I can’t believe it’s been over a year since my New York trip already. Looking back at my post I realised the lack of travel-related posts recently, despite travel being a passion of mine.
Although at present I only have one trip in the pipeline; Thailand at the end of Summer, it doesn’t mean that in the meantime I can’t get myself prepared.
The planning stage of any trip can help determine how successful it will be and is an enjoyable part of the experience itself. There is a world of options and plenty to consider when planning. Building on an older post, I have given you an updated list of my top travel tips when planning a trip:
Prior to Booking:
1. Check your Passport.
Probably the most important thing to consider when considering a trip overseas is whether your passport is still valid or not. It’s important to check the expiry date on your passport as some country’s require a certain period of time left on your passport to enter the country. Obtaining a new passport can also be a lengthy process so the sooner you get the ball rolling the better.
2. Use Social Media
3. Set yourself a budget.
This next tip falls hand in hand with finding the best deal. If you are on a tight budget, make sure you stick too it. Set yourself clear, realistic expectations of what your budget will be able to get you. Budget holidays and package deals are great if your on a tight budget. If you’re looking for a tailor-made trip, expect to pay more.
4. Time your trip right.
When choosing a destination make sure you have researched when the peak and off peak times are and when the weather is best suited for you. Other things to consider are public holidays and celebrations which may delay or restrict your plans.
5. Choosing the right Hotel & Airline.
When choosing a hotel there are a number of variables to consider. The first is quality. The more ‘star’gradings a hotel has the better the features are. If a hotel doesn’t have a certain amount of stars, it doesn’t necessarily mean it is bad, or not up to standard. Star gradings include location and hotel amenities such as the pool, gym and restaurants.
Another point to note is when searching using a comparison site, be careful of the ‘top picks’ or ‘user verified’ hotels as these are not always the better hotels and can be paid advertisements.
If you’re looking for something a bit more unique, you could always book accommodation through AirBnB, and ‘live like a local’. (It tends to be a lot cheaper than staying in a hotel too).
Just like hotels, the price of airline tickets can vary site to site. Most times cutting out the middle man and booking directly with the vendor, will help keep costs down. Other things to consider when booking a flight is what the price includes? Budget airlines tend to charge extra for services such as meals and baggage so make sure your price includes everything you want.
6. Check Visa Restrictions / Vaccinations
Now you’ve booked your hotel and flight, it’s time to start the holiday prep. A good place to start is to check what vaccinations you may need to enter/protect yourself in particular countries. The more remote the destination, the more chances you will need some sort of vaccination.
For my trip to Thailand I am booked in for 8 weeks before so it’s good to check.
It’s important to do your research before you arrive. Tailor your trip to suit you. Create a inspiration board over on Pinterest, like my one below, to pin all the things you want to see and do, and for places to eat or stay. Use it as your personal travel guide!
If you prefer a travel guide in book form, I would recommend the Cereal Travel Guides or the Wallpaper City Guides by Phaidon. They are full of useful information, are beautifully presented and are a great reference for discovering new places.
8. Get your documents together.
– Whenever you travel you should always do so with insurance. Not only will it be there if any health issues were to occur but if anything was to happen to make you miss a flight, or your baggage gets lost, it’s one less thing to have to worry about knowing you are covered. Having a printed copy is always handy if you need quick access to those emergency numbers.
It’s also recommended to take photocopies of your tickets, ID and passport incase they were to be misplaced.
– When changing currency don’t order on a whim, wait until you can find the best rate. The exchange rate changes daily and it also varies on where you purchase it from. Or if you don’t like the idea of carrying a lot of money I would recommend speaking to your bank about the cheapest and safest way to use a credit or debit card abroad. I bank with Halifax who offer the fixed rate ‘Clarity Card’ which will not incur fees on any international transactions. Also make sure your bank is aware that you will be leaving the country as they tend to put a hold on your card for any suspicious transactions.
Investing in a travel wallet will help keep all your documents safe and in one place. My Mulberry Passport Cover Wallet has been used on many trips to secure all my information I need to hand.
Packing; some people love it and some people hate it. I personally quite like it as it feels like the start of the trip. When packing it’s quite easy to overpack. Wherever you’re going make sure you pack appropriately and be realistic. A good starting point is to find an online packing checklist to get you started, which will cover all the essentials.
10. Make the most of your trip.
Be safe, have fun and make loads of memories.
Travel can be stressful, the key is organisation. What are your key travel tips?