There is a lot that goes into planning a trip, even more so for an international trip overseas. The task can seem daunting, maybe even impossible, but just know that it can be done. Who knows? It could be the trip of a lifetime and worth your every effort. This list is here to help you plan an awesome and memorable trip.
1. Do Your Research
Research is one of the most important parts of any trip. Research the area, any possible visa requirements, activities you want to do and any other important pieces of information you might need to know about the destination. Be thorough in your data gathering, you may find out important information such as seasonal weather or lulls or when the best time to visit for certain activities.
If you’re traveling to a country that speaks a different language, then it would be best to try and learn a few key phrases as well. A little knowledge can go a long way and remember, when in Rome do as the Romans do.
2. Book Your Accommodations and Flight
Once you have all your research out of the way, be sure to make reservations in advance. Flights get more expensive the longer you wait to book them, and hotel rooms can fill up fast, especially if you are visiting during a country’s peak tourist season. Use travel websites such as Trip Advisor or Trivago to help you find the best deals on travel locations, hotels, and flights.
If you wish to truly immerse yourself in the culture, then it’s recommended you skip on the luxury resorts as they tend to cater to tourists. While you will not only be saving money, your experience will be richer because of it.
3. Create a Rough Itinerary
Even if you’re the type of person who likes to let the wind guide you, having an outline for your travel plans makes things much easier for you. Write down activities you want to try and places you would like to see while you’re abroad. It’s alright if you don’t get through all of it but writing it down can help you plan other important parts of the trip such as the various locations you’ll want to visit and how long you’ll spend at each location.
On the other hand, don’t pin all your expectations around an itinerary. Things can go wrong such as bad weather or even accidents, and this can cause plans to become derailed. In this case, always research some backup activities in case of an emergency.
Shopping is one of the best parts of traveling to a different country, whether you’re buying traditional clothes, spices, or various local trinkets, you may find that you’ve accumulated quite the bill when you return home. To keep from overspending, create a travel budget for yourself and limit your purchases.
Keep the receipts when you shop to help track of your spending habits, or if you find that you’re unable to limit yourself with a card, then consider using cash instead. The reality of your spending habits hits much harder when you can physically see your money disappearing from your wallet.
5. Notify Your Bank
Many people may overlook this step, but notifying your bank is an important task to attend to before traveling abroad. Your bank keeps track of purchases made on your card and the location the purchases were made. If they suddenly start to see charges made in a location 3,000 miles away from home, for precautionary reasons and to protect your credit card information from being stolen they may freeze your card and prevent you from making any charges (as well as any would-be thief).
When you have your trip planned, call or visit your bank to let them know of your travel plans, where you’ll be going, and how long you will be staying in each destination. In this way, the bank will know you are making the charges and purchases, and spare you the embarrassment of suddenly having your card declined at the mall, restaurant or hotel.