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How to Plan a Trip?
The travel industry is worth billions of dollars and brings many people excitement all year round. And the amount we spend on exploring the world is only going to increase. But how can you plan the perfect trip for you? Consider the factors below before booking your next big adventure.
What’s the Best Way to Plan a Trip?
With so many destinations to choose from and the endless ream of deals on the market, planning a trip can be a struggle. Use these travel tips and considerations to find out exactly what you’re looking for.
How to Choose The Best Travel Destination
- How far are you willing to travel? If you don’t have a passport, you are only able to travel from state to state within the United States. Know your travel limitations before looking at destinations and see if the travelling time you’ll have to commit to, is achievable for you.
- Are you comfortable with flying? Consider any travel requirements you may have and how they will likely impact methods of travel. Can they be met by an airline? If you struggle walking far, driving may be the better option. Or if you’re looking to stop off in other destinations, jumping on and off a train is the best way to explore along the way. Know what suits you best?
- What’s your budget? A trip to Europe is going to cost significantly more than a trip across the country. Have a clear understanding of how much you’re willing to spend before looking at destinations. When you’re sure of a budget and have a selection of places you’re considering, play around with travel websites to see the best deals available.
- When are you going? Will your chosen travel period impact the price of your trip or prevent you from doing the activity you wish to do? Be sure to look into any upcoming events hosted in the countries and cities you’re keen on, as these will surely affect the cost.
- What’s the purpose of your trip? Whether you’re looking for adventure walks, a city to explore or you’re traveling for business, check what you’re after is available. It’s also worth looking at the weather forecast before finalising your choice, as this may restrict you from certain activities.
- What is the destination like? In order to help you understand what traveling there would be like, do some research into your chosen location. As countries and cities have a lot to offer, there will of course be things that don’t apply to you. When reading up on travel reviews, look into the top things to do, delicacies to taste and the types of people you’ll come across to see if it suits you.
How to Find the Best Travel Company
- Start with Google. Find the travel companies specialising in your chosen destination by doing a simple search. To make it easier, use secure and recommended comparison sites to check prices across a variety of providers.
- Do they cover cancellations? If your arrangements fall through and your trip gets cancelled, you’ll want to make sure your investment is covered. Find out what the process is for a cancelled trip and if a full refund or exchange is easy to obtain.
- Read reviews. Committing to a travel company can be tough - especially when many people will have opposing experiences. Do your research and weigh up the good and bad sides before settling on your choice.
How to Choose the Accommodation
- Know your requirements. When choosing accommodation, knowing your requirements is the key. If you need more space, renting a house is easily done. Or if it’s a central location you need, see which hotels or apartments in the area have a good rating. Overall, contemplate your needs and match them to your accommodation choice.
- Explore the top sites. When you know whether it’s a hotel, apartment or house you’re looking for, explore the top five sites for your choice. Taking the time to look at more than one website makes getting the best price much more probable.
- Check the security of a website. When using a new site, it’s easy to be skeptical - especially when you have to provide payment details. Look for a small green padlock in the left hand corner of your screen (next to the URL) before inputting any important details.
- Check the company’s terms and conditions. Whether it’s down to you or them, you may need to cancel or rearrange your trip and it’s important to understand your rights. Doing so could save you disappointment and money.
Top Cheap Travel Hacks
Once you know the destination you’d like to travel to and the ins and outs of the trip, the next step is making sure you get it all as cheap as possible. Follow these helpful hacks and get the best experience for a fraction of the price.
- Shop around for deals and offers. Don’t fall for the first offer you see. Doing more research, both online and with travel agents, is a great way to ensure you bag a deal.
- Plan in advance for cheaper travel. A few times a year, travel companies have seasonal deals. To take advantage, plan as soon as possible and if you can, book during these times. Alternatively, if the deals don’t quite line up with your planning, doing so as early as possible allows you to spread the cost. While this won’t necessarily make it cheaper, it will make the price more manageable.
- Make sacrifices. If cheap travel is important to you, consider what you’re willing to sacrifice for it. For example, are you happy to get public transport and stay further away from the centre in exchange for a cheaper accommodation cost? Or maybe traveling off peak doesn’t bother you? Wherever you can make cuts without damaging the experience, do it.
- Cut back on eating out. Booking a self-servicing apartment, hotel or house means you can cut back on food costs simply by preparing your own meals rather than eating in a restaurant every day.
- Pack light. If you’re traveling by air, cut back on costs by packing light and avoiding baggage fees.
What People Like the Most about Travel Companies
Traveling can be both tiring and confusing when in a new place. To give yourself the best chance of an enjoyable trip, search a variety of travel company reviews for the below positive qualities.
- Affordable prices
- A quick, efficient service
- Clean facilities
- Good deals and offers
- Friendly, understanding customer service - especially when an error is made
- Helpful information about the destination and things to do
- Transparency throughout the sale process
What People Dislike the Most about Travel Companies
When you spend money to plan an exciting trip, you naturally want the experience to run as smoothly as possible. In order to avoid difficulties, here are some key issues to look out for when researching the right travel company for you.
- Last minute cancellations
- Unhelpful customer service
- Dirty facilities
- Expensive rates
- Hidden charges
Important Travel Documents to Consider
Once you’ve decided on your destination, transport and accommodation, it’s time to start preparing for your trip. Know the documents you’ll need for a hassle-free travel process. As these differ when you’re traveling domestically or internationally, use the lists below for clarification.
What Are Important Documents for International Traveling?
Before taking an international flight, be sure you have the following documents required for traveling outside the US:
- Passport. If you’re traveling across the globe, a valid passport is essential. Check when your documentation is due for renewal before booking to avoid any disappointment. To avoid issues when coming back into the country, ensure your passport is valid for at least six months after your departure date.
- Travel Insurance. Using comparison sites, search for the most fitting insurance policy for your travels. While most include health insurance within the policy, the inclusions do vary. Check if the health coverage suits your needs. For example, if it’s a surfing trip you’re planning, are you covered for water sport injuries? Whatever your policy, carry these with you in case of an incident.
- Any important health documents. Such visas as student and working visas require proof of vaccinations. If you have a health condition reliant on medication, get a signed letter from your doctor to justify the amount of medication you’re traveling with. Similarly, if you’re traveling alone and have severe allergies, or you are diabetic, make sure this information can be easily found, should there be an emergency.
- Visa. When traveling outside the United States you will need a visa for the country you are traveling to. Check out the government website for your chosen destination and follow the instructions to purchase your documentation and be sure to carry it with you.
What Are Important Documents for Domestic Traveling?
While traveling domestic requires less documentation than international travel, there’s still key authentication you need to take with you:
- Identification. Most states don’t need a passport to travel in between states. However, due to recent law, residents of nine states will need a passport to travel domestically. Those states are; Kentucky, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Washington. US citizens based outside of those states only need to carry a driver’s license or state ID card for domestic trips.
- Tickets. Keeping a copy of any tickets you need for your trip is a sure way to save time and stay organised. Take a hard copy of all transport passes, activity confirmation and parking passes along with a digital copy too.
Traveling has become an inspirational hobby many people seek out. But there’s no denying it can be expensive and difficult to organise. So when you’re planning a trip, follow these tips and processes to ensure you get the trip of a lifetime without breaking the bank.