Some would like to sip delicious cocktails at the pool in a luxury hotel, others would like to go on a cruise, others swear by round trips through one or more countries and some simply go off on their own with their backpacks. No matter which trip you have in mind, and which country is the destination, it is important in all cases to plan the trip accordingly.
The offer of activities, sightseeing, accommodation, etc. is very interesting. is incredibly versatile, and many a traveler may be a little perplexed by the topic of travel planning. In this article we would like to take a closer look at this topic together with our readers.
Because good travel planning saves a lot of stress and makes the planned vacation a complete success.
Why is good travel planning so important?
Some may wonder why careful travel planning is so important. There are several reasons for this.
For every trip abroad, no matter where, for how long and what kind of trip it is, there are some important things like flight reservation (resp. in case of non-air travel, planning the trip by car, train or bus), hotel reservations, exit and entry formalities and similar things to do. However, in the travel fever one can sometimes forget one of these things, or do it too late. And this can either be expensive or even thwart the trip completely.
So there are actually stories of travelers who found out at the airport that their passport had expired or that they needed a visa. Still others arrive at the hotel and realize they forgot to confirm reservations and/or make deposits.
Even booking a flight too late can either be expensive, or the flight is full and you can’t fly at all.
A trip, whether short or long, can be a stressful task. Where to start, what should you do first? Is there a step-by-step guide you can follow to find out?
And even the online booking process needs to be done carefully, because one stupid mistake in filling out the form, one mistake in calculating the trip dates, etc., can clearly go into the money.
Simple tips for planning a trip
In general, you should plan your trip carefully and follow a vacation planning scheme. We have listed here the most important steps of travel planning for you.
1. Destination – where do you want to travel
The first thing to consider is what weather you would like to have. This sounds incredibly simple and easy, but it is not necessarily so. Because not everywhere on the globe has the weather conditions we want at our vacation times.
For example, our summer is the Argentine winter. Also in South Africa at this time is winter, while in December you can enjoy high summer. So you can z.B. We can go on a beach vacation during our Christmas vacations – it just depends on where.
So the very first thing to consider is whether you are looking for sun or snow. The next thing to consider is whether to go to the beach, mountains, cities or rural areas.
Find out what exactly you really want. The plan must be as concrete and precise as possible. A "trip to Africa" is much too daring, because in Africa there are deserts, tropical climates, countries with beaches, countries without beaches, countries that are famous for safari tours with elephants, giraffes, lions, zebras, etc., while North Africa includes an oriental desert adventure and camel ride.
And "one trip to Canada" – i.e. a single country as destination, is also not accurate enough, because Canada is the second largest country in the world, has 10 provinces and three territories. Do you want to go to French-speaking Canada or English-speaking Canada?? Both coasts are covered by 6.000 kilometers apart, so it is better to choose one of the two.
Within Canada, there are also significant differences in temperatures and climate at the same time of year.
2. Duration of the trip – how long can the trip be?
The factor travel duration depends on the own vacation, that of the partner and possibly on the vacation times of the children. These are of course different in the various states such as Baden Wurttemberg, Bavaria, Rhineland Palatinate, North Rhine Westphalia, etc. differently. In addition, the budget may also play a role, although the cost per day is on average cheaper for long trips. Short trips are most expensive per day.
From the possible travel duration depends z.B. the destination with from. If you have only one week available, you will probably not want to fly to the Far East or even to Australia, because you will spend almost half of the time on flight days alone. If you add the expected jet lag due to the time difference, a one-week trip to East Asia is rather nonsense.
And also a Europar tour in 5 days is illusory, because you can only take a quick picture in front of the most important sights – you will hardly get to know a country or even several countries this way.
In short, one should be realistic about the possible duration of the trip and the appropriate destination for it. If you are German or Swiss z.B. would like to have a relaxing beach vacation and has only one week time, he is probably better off in Mallorca, Portugal, Italy or Greece than in South Africa or Bali.
3. Travel Expenses – How much does it cost to travel?
Here it is true that everything is relative. The stay in Southeast Asia is usually cheap for Europeans, but the flight costs are not to be neglected. For a Swede or Swiss, Germany is cheap, etc. So the perceptions are different, even if both are Europeans.
In addition, each person has a different relationship to money and feels other sums as expensive. Therefore one has to be careful with statements of other travelers. It’s better to do your own research on certain comparative prices, z.B.:
- Price per night for the same
- Hotel category
- Gasoline prices
- Costs for rental cars
- Comparison of some basic foods
With the Internet, this is now quite simple and saves you surprises. Just comparing the prices for a Big Mac in different countries gives a very clear idea of the cost of living.
This is how you roughly determine how much money per day you will need on average in the desired travel country. This multiplied by the days available for the trip will quickly show you if you can pay for the whole thing. Just add the airfare at the end
4. Saving – it is best to calculate everything generously
So do you know that you will spend approx. needs $ 100, wants to stay 10 days, travels with two people and the flight costs at $ 1.000 per person, then you know, for example, that you need at least $ 4.000 needed.
