Travelling is one of the most exciting activities a person can do in their life – it’s the best way to explore the world, try new things, discover new places, and develop as a person. However, some people are deterred from travelling to distant locations, and their holiday experiences are far from amazing. While there may be many reasons for that, one thing is certain – with travel planning, they can turn the whole thing around and have the best vacation of their lives.
If you want to learn how to plan the perfect vacation from start to finish, you’ve come to the right place. Here, you’ll find tips for all stages of your trip – before you go, while you’re there, and when you’re coming back home. You’ll also find helpful advice for different travel types – with children and alone. Are you ready to go on the trip of your lifetime and then repeat it for every holiday you ever take? Read on.
Before You Go
Not everyone has amazing organisational skills, and these sure help when planning a trip. As such, many people are discouraged from travelling because they see it as a daunting task. While planning might be tricky at first, the more you practice, the better you become – and you can only achieve it by turning your thoughts into action.
Travelling doesn’t have to be stressful or expensive; you just need to know how to organise it from start to finish. Below, you’ll find 8 great tips for planning a trip.
Choose the Location
The most exciting part about planning your vacation is choosing where you want to go. There are so many different places you can visit, with different activities, views, climate, culture, and an entire array of unforgettable experiences you won’t have anywhere else. Now you need to decide which location you like the most – and trust us, it’s enough to give you a travel bug for the rest of your life.
Choose the Right Time
If you want to go on the best vacation of your life, you must choose the right time for it. However, the majority of people travel during the peak of the season because it’s the only time when their schedule allows them to take some time off work, or when their children have school breaks.
If you’re not a fan of the crowds, going on holidays when everyone else is there, too, will quickly turn into a nightmare. On the other hand, you may have no opportunity to pick the right time according to your preferences. Still, you can make the most of it by choosing the best month for your activities. For example, if you want to visit India, you may want to avoid the monsoon season, and if you’re going to Japan, pick a certain time of the year if you really want to see the cherry blossoms.
Set Up a Budget
When planning your perfect vacation, you need to remember that you only get to experience what you can afford. As such, you should determine how much money you can spend on the trip and other travel-related activities, such as food, drinks, gifts, souvenirs, entrance fees, etc.
Additionally, you need to have a financial safety net in case something bad happens. Many agencies offer cheap travel insurance deals that are definitely worth looking into.
Finding a way to get to your dream destination is one of the biggest travel-related costs. If your destination is far away, it might be best to buy a plane ticket. However, if you want to go on a road trip, then you’ll probably want to rent a car or fuel up your own vehicle. Either way, you can have a great trip!
When you take care of your means of transport, you can look for places to stay. During this holiday preparation phase, you’ll have to make important decisions that will influence your entire trip. Do you want to book a place close to the airport? It’ll probably be cheaper but you’ll be farther away from the city centre. Do you want to book a hotel room or rent an AirBNB? Maybe you’re adventurous enough to try couchsurfing, or you’re an avid backpacker and camper and a fancy hotel will be of no use to you. When booking accommodation, make your decision according to your preferences and travel style.
Think About the Must-See Places
There has to be a reason why you chose a particular destination. Typically, people are drawn to certain places due to attractions they can go to, or must-see places recommended by every tourist guide and travel blogger. Whatever the case, now it’s your turn to think about what you want to see and do on your trip.
Look for coupons and discount codes – chances are you’ll find great deals that will grant you access to attractions at a very reasonable price. It’s an amazing solution for the whole family that helps everyone get the most out of their vacation.
Create Your Holiday Packing List
If you want to have stress-free holidays, you should be well-prepared for it and pack everything you might need. Below, you’ll find a list of items you’ll have to take both on shorter and longer trips. Feel free to adapt it to your needs and use it as your pre-travel personal checklist.
