Looking to plan a trip? Let the fun, excitement, and adventure planning begin! You may have a place in mind, a date in mind, or just the wanderlust heart that is looking to explore. Which is great! You don’t need to know everything, or anything, just promise yourself that you will be open to discovering the possibilities and committing to adventure.
Narrow down your travel preferences:
- Tour or Independent?
- Tour Group – Usually a safe bet if it’s your first time traveling because the itineraries are planned out far in advance and there are experienced tour guides. Typically there is a larger group of people to socialize with. Downfalls can include more costly trip prices, less downtime, and more on the go (depending on the trip).
- Independent – Planning independent travel can be very rewarding and a point of pride for people. It allows for flexibility and a truly tailored experience to what you are wanting to get out of your trip. The downfalls for this option are that it can be very time consuming during the planning process. It can also be stressful when traveling in a new place on your own.
- Relaxing or Sightseeing?
- Relaxing – Determine what relaxing means to you. Are you looking to lay on a beach, shop till you drop or sip coffee and people watch? By deciding this you can start narrowing down location and time of year for optimal weather.
- Sightseeing – You will see and experience things that no camera could ever fully capture. You will learn parts of history and culture that you never read about before. You will be tired and your feet will hurt.
- Blended – Being a tourist is hard work and takes a lot of energy and comfortable shoes. For every three days of being a tourist, you should budget one day of rest and relaxation. You will thank yourself later.
- Big City or Uncharted Territory?
- Big City – Have you always dreamed of seeing Paris, London, or Rome? Do you typically find beauty in the rush of a big city? You will most likely be planning your trip around the big ticket items that you’ve been dreaming of seeing. Make sure you plan enough time to spend in the city, so you don’t get overwhelmed with trying to experience everything at once.
- Uncharted Territory – Do you prefer to find the hidden gem? Enjoy small towns and mom’n pop shops? Uncharted territory can still be full of culture and history, although it may not be as popular. This can be a little less overwhelming, and a proud moment when you find a great new place.
- Planned or Spontaneous?
- Planned – Do you find comfort in knowing what you will be doing day to day? If you don’t want to miss an opportunity, researching and creating an itinerary that spells out your daily activities may be the right decision. Planning out the details of your itinerary can keep you from missing cool things to do, save time while on the trip, and accommodate diverse interests evenly.
- Spontaneous – Enjoy the invigorating feeling of acting on a whim? Being spontaneous with your travel can be more flexible and allow for new opportunities to arise, that you may not have known about until arriving. Be aware that this option can be stressful for people who are the ‘planning type’, and may take more time during travel to figure things out.
- Solo or Accompanied?
- Solo – Get ready for an experience completely unique to you. It is exciting and invigorating to navigate a new place on your own. Although, be ready to be ‘on’ all the time. When you get lost, you are lost alone. When you drop your phone in the ocean, you are screwed alone. But when you want to do something or navigate away from the plan, you can do it, it’s completely up to you.
- Accompanied – Share the stories and experiences with people you love. You can also share the cost and problem solving effort together. There will always be someone to watch your luggage while you go to the restroom, and take your new profile picture. Be sure that you and your travel companion(s) have similar expectations of the trip.
Of course, the best trip would be a hybrid of these options. For example, some aspects of the itinerary may be planned out, while other afternoons are left open for adventures.
If you have any questions, or would like to suggest another aspect of travel to consider at the beginning stages of planning, please comment below.
Let the fun begin!