Booking any kind of trip can be daunting and sometimes it’s hard to know where to start. Over the years, I’ve found a few tricks and websites that make travel planning a breeze – use these and you’ll be exploring some amazing new place before you know it!
- Save up!
This is an obvious one but it’s really easier said than done. By making a conscious effort to cut out unnecessary expenses, you’ll be surprised how much you end up saving. To save for my upcoming trip to Australia I quit smoking, didn’t go out drinking more than once a month, stopped buying clothes and make-up that I didn’t need and tried to cut out expensive meals out. I was actually amazed at how quickly I was able to save up my target amount, and now I can relax knowing that anything else I save is a bonus!
- Choosing your destination
If you’re on a budget, one great way to choose a destination is going onto the Skyscanner website and searching from your nearest airport to “Everywhere”. This will bring up a list of the cheapest flights from your chosen airport within your selected dates. Now you can check out the ones that interest you on the Booking or Hostelworld websites and see where the best accommodation deals are!
- Planning an Itinerary
My top tip for planning an itinerary for your trip is don’t! In my experience, having a strict plan for a trip will only add a level of stress that you don’t need. Instead, I recommend having a list of things that you want to see and highlight the ones that you definitely don’t want to miss. Be realistic here – sometimes it’s better to miss a few sights than to spend a trip rushing around. Also have a general idea of how close things are to each other so you can organise your days accordingly. My favourite site for finding out what there is to see and do in a certain area is Wikitravel. I also like to check out travel vlogs and blogs before I go so I can learn from other traveler’s experiences.
I prefer to sort out visas as early as I can so I can chill and forget about them in the run-up to my trip. Again, I’m going to recommend Wikitravel for information about visas as they have a “Get In” section on each country’s page with usually detailed visa information.
Travel insurance is one of the most important things to consider for a stress free trip – if anything does go wrong, it helps a lot to know you’re covered. I always use MoneySuperMarket to find the best deal. Just keep in mind that the cheapest deal isn’t always the best and pay attention to things like excesses and coverage limits. Luckily, MoneySuperMarket sets all these things out in a table for easy comparison.
- Before you go
My final organisational tip to keep your trip easy and relaxed is to print off all the documents you’ll need and keep them in a folder in the order that you’ll need them. When you no longer need them, throw them away so you’re not overloaded with random pieces of paper!
Hope these tips will be as helpful to you as they are for me, happy planning!