- Comfortable walking shoes
- Hiking shoes
- Lip balm
- Contact lenses with contact solution
- Hand sanitiser
- Nail clippers
- Makeup products
- Makeup remover
- Shaving supplies
- Insect repellent
- First aid kit
- Smartphone (with a charger)
- Camera (with a charger or a set of spare batteries)
- Laptop/tablet (with a charger)
- Film/memory card
- Travel adaptor
- Power bank with a charging cable
- Global SIM card
- E-book reader
Items For Your Carry-On
- Personal medication
- Credit/ATM cards
- Travel documents (ID, student ID, passport, vaccination certificate, travel visa) with paper and digital copies
- Tissues and wet wipes
- Hand sanitiser
- Refillable water bottle
- Printed banking and contact information
- Face mask
- House keys
- Books or e-books
- Travel pillow
- Comfortable backpack
- Waterproof file for important documents
- Packing cubes
- Ziplock bags
Be On Time
Trip planning is also about timing. As such, if you want to have a smooth and stress-free vacation, be on time and start early, no matter where you go and how well you know the road.
While You’re There – How to Have the Best Time on Your Holiday
It appears that some people, no matter where they go, always come back from their holidays exhausted and disappointed. That’s the opposite of what holidays should be about – what’s the reason behind it, then? Is there a secret to the perfect vacation experience? Well, it’s not really a secret, but there are some things you can do to have the best vacation of your life – and then repeat it all over again on your next trip.
Pick the Best Attractions
When you finally arrive at your destination, you should make the most of it and spend time going to the places you planned to visit. Ideally, you should know whether you need to book a spot in advance, pay any entrance fees, and organise transport to and from a certain location. On the other hand, if you want to rest, make sure you have everything you need to relax and have an enjoyable stay.
Take Your Time
Having the best vacation of your lifetime is not about visiting every place mentioned in your tourist guide. Instead of seeing too many attractions and not having enough time to experience them to the fullest, try to pick a handful of locations and activities that interest you the most. Do things you enjoy and don’t rush.
Going on vacation means you finally have the opportunity to relax. However, you’re not the only one with this goal in mind. As such, try not to wear out your welcome and, more importantly, treat other people with respect.
While you’re on holiday, you’re likely to stay in a hotel or some other similar accommodation. Since not everyone is familiar with hotel savoir-vivre, here’s a short run-down of hotel do’s and don’ts.
|Treat staff and other guests with respect.||Don’t steal food from the dining hall or hotel canteen.|
|Reuse your towels and cleaning supplies – it’s more eco-friendly.||Don’t steal items from your hotel room.|
|Be considerate of other guests.||Don’t be rude.|
|Ask the hotel staff to empty your minibar – this way, you’ll avoid temptations and an unnecessarily high bill.||Don’t try to eat and drink from the minibar and replace it with cheaper products bought at local stores.|
|Use the “do not disturb” sign when necessary.||Don’t leave a mess.|
|Respect the other’s right to privacy.||Don’t be loud and obnoxious.|
|Treat other guests and staff like you’d want to be treated.||Don’t yell and berate staff and other guests.|
|Don’t let your kids run around unsupervised.|
Wear Appropriate Clothing
If you want to have the best time on your holiday, you have to be dressed appropriately. This tip should be a no-brainer, yet many travellers forget to pack weather-appropriate clothing. Check the forecast before you leave and be prepared to get dressed in layers – it’s easier to remove a piece of clothing than find something to wear when you desperately need to warm up.
Choose Your Company Well
One of the fastest ways to ruin your vacation is by letting the wrong people come with you. For this reason, you should choose your company wisely and only travel with people with whom you feel comfortable and get on well.
Ultimately, you can always try solo travel – maybe it will become your preferred way of exploring the world? Read on to find our tips for travelling alone.
Unplug From Work
Do you feel you can’t take your mind off work, no matter where you are? If the answer is yes, then you probably find it difficult to relax. It’s clear to see why – nobody can rest if they keep replying to work emails while laying on a beach or answering business-related phone calls while being thousands of miles away.
