Now that you decided to travel….

So now you have decided to take that week, month, year or unlimited time off to travel, now it’s time to figure out where to go from here.  Planning and preparing for any trip can take a while to do thoroughly so start a few months ahead and pace yourself.  The list can seem endless. Basically, organization is the key to a great trip.  Don’t get too bogged down with the details.  This part can easily be left to a travel expert if you are not up for the job.

If you do decide to go it alone and use little to no travel services for your trip here are some things to consider while planning. The following are some general questions and short explanations that need to be considered while planning for the trip.  The best way to answer them is not exactly in the order listed.  It’s more than likely that you will go back and revisit and edit the answers though the process.   “Where to travel to?”.  Next,  “When will the trip take place?”.  Thirdly, “How much time is available?”.  Lastly, “What’s my budget?”.  There are many more things that a traveler needs to consider but these are very basic things to keep in mind.  These questions may take a while to answer and don’t be surprised if you end up going back and revising one after moving on to the next.   Please  don’t get too frustrated while planning your trip.  The more kinks which worked out before the trip the less surprises or unexpected roadblocks will surface will traveling.

Where?

This is the most obvious thing a person needs to decide on for the trip. If the destination isn’t obvious then do something like put a wish list of destinations together and break it down from there.  Next, take that list in put them in order of importance to you and your partner(s) if you decide to go with others.  From there, figure out when the ideal time of year to travel.  For example, you probably don’t want to go to the Philippines during monsoon season unless you don’t mind the rain and it’s just when you can go.   At least you don’t have to deal with as much crowds and can save a few pesos.  Is there a very important to know when public holidays are going on in the region you plan to visit.  For example, if you plan on taking the train in India while visiting you may not want to go during Dawali.  Dawali is a wonderful holiday  and is great one to witness in person.  This is a  peak time where travel costs will be premium,  so if you really want to go just figure it into your budget.  The best place to find out is the official tourism website of the region or country.  Most countries these days have them and if not, try a google search.

When will the trip take place?

The time to travel usually determined by your work policies, when your travel partner(s) can go or when the best time to go to your destination is.  Figuring out when to travel is difficult for some to figure out.  Best thing is to go back to that list of destinations and see when is the ideal time to visit according to your preference (the weather, holidays, and festivals are some things to consider)

How much time is available?

The amount of time can also be the main determining point on where and when to travel.  Time could have already be the underlying determinate in deciding on where and when to go.  You only have one week to travel so this limits your choices to where and when you can go.  If you have access to a private jet then it wouldn’t be so hard but most budget travelers are at the mercy of commercial planes, trains and bus travel.  You also need to take account travel time to destination and how much you want to actually be experiencing the destination.  Most travelers want the most experience for the least amount of time in getting in and out of the place from home.  A traveler going to far out places will  likely need to make many transfers, long bus rides from the airport and the time suck of the unknown (usually transport delays, cancellations and the like)  Basically, if you only have a week then usually going on safari in Uganda is not the best choice.  The best thing to do is decide on a place that will give you the most time for your money.  South Africa is a great place to see wild animals since some great sites are only a few hours away from major cities.

What is the trip budget?

This could be the first or last thing considered when planning.  The budget no matter how little or big it is needs to be made before traveling.  A traveler should decide the costs of traveling to a specific destination for many reasons. No one likes to get ripped off while traveling.  Know how much a hotel in Cairo will cost on average before you get there.  Determine your travel options and find out if it’s cheaper to travel overland opposed to taking a plane.  Do as much research on the costs of transport, food and lounging before heading out.  This way you are not caught off guard when you guessed wrong.   Wasting money is of course stressful and can ruin an otherwise great experience at the destination.

As seen, planning a trip is work.  The more work put into planning a trip the chances of unpleasant surprises.  The planning process does become easier.  The trip may have some unexpected incidents but these will make you a better traveler and open your mind up to new adventures.

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