How to be an awesome Travel Planner.
Aha, planning your next adventure, it always gives you two distinctive feeling. The first being excitement of exploring a new, different place. The second is the overwhelm of the all different parts that go int planning your next adventures and having no idea where to start.
Don’t worry my fellow adventurers, I’ve got this. As today I am going to tell you how I plan my adventures without getting yourself all in a twizzle and getting that overwhelm feeling which we all hate.
Lucky for you, I have developed this method over time, through the many times that I planned my dream adventures over the years, as well as in real life with my trips to London & Rome which have worked very well more me.
So grab a cuppa and get ready to become an awesome travel planning pro because thus one is a looonnggg one.
Ready? Let’ do it!
Step 1 | Budget
The first thing that absolutely needs to be done you planning your next adventure is to work out your income and outcome. In other words, the money that you have coming in and going out of your bank account because without it, you will have no idea how much money you have to start funding your travelling dreams.
To get started you need your budget by grabbing a bit of paper and a pen , open Google Doc or Sheets, whatever you most comfortable using.
Working Out Your Income
The first thing you need to work out is, how much money that you have coming in. For majority of you out there, this will be the wages from your job.
Working out your Outcome
The second thing that you need to work out is, how much money that you have going out. By starting with your regular (and important) recurring payments. This includes things like;
+ Utility Bills (gas, water & electric)
+ Weekly Shop
+ Mobile Phone Bills
+ Car & Home Insurance
+ Netflix & Spotify Memberships
+ Gym Memberships
+ Student Loan Repayments
+ Any money that is going into Savings.
It’s important to log all these things first because if you miss a payment for any of these recurring payments can lead you into trouble, which you definitely don’t want to do!!
The easiest way to work this out is by looking at your bank statements over the last 3 months. Pop down the item and how much it costs.
Once you have worked out your regular (and important) recurring payments. You will need to record all your other outgoings. So this will generally include;
+ Starbucks/Costa Outings
+ Social Outings
Adding them together
Now that you have worked out what money is coming and where it is going. You are going to need to add both totals. Once you have worked out both of your totals, you will need to subtract the income total from the outgoing total. This will give you an idea of how much money you spare.
If you have a decent amount of spare, like a £200+, then you can totally put some of that money aside for your adventure, as you are already a budgeting Queen! Go you!!
Now, If you have less than £200, which ideal, you will need a bit more left over just in case of emergency! It’s not the world, you just have to adjust how you spend your cash. So you will need to take a look at your income and see if there is any unnecessary spending and find ways to save a bit of cash which can go towards your travels.
Some ideas to get you started and help you save some cash! These include can be;
+ Looking and Changing your bills to a cheaper supplier
+ Getting some extra hours at work
+ Getting a second job
+ Having nights-in with girls instead of going out
RELATED: How to Save Money To Go Travelling
Step 2 || Research
So now we have worked out your budget for your travels. You can start doing the fun stuff, (well at least I find it fun to do!). Which is to research about the destination(s), like where you are going to stay, how would get around your destination and what you are going to do while you there.
This research can be split into two sections, Budget Research & Destination Research.
Budget research is anything that will cost you money and affect your budget spending. This typically includes things like the cost of flights, accommodation, local transport and attractions.
Before making any final decision booking your flights, accommodation or anything for your trip. You obviously will need to know how much money you are willing to spend on these things, To help you with this ask yourself these questions;
How are you going to get there?
Are you going to get to your destination by driving, flying? Or get a coach or a train?
Where are going to stay?
Are wanting to a luxury 5-star hotel? A mid-range 3-star hotel? Want to stay in the City Centre or Right on the Beach? Or are looking to do this cheap as possible and stay in a hostel?
What rate do you want?
Do you want to have breakfast included? Going Half Board?, which includes you Breakfast and Dinner. Or do you want to go All Inclusive?
How much Spending Money you are going to need?
How often are going to eat out? How much are attraction you want to visit going to cost? Can you buy attraction tickets in advance?
To help answer these questions,I have some resources that I absolutely love and are totally awesome to help get the most out of my money, which includes;
This is my go-to for when I’m looking and booking flights at the cheapest possible price. They also have this great feature which allows you to track the price of flights and notifies you if they have been any increases or drops in price.
