Travel planning: how to plan an amazing and happy trip. That’s the question! So valid, especially now during the summer season. Are you ready for your holidays? Did you plan for them already or maybe yet to finalize? I hope this article will guide you a bit.
Travels are the best when they are true to your personality and reflect your traveling soul type. So I won’t be advising here if to travel with a suitcase or a backpack. I also won’t tell you if it is better to stay in the local house, hotel, or camping. That’s an individual decision! Yet, you will find here many helpful suggestions, the actual tips from my never-ending travels.
TRAVEL PLANNING – THE MAN WITHOUT TIME
“I’m a traveler, Mr. Singh said.
‘Me too’, the little Buddha exclaimed joyfully. He had already met three other travelers whilst being in the town, and talking to them had always been special. (. . .) ‘What am I supposed to know?’ the Little Buddha asked, clueless.
‘That every journey means a lot of work. And all the work takes up a lot of time. After all, everything has to be organized and prepared very thoroughly.’ (. . .) ‘First of all, the exact route has to be planned. This is the most time-consuming part. I, for example, read all the books about my travel destination that I can find in the library. Afterwards, accommodation has to be organized, and then all possible information about all the sights has to be gathered.’ (. . .)
‘I really don’t understand. You should know how long all of this takes. Just thinking about packing the bags is enough.’
He paused. ‘Are you sure that you are a traveler?’
The little Buddha seemed a bit doubtful for a moment. ‘I think so’, he said hesitantly.
‘You think so? Does this mean yes or no?’
‘Well, if a traveler is somebody who travels, then I am a traveler, yes.’
Now it was Mr. Singh who felt a little insecure. He had to think. (. . .)
‘Why do you make so many plans anyway?’ the little Buddha asked after a little pause.
‘Because I am a traveler’. ‘And as I have told you already, there are certain preparations and plans that have to be made. It’s what you are supposed to do.’ (. . .)
‘But why? This doesn’t make any sense. Look at me: I am a traveler and I have hardly made any preparations at all.’ (. . .)
‘Maybe you can tell me something about your travels next time. About all the places that you have been to, and all the experiences that you have had.’ (. . .)
‘All of the places that I have been to?’ He was completely stunned and stared motionless at the little Buddha. ‘What do you mean? I haven’t been anywhere yet. No time!’
LET’S TALK PLANNING
plan /plan/: a detailed proposal for doing or achieving something OR an intention or decision about what one is going to do
source: Oxford Languages
- it is a proposal, intention, or a decision so that it can be flexible – don’t be afraid to change or adjust your travel plans 🙂
- it needs to have some level of details – empty statements are not good enough 🙂
- a plan refers to future actions – so your travel can take place tomorrow or in a few years!
QUICK TIPS FOR TRAVEL PLANNING
OVERPLAN OR NO PLAN
Over-plan or no plan? That’s a question! My advice is: have an understanding of your travel location. Learn about it a bit, discover in advance your points of interest. I know that some travelers like to put together in advance a full itinerary, including all the places and the timing details. I would suggest: know the place where you are going and adjust your plans. Follow your actual impressions and emerge to experience the place and its uniqueness, not the timetable details.
I know people who love to plan trips with a year of advance. And I also have friends who enjoy the last-minute offers. We tend to be in the more ‘spontaneous travels’ group! One is sure: there is no better nor worse. Earlier planning might give a better selection of your potential choices. However, the cost might be higher, especially the indirect one: your money is frozen for a while. The last-minute travels might have some limited options, and prices can go up, or you might find some good deals!
Recently, My Better Half found a graphic data summary of how price dropped in time between our last travel locations: Gdansk to Santorini. It was amazing to see that. It confirmed that buying tickets one week before travel was so much cheaper!
Many of us prefer to have no disturbance when traveling or planning for a trip. Changes might not be so welcomed. For me, they are an integrated part of travels planning. I treat each of my travels as my dream trip. I never know if the future will bring me there back again. It helps in being open to changes to plan for the best. Even if it means a last-minute location or a hotel change, I go for it. Incorporate changes in your travel plans. They can make your trip even happier.
Reviews, travel feedback, and blogs are my favorite sources of info. I do not tend to read a lot of official sources before traveling. I prefer to find the details in other travelers’ experience sharing. It might give you some good insight, especially on any potential challenges. Just cross-check on the date of the review. If it is a few years old, it might not be fully representative anymore.
travel LIKE A LOCAL
Plan to experience the place like a traveler, or even better: as a local person. Discover in advance some local recommendations. Check for the restaurants where local people eat, for the off-road attractions or not touristic beaches. All these places give a local experience and usually less crowd. For me, visiting a place is going to the street market where local people go, buying regional fruits, or going for an off-road walk.
