Travelling is a total delight, whether you are going solo or with your friends. The experiences are worth the while and you do not forget them in a hurry. Sometimes, I wish I could quit everything, pack up my whole life, and travel the world to my heart’s content. A serious case of wanderlust, you may say. Lol, I do not have that sort of courage yet, thumbs up to travel bloggers.
How to plan your vacation
Also Read: Eleven Habits of Successful People
What to do before you travel
Most people usually leave travel plans right up to the last minute. That is not advisable. You will only end up harried, confused, and missing more than a few things. And some other people have no idea what to do before taking a planned trip, and as a result, do not get to enjoy their holiday as much as they would have.
Not to worry, we have put together a list of what you MUST plan before you step on the plane. Wonderful, isn’t it? Let’s go!
The duration of the trip
You wouldn’t believe how important this is until you are stuck somewhere in Timbuktu, and short of money. How long are you travelling for? Do you want to travel for a week, a month, six months, a year? Making up your mind as to how long you want to be away from home will help you plan your vacation effectively.
Where are you going? Is it some “never heard” of place in Asia or one of the more touristy destinations the travel channels and blogs can’t stop babbling about? Keep this in mind, especially if you’re not an experienced or regular traveler. It will help you decide on some things.
Who you’re going with
This is important. Do you want to take a trip with your closest friends or you would rather explore the markets of Taiwan yourself? Solo travelling is fun, because you’re more flexible and could be easily spontaneous. At the same time, travelling with friends is delightful, you could do stuff together and dare each other, plus it doesn’t hurt to have an extra pair of friendly eyes on your belongings, right?
I like to think this is the most important part of the pre-planning. Your budget is heavily determined by the first three items on this list. Your money should, most preferably, last longer than the trip, you don’t want to be stranded in a place with no functioning ATMs. And your destination determines how much you are going to spend; really popular tourist destinations will cost more than not so popular ones. Keep in mind that currency valuation is really important, so try to find out the exchange rates before you finalize your travel plans.
Time of year
Very important! You don’t want to spend your entire trip trapped inside your hotel room because of inclement weather conditions. So, when you’re planning your vacation, find out what the weather is like at that time of year. You’ll thank me.
Find out! Find out what accommodations are available in your travel destination. This is important! You don’t want to be stranded when you arrive and swindled of all your money by lackeys looking to trick unsuspecting tourists. If possible, make your reservations ahead of time. That will ease the hassle of finding a hotel, particularly if you’re travelling in the tourist season.
You don’t want to spend your entire holiday in a hospital bed, fighting a disease. That’s a total nightmare. So, find out what diseases are prevalent in your travel destination, their mode of infection and take the necessary vaccinations. Trust me, you don’t want to come back looking emaciated and in need of desperate TLC.
Pack up the electronics
This is very important particularly if you’re taking detours from the cities into cozy little villages. Get your adaptors, chargers, phones, iPod, and make sure you have extra batteries. Take a power bank too, preferably the ones made for travelling. You can never be too sure about the power situation, especially in developing areas.
Do this keeping the weather and cultural preferences of the local people in mind. Remember, you’re travelling to experience new cultures, and so if you are visiting more conservative countries, pack appropriately. Keep the weather in mind, too! Some countries are hotter than most, particularly in the summer.
What to do when you get to your destination
Whew! You have arrived! Now what? Well….
Be flexible and spontaneous
Be willing to take a detour from your planned schedule. Ask the hotel concierge questions about the locale and you might find out really beautiful locations that aren’t indicated in your little tourist book. You might even decide to change your plans and stay in a cozy village that’s undiscovered by tourists.
Make friends with a local
This is absolutely fun! You’ll get to see the “never seen before” places and see more than a tour guide would depict. Plus, you can learn the language easily if you have got someone to practice with. And having someone who is a native can get you through some pretty unpleasant situations, like being swindled.
Participate in cultural activities
Nothing is more fun than dressing up and attending a cultural event! It is even sweeter if you’re made a guest of honour. It affords you the opportunity to learn new things and possibly come away with a lesson or two. And you get to sample rare delicacies, too.
Keep an open mind
This may surprise you but locals can easily detect if a tourist is “faking it”. Keep an open mind about customs and traditions, it shows when you are genuinely interested. The locals will be more willing to show you more of their traditions and will readily answer your questions.
Learn simple phrases in the local language
You might stumble over the correct pronunciation and will probably never get it right till you leave, but it’s worth it in the end. Learning simple phrases like “good morning”, “please”, “thank you” will go a long way, trust me.
Take public transportation
Yes, this may be complicated at first, but you’ll get the hang of it in no time. Besides, being by yourself in a rental car isn’t the best way to feel like a native, you won’t hear anyone yammering away in the local dialect in your rental. Besides, mixing up buses is a great way to explore the city.
Check out the local markets
Check out the local market, and not the ones dedicated to tourists only. Take an excursion to local markets and explore. You could buy really nice stuff and not just “plasticky” souvenirs made for tourists.
Record your memories
This is really important! Make videos, take pictures and have a good time while you’re at it. Show us the pictures or it never happened!
This is simply how to plan your vacation. Traveling shouldn’t be a hassle if it is well planned. Have fun! And don’t forget to take care of your body when you come back!