Very similar to Skyscanner, but for hotels instead, which scans through 1 million hotels and offers to help you stay at your dream hotel for the cheapest price available.
You can pretty much any kind of holiday you want from flight only, the hotel only packages even attractions and local train tickets! My favourite thing about Expedia is that it has an AWESOME rewards scheme which you can get access to some great deals for flights, hotels and even car hire!
Specialise in hotels, like Trivago. However, if you sign up for their emails you can get access to the ‘secret prices’ which is offered to their members only and also have great rewards club as well.
Again, very similar to Hotels.com, it has fabulous rewards and secret deals for a whole range to hotels, apartments and more to choose from!
Kayak is brilliant for those of you who don’t know where to go to next as they have
features like Explore where you pick the time of year you want to go and how long for
& it gives you the best offers possible. They have a guide section which will give all
the inspiration you need!
While Destination Research is all about researching the destination itself. This will include things like where the best areas to stay and eat, language, local culture and customs as well as the local and nearby sights and attractions.
Destination Research is properly my favourite thing to out of the WHOLE planning process as there is so many different ways to find all the information you need to know about your destination.
Some of my favourites include;
Like I mentioned previously, travel guides provide plenty of inspiration, ideas and some top tips and advice about the destination that you are planning to visit. My personal recommendation is Lonely Planet as I find their information suitable for all budgets and they are regularly updated.
I generally use this to get an idea of what the people have said about the local hotel,
Restaurants and attractions. Obviously, these are only people opinions and what some
people love may be what some people absolutely hate. So, please read the
reviews with an open mind before making a decision.
Pinterest & Travel Blogs
I absolutely love using Pinterest and Travel Blogs to help research the destinations that I’m planning to visit as they are written by a hard-core traveller and they can share their top tips and advice.
RELATED: What To Research For Next Trip
Step 3 || Prioritise
Now, that you have worked out your budget and planned the crap out your destination, you are ready to move onto the third and final step, Prioritising your time. This is properly the hardest part of the whole trip planning process as, if you are anything like me, you will want to do all the things.
Especially if it is your first time to that destination action.
However, you only have so much time and money to do all the things that you want to do. The key to enjoying your trip is that you can NOT overdo it as you will only end up overwhelmed and tired.
So, in order to enjoy your trip and to decide what you can see and do. I have developed a method that will help decide what to do for once and for all!
Step 1 || Consider how long do you have at your destination?
Step 2 || How much of the budget do you have left for attractions
Step 3 || Make a list of ALL the sight and attractions you want to see and do that you can do within the time and budget that you have.
Step 4 || Grab a map (Google Maps is a great option!) and mark all the sights and attraction on the map. This will help you work out the distance and location of the other sights and attractions as well as your accommodation and local transport links.
Step 5 || See if any of the attractions and sights are located together or nearby. If that is the case, great! See if it’s viable to see a bunch of them together, either in half a day or the whole day.
Step 6 || Next, use your research and figure out what days would suit you to visit that particular sight or attractions. It is worth remembering that you can ALWAYS swap the days that you do and visit attractions if you don’t feel like doing them on the day you’re originally set to do it on.
Related: How to Create a Travel Itinerary That Works for You
To summarise, the 3 steps that you need to take to become an awesome travel planner are;
Step 1 | Budget.
Budgeting, this will help to track your money in general and also to help save more than you can think for your adventures!
Step 2 | Research
Researching, this will help you make your budget you further and also get to know your destination before you go!
Step 3 | Prioritise
By Prioritising, this will help you decide what you want to when you are there and when you want to do them without getting yourself overwhelmed, tired and broke!
As a bonus note, It is worth saying, that if you have any attractions that you wanted to visit but couldn’t squeeze it in. Don’t Worry! It gives you a great excuse to visit again in the future!
There you have it!
You are now an awesome travel planner who is ready to rock and roll, in the world of travel planning that is!
Over to you...
Do you have any awesome travel planning tips that EVERYONE else should be doing?
Let me know in the comments!