Are you counting down the days until you jet off bound for far-flung shores? Are you looking forward to a solo voyage or the trip of a lifetime with a partner, friend, or relative? If you’re planning an incredible break, and you’re keen to minimise stress and ensure everything runs smoothly, here are some top tips to take on board.
Planning your itinerary
Whether you’re going on a round the world trip and covering multiple continents, or you’re preparing to embark upon a road trip or a safari adventure, it’s wise to plan an itinerary in advance. Spontaneous travel can be exhilarating, but it’s useful to have a rough idea of where you’re going to be and what you want to do to ensure that you don’t miss out on any highlights or waste time on travel. Read reviews, research the areas you’re visiting and get some tips from people who have done a similar trip or visited the same places. If you come across excursions, activities or experiences you’re desperate to incorporate into your plans, compare agencies and tour operators, check out ratings online, and always make sure the company is insured.
One of the most important things to figure out if you’re visiting multiple destinations, or you’re planning to hire a car or use buses, trains or planes to get around is how you’re going to get from A to B. Often, it’s cheaper to book transfers online, and you could also save money by buying travel passes if you’re going to be in the same city for a period of time. You don’t have to plan every single journey in advance, but it’s wise to research transport routes and links if you’re relying on public transport and to figure out where to stop and stay over if you’ve got a big road trip ahead.
Most people stumble across hidden gems or hear about attractions they must visit or experiences they must try while on holiday, so leave a bit of room in your itinerary for last-minute additions and tips from the locals.
Keeping in touch
Globetrotting is an incredible experience, and it’s highly likely that you’ll want to tell your pals and relatives about all the things you’ve seen and done along the way. Before you set off, think about the best ways to stay in touch with family and friends when travelling, and make sure you’ve got all the apps you need. Advances in technology have made it easier and cheaper to keep in touch than ever before, and you can send messages, emails and photos in an instant. It’s also a great idea to make sure you’ve got a video calling app so that you can enjoy face to face conversations and share mind-blowing views. If you’re a fan of social media, you’ll also want to ensure that all your apps are updated before you go, ready to share those all-important selfies and make everyone at home green with envy! If you’re interested in photography, and you’re looking forward to honing your skills and capturing wildlife, landscapes or mesmerising sunsets, take a look at editing apps and programmes before you go.
Packing made simple
Packing is one of those things that most of us look forward to and dread simultaneously. The fact that we’re getting a backpack or a suitcase out heralds the imminent arrival of our departure date, but it can be stressful trying to make sure you have everything you need. Before you start packing, write a list, and make sure you give yourself time to wash and dry clothes and buy anything you need for the trip that you don’t already have. It’s worth remembering that major airports usually have a selection of shops, so don’t panic if you suddenly remember that you need an adapter or flight socks on the way to the airport. When you compile your list, think about what you’re going to be doing and check the weather forecast. If you’re going away for a period of weeks or months, it’s beneficial to try and put together a capsule wardrobe comprising essentials you can mix and match to create several different outfits. Once you’ve covered clothing and shoes, do some research to ascertain what kinds of extras you’ll need. You might need to take bite cream and mosquito spray, for example, or you may need sun lotion. Cater for the conditions and the types of activities you’re planning to do.
Unless you have an infinite pot of cash or you’ve paid for an all-inclusive tour, budgeting is crucial for any trip. Before you set off, draw up a budget based on how much you can afford to spend per day or week, or set a budget for each city or country you’re visiting. The cost of living varies hugely from one place to the next, so if you’re travelling around the world, research average prices for everyday items before you go. When you’re away, keep an eye on your accounts using Internet banking, and update your budget as you go. This will help to avoid overspending and leaving yourself short and it will enable you to make the most of the time you have. If you’re on a shoestring budget, there are several ways to save, including sharing transfers and accommodation with fellow travellers, avoiding restaurants and bars near tourist attractions and using public transport to get around. If you’re planning to stay in a city for a long time, it’s also worth looking into booking a hotel or renting an apartment in the suburbs. If you can find somewhere to stay near a metro or a bus stop, you’ll be able to enjoy being close to the action at a fraction of the price.
There are few things more exciting in life than embarking on the trip of a lifetime. If you’ve got an incredible holiday or a backpacking adventure booked, take these tips on board to save time, effort and stress and ensure you enjoy every moment of the build-up.