Dealing with work during your free time is a sure-fire way to ruin your vacation. So, next time you feel the urge to check your inbox or answer a phone call from work, keep in mind that you have the right to ignore all that – you’re on vacation, and it’s your time to recharge your batteries before you get back home.
Don’t Do It For the ‘Gram
Social media is a blessing and a curse. It’s a great source of ideas and inspiration; at the same time, it lures you into a trap of doing things how everyone else does them, and it may not always turn out alright.
Remember that whatever is presented on social media is likely not real at all. The best thing you can do is to plan your holidays just like you want to plan them, disregarding everyone else. Your opinion matters the most, even if it means going off the beaten track.
Coming Back Home
Coming back home from holidays can be quite stressful. The more people and luggage are involved, the more stressful it gets. Luckily, there are some things to ensure everything goes without a hitch. Take a look at the following points, and feel free to incorporate them into your personal travel checklist.
Before You Leave
Do you know what the term “post-travel depression” means? It’s a feeling of sadness you can get when your amazing trip comes to an end.
One of the best ways to keep your post-travel blues in check is to prepare well for the trip back home. Here’s what you can do to focus on the task at hand and spend this not so pleasant time as productively as possible:
Pack in Advance
Don’t leave it until the last possible moment – you risk forgetting something or, in the worst-case scenario, missing your flight due to terrible time management.
Check the Route
Whether you’re driving a car, riding on a train, or flying in a plane, you need to know what your route is.
Double-Check Your Documents
Make sure your ID and passport are valid (you should also do that before going on holiday), you know where your plane or train tickets are, and that you have all the necessary documentation if you travel by car.
Wake Up Early
You can check every point on this shortlist, but still, you can miss your flight or get stuck in traffic if you get the timing wrong. Get a full night of good sleep, and wake up early and well-rested.
Maintain a Positive Mindset
Stay positive – if you’ve taken care of all the steps mentioned earlier, you should have a stress-free return trip.
Coming Home – The Next Step
Coming back home is a bitter-sweet moment. Your exciting trip has come to an end but you’re back to the places where your daily life takes place – to locations you’re fond of and know very well. You’re back to reality, but you’re probably extremely exhausted. Thinking about the upcoming week only stresses you out – but don’t go to bed just yet!
Before you toss your suitcases to the side and forget about them for another month, take care of some things first. Here’s what you need to do upon your arrival:
Unpack Your Bags
Throw them on the floor and don’t even look in their direction for who knows how long – everyone knows that! However, procrastination never bodes well, and leaving those bags unattended won’t help you get back in the holiday mood. On the contrary, it will only make you miss your stress-free days even more, and you’ll be stuck in the dreaded post-vacation blues.
Let’s face it – nobody likes taking care of mundane chores. However, the piles of dirty laundry you surely accumulated during your trip won’t wash themselves. Do what has to be done – make sure you’re prepared for your usual routine and enter a new week fresh and well-rested.
Check Your Email
Unplugging from work while you’re away is more than recommended. However, now you’re back, and you’re in for a brutal awakening. You can minimise the shock by checking your email beforehand. This way, you’ll know what to expect on the next working day, and you’ll slip back to your usual routine at a more gradual pace.
Check Your Bank and Credit Card Statements
No matter how amazing your trip was, safety should always come first. As such, you should check your bank and credit card statements for any unauthorised payments. You should also keep an eye on missing refund credits or suspicious double charges.
Make Insurance Claims
Hopefully, your vacation turns out as good as can be – but what if something goes awry? Well, let’s assume that you’re prepared for that and can start making insurance claims right away.
Let Your Family Know You’re Back
Before you leave, you should always let someone know where you’re going and when you’ll be back. As such, text them or give them a call when you arrive home. It will put their mind at ease, and they may even want to help you unpack, or visit you to listen to your travel stories.
