Planning a holiday can be both exciting and extremely stressful. You are looking forward to some quality time away in some new and exotic location, while at the same time your mind is going a million miles an hour trying to organise all the necessary details to get you there.
But does it need to be like this or is there an easier way? We believe there is, and today we will share our top five tips on planning for your next trip like an expert!
Have a thorough plan:
Know exactly where you are going, who will be travelling with you, where you are staying, what travel insurance you will buy, what forms of money you will need, and what you want to do there. If this is not perfectly clear in your head before you go, you will find yourself lying awake at night worrying about ‘what-if’, and ‘if-only’. Are you going to the UK? Then will your trip include time in London as well as visiting Stonehenge, York Minster and having a tour of Old Trafford? You will need to know distance and travelling times, what is permitted and what is not, and whether you be going by car, bus, train or aircraft? Keep asking questions about the trip until you have exhausted all possibilities.
Always have a plan B. Always:
What happens if you get to Manchester United’s famed soccer ground and it is closed for the day? What will you do if the day you get to York, there is a big demonstration planned and the place is shut down? By thinking of the worse that could happen, you begin to get a clearer idea of what options are available to you if you need to change plans at the last moment. The London Eye might be closed for maintenance, the M3 could be having major road works performed, or Heathrow could be closed for national security reasons. All of these things can happen and having a Plan B can save your life, or at least your travel plans. We learned a long time ago to always allow longer travel time than the books suggest, and always take more money that we think something will cost. Over time we have had our flights cancelled, accommodation changed, car rental forms lost, roads blocked, buildings closed, and much more. So, as the saying goes, ‘hope for the best, but plan for the worse’!
Hit the Internet and check with your friends:
Don’t reinvent the wheel’ is an old saying that applies every time you travel. Why do all the hard stuff yourself or make unnecessary mistakes that you could have avoided? Jump on the ‘net and see what well-known travel sites like Expedia have to say about your destination. They can tell you how to get there, where to stay, how to get around, and what to do there. Your family and friends (including social media friends) are also a possible goldmine of information. Have they travelled recently, do they know the destination and local area, and can they give solid travel advice on what to do or not to do? Never go anywhere before checking all the web sites and friends you can. We know for instance that if we are travelling from Australia to Canada, we can chat to online friends for the best tips. The same applies for Scotland, Vietnam, Texas, Indonesia, NYC, Germany, and a host of other places around the world.
Know the cost – the real cost:
We all plan the cost of flights, accommodation and car hire when travelling. But what about the price of dinner each day, entrance fees, tipping, snacks and coffee along the way, pressies for family back home, and that occasional bottle of wine or beer? They sound petty but over a three-week holiday can add substantially to that credit card if you are not prepared. Work out what you can afford to allow as additional spending money and ensure your trip takes that into account before you go. Even the best holiday can be ruined if you fail to plan correctly. And it can turn into the holiday from hell if you run out of money overseas!
Give a copy of your detailed itinerary and travel documents to a reliable family member or friend before you go:
They need to know when and where you are going, contact details for each location, as well as having copies of all essential travel docs just in case something goes wrong while you are away. Get them to ask every possible question of you before you go so they know as much about your trip as you do. They might remind you to pay all your utility bills before you leave, get a house-sitter, relocate the pets, look for last-minute deals, and even double-check your travel insurance. In an emergency this person can be your lifeline and you need to know you can count on them. Imagine being caught up overseas in a strange location when a terrorist event occurs. Your accommodation is closed off and you need to get out of the city urgently, but have limited smartphone power or coverage? One call to your friend back home could see them making emergency plans to get you safely to your next destination with very little effort or worry on your part.
Do these things well and you will be more likely to enjoy your next trip without being kept awake at night worrying about what you forgot to do before you left home.
Do you have any favourite travel tips? We would love to hear from you, so please drop us a comment below so we can share them with others.
Living each adventure,
Christine and Trevor
Empowering people to live a healthy, active, authentic and fulfilling life.
Adelaide, South Australia.
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DISCLAIMER: This article is written for informational purposes only and is based on Christine and Trevor’s own life experiences. No food featured on this site should ever be consumed or handled if known or suspected allergies exist. Nothing featured here should be taken as medical, professional or legal advice. It is always recommended that you consult the appropriate professional before changing any routine or adopting any new procedure.