Traveling in the internet era became easier and more comfortable. Yet, internet connection might be a challenge in some locations. Network availability (we experienced it in Santorini), network provider challenges, lack of WIFI availability, or high data charges can impact your travel plans. When planning for the next journey, include some offline plans. It might mean downloading few movies in advance for your flight or maybe your itinerary maps. At the airport information center, you can ask for a physical map. Be ready to travel like 30 or 40 years ago! It is fun!
Currently, travel planning includes one more element: Covid-19 preparation. Check your travel requirements: your flight documents, visiting country or location rules, as well as your return place. As we are still in the middle of the pandemic, the requirements might change often so it is best to review the information regularly. It is possible to travel. Be safe. Take care of yourself and the people around you.
APPS TO LOVE
You do not need to feel lonely when planning for your dream trip! Many apps can help you to prepare well. I like to refer to them. I am keeping aside the flights or hotel booking ones, as they are more standard. My favorite one: Taste Atlas! Yes, I am a foodie! And then all about the travel experience, offline plans, and packing. I prepare a quick list below, 12 recommendations. Enjoy!
TRAVEL PLANNING APPS
Category: travel maps
CityMaps2Go is the ultimate offline map for travelers, mountain biking, and hiking enthusiasts who want to be prepared wherever they go. More than 60000 destinations are available worldwide, covering virtually the entire globe. Major tourist destination regions such as Hawaii, Mallorca, the Canaries, the Greek islands, the French Riviera, Thailand, the Tuscany or the Caribbean can be covered by downloading a few maps.
Additionally CityMaps2Go offers detailed terrain maps for worldwide national parks and mountain ranges.
Category: travel experience
Discover nearby recommendations hand-picked by global experts and local insiders, plan unique trips that are right for you, and easily book spot-on places to stay and experiences.
Category: travel guide
The collaborative travel guide to authentic and impactful places. FairTrip already counts nearly 2000 places referenced all around the world. We believe that tourism can become a lever for inclusive and sustainable economic growth.
Category: travel guide
Do you want to really get to know the next city you visit? Easily find and book your place on the best free tours around the world, join fellow travelers with top-quality local guides and discover the history, heritage and culture of the place, hear the stories, learn the legends, and get an unbeatable insight to local life while exploring the must-see sights, local hotspots, and places of interest on excellent tours – and, you’re free to decide what it’s worth; just pay what you like to the guide at the end of the experience, it’s the ultimate win-win.
Category: travel packing
PackKing helps people around the world to organize their packing list for their holidays. Whether you’re planning a vacation with a loved one abroad or inland, the app generates your personalized packing list based on destination, planned activities, transport, and other personal needs. PackKing makes it easy for you to figure out what items you shouldn’t forget to pack into your backpack or suitcase for your weekend, business or holiday trip.
Category: travel & food
TasteAtlas is a mandatory step before each travel! It is like a global map of different tastes. Something super useful for travelers, both during planning phase and also when already on the road. This map can help you select the most traditional delicacies of the place, in each corner of the world! Simply: explore the map to discover local ingredients, traditional dishes and authentic restaurants.
Category: travel guide (Asia)
A digital way to discover! It comes up with gorgeous photos of beautiful Asian tourist places and provides map navigation to guide. Make your trip comfortable, safe and informative. It helps to explore Asia in the best possible way.
Category: travel budget
TravelSpend is an app to track your spending while traveling the world. It’s perfect if you are planning your next trip or are already on vacation. If you travel in a group you can share expenses with friends and family to see “who owes who.” No matter if you are a solo traveler on a round-the-world trip, a couple backpacking together or a group of friends on a weekend holiday.
Category: travel guide
As a travel guidance company, Tripadvisor brings people, passions and places together. The app lets you get the most out of your trip – whether you’re planning or on-the-go. Discover where to stay, what to do and where to eat based on guidance from millions of travelers who have been there before. Find deals on hotels, book experiences, reserve tables at great restaurants and discover great places nearby. No matter what type of trip you’re looking to take, the Tripadvisor app makes planning it easy and also lets you guide others on their way.
Category: travel planning
As soon as you book a flight, hotel, car or other reservation, simply forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll instantly add it to your master itinerary. We make it easy to sync travel plans to your calendar or share them with anyone you choose. You can even upload PDFs, photos, boarding pass and digital passport QR codes, and more to your travel plans in the app so everything is in one place.
Category: travel guide
Planning your trip should be simple and fun. Visit A City App is free and it works offline.
You’ll be getting: free access to 1000+ travel guides created by experts, access to your plans and maps online and offline, easy navigation between the locations based on your personal plan and detailed guides which will help you find what to see and what to do.
Category: travel planning
Wanderlog is the easiest-to-use, completely free travel app for planning every kind of trip, including road trips and group travel! Create a trip itinerary, organize flight and hotel reservations, view places to visit on a map, and collaborate with friends. After your trip, share a travel guide or trip story to inspire other travelers.
Moments that matter, no matter the plan.