Having to go back to your usual routine can make your post-travel blues even worse. While you can’t postpone it, your best bet is to relax and chill out. You’ll carry on with your responsibilities when the time comes but for now, settle back in and enjoy your blissful, work-free moments.
Plan Your Next Vacation
Is there a better way to cure post-trip depression than to look for your next destination? Probably not! You can even find new travel coupons and discount codes. Travel agencies and booking websites often come up with seasonal deals, so you’re more than likely to find a great offer. So, if you miss your travel life and want to go explore the world again, start looking for future vacation spots as soon as you return home.
Bonus Tip: Organise Your Photos
You don’t have to do it right after returning home, but it sure would be nice to filter your photos and organise them in some way. It will help you preserve your amazing holiday memories and is a sure-fire way to battle your post-travel blues.
Useful Tips for Travelling with Children
Travelling is child’s play (pun intended) if you know how to do it! However, travelling with children is a whole different story. It’s tricky for both new parents and people who are used to family trips. After all, children tend to be unpredictable, and they react differently to adults.
If you’re an avid traveller, starting a family doesn’t mean you have to give up your passions. On the contrary – you can help your kids become curious travellers themselves, teach them organisation and openness, boost their confidence, and familiarise them with rules of human relations.
Do you want to find out how to have the best vacation of your life with your kids? Read on to learn about these 8 amazing tips for travelling with children.
Take It Slow
Travelling with children means that some things will take more time than expected. You need to go through many steps before you reach your destination, and it gets tricky when the tiny humans are involved. As such, you need to have plenty of time to get yourself and your kids ready. Don’t rush – patience is your biggest ally.
The secret to having the best trip of your life is to keep yourself and your children happy. You can start from looking for ways to accommodate your kids.
Try to book hotels and airline tickets with child discounts or other child-friendly amenities. Also, make sure your kids have many fun activities to choose from – pick something that you, as a parent, will enjoy as well! Also, consider looking for discount codes for theme parks – school-age children will surely find them incredibly exciting.
Brand and Track Them
Not knowing where their child is – it’s one of the worst feelings a parent may have. Visiting a popular tourist attraction, going to the airport, or stopping at a crowded gas station – these situations are unavoidable while travelling, and they also pose some risks. The best thing you can do is to provide your child with some form of identification, along with your contact details. It will give you peace of mind.
Pack What You Need
Depending on your kid’s age, you’ll have to bring different items. However, the list you’ll find below can serve as a sample guide on what to bring for a plane ride with a child:
- Hand sanitiser
- Baby wipes
- Basic art supplies
- Reading books
- Comfort items
- Smartphones and tablets with chargers
- Kid-sized headphones
- Plastic bags for trash
- Water or baby milk
- Baby food
- Low-sugar snacks
- Extra batteries
- First aid kit
Pro tip: Comfort items can help your young child survive the time they spend in transit by providing them with a sense of familiarity and security. It can be anything from plush toys to pacifiers if they still use them. Keep in mind, though, that kids tend to lose their grip on things. If a toy or a pacifier lands on the floor, you must prevent your kid from putting it close to their mouth. As such, you should have at least two pacifiers and be ready to clean them, as well as bring backup toys.
Talk to Your Kids
For small kids, travelling is a completely new experience. Luckily, they should be curious about it, which is why you need to explain to them what’s going on. They will understand more or less, depending on their age – but they will listen to you. Don’t waste this opportunity! Use children-friendly language and answer their questions – it’s a great learning experience and a way to bond with them.
If you want to have a peaceful trip (and avoid annoying your fellow passengers), you need to bring distractions. Children tend to get bored easily, so you have to be prepared.
The easiest solution is to bring a smartphone or a tablet and let them play games or watch animated movies. However, you can also reduce their screen time and pack books, educational games, or their favourite toys. Also, the more creative you are, the better – you can always engage them in a conversation or look for other ways to keep them occupied.
