Planning a long trip can be a daunting task. Where do you begin? What’s step one? What’s step two? What’s step three? It’s easy to get overwhelmed in the beginning, especially when you haven’t done something like this before. In a continuous effort to get out the door and into the world, this step-by-step guide has been created to help plan a trip that breaks the process down in order to make planning easier and less overwhelming. No matter your trip length, this list will help you stay organised as you prepare to step onto that plane and zoom away into the world.
Step 1 – Decide Where You Want To Go
Defining where you want to go sets a goal to work on. A lot of people talk vaguely about travel. They never say where they are going, they just say they are going. Picking a destination is immensely important, as it gives you a definite goal. It’s a lot easier to mentally decide “I am going to Paris” than “I’m going to Europe.” Not only will your trip become more concrete for you and easier to commit to, but it will also make planning easier as well.
Step 2 – Decide the Length of Your Trip
You cannot determine how much it costs to travel without knowing how long you’re going to be away. You can’t figure out how much you need to save if you haven’t decided on how long you’ll be in your destination. Putting the length of your trip in mind when planning will help you save cost and help you achieve an organised trip.
Step 3 – Research Your Costs
Now that you know where you’re going and how long you’ll be there, and have nailed down how much money you need, your next task is to research the costs in your destination and the style of travel you want. Do you want to backpack or would you rather stay in luxury hotels? How much are hotels, restaurants, and attractions? Knowing all these will allow you to estimate how much money you’ll need for the trip. Research is necessary at this point. Note that after knowing the cost, you must save extra cash in case of unpredicted events. Remember, things can change at any time, so plan well so you won’t be taken unawares.
Step 4 – Start Saving Money
Time to start saving! Write down all your current expenses so you can determine where you are spending money and how you can cut back. People bleed a lot of money every day through small purchases: that bottle of water, the money for that snack, that extra drink. All of that adds up and creating this breakdown can let you know where you need to cut and save. But if you are a good cook, you will no doubt save yourself some money from feeding. You can cook a large dinner and then enjoy the leftovers for lunch the next day, thus saving more money. Cook more, eat out less, and travel sooner.
Step 10 – Book Your Accommodation
If you have a set schedule, feel free to book accommodation for the duration of your trip, but if you are going to be traveling long-term, book just the first few days. Once you know the dates you’ll be in your destination, there is no real reason not to find a place to stay.
Step 11 – Plan Your Activities
Sketch out the major activities you want to enjoy and how much they cost. Make any last-minute adjustments to your savings so you can ensure you have enough money. This will also help you figure out if you need any reservations for your chosen tours or activities.
Step 15 – Start Packing
After knowing how long you will be away, ensure to pack selectively. Pack to suit your journey, know what you will be engaging in, and pack everything you know is necessary for your every activity. Your To-Do list will help you pack without mistakes.
Step 17 – Enjoy Your Trip
Go on your trip and have fun! Head to the airport, board your plane (don’t forget your passport!), and enjoy the fruits of your labour. By using this guideline, you can better organise and prepare for your trip. You’ll check all the boxes, don’t miss anything, and have plenty of money for your vacation. It can be as simple as booking a flight and packing or as complex as rearranging your entire life to go backpack the world forever.