In addition, you want to do some tours and possibly rent a car for three days. So add another $150 for the car and $100 each per person for tours. Results in an amount of $ 4.350.
This may sound a lot, but if both people start saving in time, the whole thing is not so difficult:
Everyone must raise $ 2.175, assuming the trip is to take place in 6 months:
30 days per month x 6 months: 180 days
$ 2.175 / 180 days: $ 12.08 per day
Of course, the earlier you plan, the more time you have to save and the less you have to save per day. There are even people who always save a certain amount per month for travel, long before they even know where to go then.
5. Credit cards for traveling
For traveling, credit cards are ideal. There are even some credit cards that are especially suited for traveling.
Credit cards are handy because firstly, you don’t have to carry too much cash – which can be a security risk, and secondly, withdrawing money abroad can often be expensive and possibly also difficult.
If you have a credit card, you’re in the clear, because it’s now accepted almost everywhere and you can use it to withdraw money from ATMs all over the world. And if something unforeseen should happen on the way, you can easily cover possible costs with your credit card.
Especially for frequent travelers, a credit card with miles and bonus program is very beneficial, because there you can earn points for hotel rooms, airline tickets and car rentals.
6. Check the travel documents
Once you know where to go, be sure to check the travel documents. Is z.B. the passport is still valid? Be careful – often when entering the country it is required that the passport still has a certain minimum validity. As a rule, this is at least 6 months.
Be sure to check with the appropriate embassy beforehand. You should also find out in good time whether you need a visa to enter your dream destination. If this is the case, this must also be applied for in a timely manner.
Also think about an International Driver’s License, if you z.B. plan to rent a car.
Many exotic countries, especially in the tropics require certain vaccinations upon entry. These are usually expensive and not covered by health insurance. Be sure to check with your doctor, the embassy, the Foreign Office or the Tropical Institute.
Even if a vaccination is not compulsory, you can still decide to have a vaccination voluntarily. You should also seek advice from your doctor on this matter.
8. Book your flight in time
There are several things to consider here. Last minute flights can be cheap, but there you are not sure that the trip will go to the planned destination.
So these flights are only for spontaneous singles who do not have to think about children, vacations and the like. Normally you plan your trip for a longer period of time and you should book your flight as early as possible, because it is cheaper than booking at the last minute, apart from the fact that the flight may already be fully booked.
Saving money is also helped by the following tips:
- book open jaw tickets – airport fees vary from airport to airport and from country to country. Just look for multiple destinations and airports. Frankfurt Hahn is much cheaper than Frankfurt International.
- Special booking sites allow you to search for flights for a whole month and airports all over the country. So you may come across cheaper solutions.
- Search for special offers
9. Accommodation booking
For accommodation there are numerous options, from camping to hostels to luxury hotels with golf courses. There is something for everyone. Once you know exactly what you want, you can start searching. Again, this should be started well in advance, especially if you are traveling during peak travel season. Because hotels are booked up quickly.
Compare the prices and especially the offer on the spot. What do you want from the accommodation? Are you there just to sleep, or do you want to spend most of the vacation days in the resort. Do you want a large pool? All-inclusive meals, nightlife, childcare, quiet boutique style, yoga retreat, etc?.
Remember, vacation is the best time of the year and one wants to enjoy it fully. So it is better to be really clear about what you really want and then look for the appropriate accommodation.
10. plan excursions
Also do not forget to plan excursions. If you fly to Kenya, you usually want to do a great photo safari, other countries might be good for whale watching, long hikes, sightseeing, etc. to. Plan the costs carefully. Often it is also a good idea, if you are quite sure that you want to do something specific, to book this from home. Then you don’t have to worry about it in the foreign country.
In this context, a route planner is also helpful if you z.B. want to make a round trip. With the practical planner you set the routes so that you are guaranteed not to miss any of the important excursion destinations and optimally lay out the route to see as much as possible on the way.
11. Inform your bank that you are traveling
Banks closely monitor credit and debit card movements for security reasons. One should therefore inform the bank that one will be staying abroad, because otherwise the card might be blocked in case of doubt, because the bank is suspicious of the account movements. Especially when it comes to exotic countries, banks quickly react suspiciously.
12. Careful packing
First of all, it is important to know how much luggage the airline allows. One should definitely put the suitcase on the scales at home before departure to be sure that one has not packed too much. In most cases today between 21kg and 23kg per person. Pack less than allowed and leave a little weight as a reserve, because most travelers buy souvenirs, a piece of clothing or other bargains while on vacation.
Depending on the type of vacation and climatic conditions, you should pack appropriately. For a cruise, you may need elegant evening wear, while hiking in Canada requires more rugged and functional clothing. If you fly to the sunny and hot tropics, you don’t have to take several sweaters with you, but you might want to bring something for a cooler evening.
We generally recommend to create a packing list and to use it for the actual packing. So you forget guaranteed nothing and are best prepared for your dream vacation.
We hope that this article has helped you to plan your vacation and we wish you a good trip!