Dress Them Well
Here’s a tricky task – you need to dress your kids as appropriately as possible, as fast as possible, as efficiently as possible. The best strategy is to dress them in layers. Opt for clothing with no buttons or zippers, and choose slip-on shoes over laces. You should also think about packing a spare set of clothing in your carry on bag, just in case they spill something.
Keep Calm and Enjoy
Sometimes the only thing you can do is to remain calm. Children process events differently to adults, and travel-related activities can be overwhelming to them. You need to keep calm for them and for your fellow passengers or guests – long and deep breaths can do the trick.
Helpful Tips for Solo Travel
You’ve made it this far! If you dread travelling with other people, maybe solo travel will give you what you want. Whether you’re preparing for your first solo trip or want to improve your experience, read on. Below, you’ll find a bunch of useful solo travel tips.
Do Your Research
Thorough preparation is necessary during each trip. However, if you decide to travel solo, you’re on your own for real. If you fail to take care of some aspects of your trip before you leave, you’ll have to find a way to solve your problems with little to no help.
It doesn’t mean you must plan every moment of your vacation. Your plans may change, and that’s the beauty of solo travel. However, you need to take care of the basics, such as transport and accommodation, time and date of your arrival and departure, weather conditions, and other necessary information about your destination.
Look for Travel Deals
Whether you want to go alone on a small city break or immerse yourself in the local culture during a long-term solo getaway, you can do it without breaking the bank. Look for the best travel deals and discount codes for hotels and accommodation, car rental and parking, airlines, various experiences and activities, and different means of transport.
Many of the so-called “must-see” attractions are extremely popular among tourists, which means that people will get in your way, even though you’re on your own. Fortunately, when there’s a will, there’s a way. In this case, the solution is to wake up early, before everyone else.
Very few tourists are determined enough to start exploring as early as possible. Use it to your advantage and enjoy a truly unique experience, unspoilt by loud tourist guides and large groups of people.
Learn the Lingo
If you want to travel abroad, consider learning at least a couple of basic terms and phrases in the local language, especially if you go to a non-English-speaking country. You’ll be on your own, so being able to communicate with others should be your top priority.
More often than not, people you meet while travelling solo will be friendly and helpful. Speaking in their language will help you make connections, get around, or discover new places, making your solo travel experience all the better.
Meet New People
Travelling solo is fun but it can also get very lonely. The best travel deals, most luxurious resorts, and beautiful destinations will give you no joy if you feel you’re in need of human connection.
You don’t have to be extroverted to make new friends. Try to be open to new experiences and don’t be afraid to go out and talk to people. If you don’t know how to go about it, start by smiling to others – it’s a universal way of showing that you’re friendly and approachable.
Enjoy Every Moment
Your attitude can make or break your entire solo travel experience. If you’re anxious, worried, or fearful, you’re unlikely to enjoy it. Be positive and open to new people, places, and activities. Since you decided to travel alone, make the most of it!
Numerous surveys show that travellers list safety as their number one concern. However, fear should never stop you from making your dreams come true. Here are 6 safety rules for solo travel.
- Keep in touch with friends or family.
- Buy travel insurance.
- Have backup options.
- Trust everyone and no one.
- Don’t flaunt your wealth.
- Trust your gut.
The Bottom Line
It’s true – planning the perfect holiday takes a lot of time and effort. However, if you do it right from start to finish, you’ll see it was all worth it. Once you sort out the nitty-gritty of travelling before you reach your destination, you can move on to the fun part of your trip, which involves creating memories while you’re there.
Travel planning is a skill in itself. As such, the more you travel, the better you become in organising your trips because you get a full hands-on experience. Don’t stress out too much, and get the most out of this unique time as you can. Once you implement these solutions and follow the tips mentioned above, you’ll see the difference, and your travel experiences will only get better.
Hello! I am Axel, tripplo.com’s travel tips expert, travel savings expert and founder. It’s me who publish and update most of the content and discounts on tripplo.com!