Travel planning tips

I absolutely LOVE planning, I like to be as organised as possible. I’m currently planning my Europe trip with my sister Kia. She’s more of a spontaneous kind of person (the kind of person who would dye their hair red on a whim, or take a random 2 week trip to Tobago in her school break!) So if you’re that kind of person and you’d like a bit of a planning guideline, or if you love organisation but you don’t know where to start… this post is for you!

#1. Budgeting – This should be your first stage of planning. It’s really important to keep track of your money and plan how much you’re going to spend and what you’re going to spend it on. Something I found really helpful was to give yourself a daily amount to spend on each cost. Split your money into categories. ‘In City Costs’ (ICC’s) and ‘Travel’ (Flights, Train tickets, bus tickets etc). Within your ICC’s make sure you include money for food, accommodation, public transport, attractions, and give yourself a certain amount of money each day for each cost. The cost may vary depending on the country/city.

#2. Research - Every country, every city is different and has it's own unique public transport, language, food, accommodation, music scene. Do as much research as you can about the places you're going to visit, so that you know what tourist attractions you want to go and see, what food you want to experience, what hotels are the most affordable, what bus you need to take to get there etc. I don't think there's any such thing as too much research.

#2. Write EVERYTHING down – Whether it’s electronically or in a notebook, make sure you write down all your ideas, goals, plans, budgets and thoughts. I have two planning notebooks that I literally take with me everywhere I go. Then you have a space in which you can explore ideas, and you have some sort of tangible plan. Which not only makes it feel more real and exciting but it also means you have something to look back on if you forget what hostel you decided to book in Paris or what restaurant you wanted to eat at in Rome. 

#3. Don’t be afraid to make changes – It’s good to have some level of spontaneity. Don’t have every minute of every day planned down to a T, allow for some flexibility. And re-budget as many times as you like. Budgeting is a realty important stage in the planning process and it should be your first point of call, but if you start with a certain amount of money to spend (or save up for) and things change (like hours at work getting cut or an opportunity to buy an affordable car comes up) don’t be afraid to cut your budget. And the same goes for increasing your budget if you can afford it. I’ve just completed my third big change to my Europe budget. And we’ve changed the list of cities we want to visit about 6 times. (At the moment it’s London, Paris, Venice, Rome and Monaco… but who knows how long that list will last)
This being said… it’s also really important to have some constancy. Give yourself a date on which you have to have a solid plan (the sooner the better, because booking accommodation and flights becomes more and more expensive the closer to your trip you book it.)

So there you go… just a few of my travel planning tips. I hope they’re useful to you :)

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