the greatest web sites for looking a number of locations on the similar time.
  • Kiwi – Kiwi is nice for locating lesser-known routes or smaller carriers.
  • AirTreks – AirTreks focuses solely on multi-destination RTW tickets.

For the perfect offers, ebook your flight about two months in advance. Listed here are two articles on how to rating an affordable flight:

Journey Planning Step 10: E-book Your Lodging

luna's hostel in panama city
When you have a set schedule, be happy to ebook lodging all through your journey, however in case you are going to be touring long-term, ebook simply the primary few days. As soon as you already know the dates you’ll be in your vacation spot, there isn’t any actual purpose not to discover a place to keep. My view is that ready will simply lead to you dropping your prime picks.

Love motels? They gained’t prevent cash, however you possibly can join some lodge bank cards and get free rooms, too. Marriott has a terrific rewards card whose sign-up bonus is equal to one week’s free keep. Starwood’s AMEX card is fantastic too, however the spending threshold in order to get the factors bonus is greater.

The next reserving websites supply the most effective charges for lodging:

  • Hostelworld – Hostelworld has the most important choice of hostels and is my go-to website for locating reasonably priced hostels on-line.
  • Agoda – Agoda has the perfect outcomes in case you’re heading to Asia and the widest seection of properties in the area.
  • Reserving.com – Reserving.com is the perfect general platform for locating finances motels and guesthouses. They’ve the most important stock and greatest offers.

Various: Contact individuals on hospitality web sites like Couchsurfing, Be Welcome, or WWOOF and ask if they might be prepared to host you. You need to do that in advance so individuals have time to rearrange their schedule and plan in your go to.

Journey Planning Step 11: Plan Your Actions

plan the perfect adventure overseas
Define the main actions you need to take pleasure in and the way a lot they value. Make any last-minute changes to your financial savings so you possibly can make sure you find the money for. This may also assist you determine should you want any reservations on your chosen excursions or actions.

Journey Planning Step 12: Promote Your Stuff

In case you are going on a long-term journey (six months or extra), promote your stuff in order to earn extra cash in your journey. Begin doing this about 60 days earlier than you allow. Some websites to use are:

  • Gumtree – An internet categorised website with a spotlight in the UK and Australia.
  • Amazon – The most important on-line retailer in the world.
  • Craigslist – On-line international classifieds which have each native and international attain.

When you aren’t going to be gone that lengthy, skip this step. In case you are going away long-term however need to maintain your stuff, transfer it to a pal’s home or maintain it in storage. A great storage firm in the US is Public Storage, which begins at $50 per thirty days.

Journey Planning Step 13: Automate Your Payments

Eliminate your mail, go paperless, and arrange on-line invoice cost on your recurring payments to make sure you gained’t miss any whereas abroad. In case you are nonetheless going to get paper mail, use a service like Earth Class Mail, which can acquire and scan your mail for you. (In case you are going on a two-week journey, you don’t actually need to fear about this, so you possibly can skip this step, too.)

Journey Planning Step 14: Inform Your Card Corporations You’re Touring

Regardless of how lengthy you’ll be gone, it’s a good suggestion to let your bank card corporations know you’ll be abroad; that means any transactions that you simply make aren’t flagged as fraudulent and your card is much less doubtless to be blocked. There’s nothing worse than having to sit on the telephone together with your bank card firm as an alternative of having fun with your trip.

Journey Planning Step 15: Pack!

pack your bags
Time to pack on your journey! Right here’s a advised packing listing to provide help to take simply the correct quantity of stuff and keep away from overpacking. Whereas what you pack will rely on the place you’re going, keep in mind that you don’t want to pack every part you personal. I often journey with a 40L bag after which a day bag, and that’s in all probability an excellent measurement for just about any journey. You don’t want an enormous 70L bag stuffed to the highest for a visit round Europe or Asia. So acquire your gadgets after which take away no less than 20%. You’re going to be lugging this bag round for months, so much less is certainly extra!

Journey Planning Step 16: Purchase Journey Insurance coverage

Whereas lots of people assume, “I’m healthy, I don’t need travel insurance. I won’t get sick,” journey insurance coverage is rather more than simply medical safety. It covers you when your digital camera breaks, your flight is canceled, a member of the family dies and you’ve got to come house, or if one thing will get stolen.

Journey insurance coverage is one thing you’ll need on the street. You by no means know what may occur, and most well being plans gained’t cowl you abroad. I by no means thought I might pop my eardrum whereas I used to be scuba diving or break my digital camera in Italy. My pal by no means thought he would break his leg mountaineering; one other good friend definitely didn’t anticipate her father would die and she or he would have to fly again residence.

Journey insurance coverage is just a few dollars a day and solely a idiot doesn’t purchase it. Right here’s my final information to choosing an excellent insurance coverage firm. (I exploit World Nomads for all my journeys). Insure my Trip is an alternative choice value taking a look at, as properly.

Journey Planning Step 17: Take pleasure in Your Trip

have a great time on your trip
Go on your journey and have enjoyable! Head to the airport, board your aircraft (don’t overlook your passport!), and benefit from the fruits of your labor. You’ve labored onerous to get right here. For those who’re feeling nervous, don’t fear — that’s completely regular! You’re about to embark on a tremendous journey. Belief your planning, comply with your instincts, and also you’ll have the journey of a lifetime. I assure it.


Through the use of this submit as a suggestion on your journey planning, you possibly can higher manage and put together in your journey. You’ll examine all of the packing containers, not miss something, and have loads of cash in your trip. It may be so simple as reserving a flight and packing or as complicated as rearranging your complete life to go backpack the world ceaselessly.

However, regardless of how lengthy your journey could also be, this listing will aid you keep organized and motivated as you propose your journey and to step onto that aircraft and out into the world.

P.S. – Sure, I did omit visas and vaccinations, as a result of needing these isn’t as common as the opposite stuff on this record, however don’t overlook to verify should you want these, too!

Need to have this info at your fingertips? Obtain this submit as a PDF

Guide Your Trip: Logistical Ideas and Tips

Guide Your Flight
Discover a low cost flight through the use of Skyscanner or Momondo. They’re my two favourite serps as a result of they search web sites and airways across the globe so that you all the time know no stone is left unturned.

E-book Your Lodging
You possibly can guide your hostel with Hostelworld. If you would like to keep elsewhere, use Reserving.com as they persistently return the most cost effective charges for guesthouses and low cost lodges. I exploit them on a regular basis.

Don’t Overlook Journey Insurance coverage
Journey insurance coverage will shield you towards sickness, damage, theft, and cancellations. It’s complete safety in case something goes fallacious. I by no means go on a visit with out it as I’ve had to use it many occasions in the previous. I’ve been utilizing World Nomads for ten years. My favourite corporations that provide the most effective service and worth are:

On the lookout for one of the best corporations to get monetary savings with?
Take a look at my useful resource web page for one of the best corporations to use once you journey! I record all those I exploit to get monetary savings once I journey – and I feel will assist you too!


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