How do you plan a trip?
My brother always said that planning a trip was half the fun. We were in our late twenties then, we’d been travelling for years, our friends were travellers, all we did was live, breath, and talk travel. The world was our oyster and I don’t think we conceived that there would be a time when spending hours poring over books (or nowadays hours on the internet) would be an impossible luxury.
Fast forward to the present – where time is a precious commodity – and the information on the internet providing way too much information, this is my how to guide on how to plan a trip.
- Set Parameters!
a. Budget or b. the number of days you have available.
One of the above will be your limiting factor! Some of us are time poor (or with children’s schooling to consider) while others have got more time but less money. One way or the other, you need to set the parameters for your trip – what is the budget going to be, or how much time do you have?
Once you have the amount of time available you will be able to look at
2. What can you feasibly do?
This is the one that trips me up as I see an amazing list of places to visit in any city and want to do it all. (I was always the type of traveller that was busy from dawn to dusk squeezing in museums etc.)
With kids, and with the family in tow, the ‘what can we feasibly do’ question means look at what might be possible and then halve it. Unfortunately.
However, I know that the kid’s perspective will bring a great deal of joy to our visit and it’s not just about the places you have been!
Other people are more concise (folks at YTravel Blog) – and ask – what are our Trip Pillars? They refer to Trip Pillars are being the ‘must see (or don’t miss) parts of their trip. The not negotiables.
But how do you find these things out if you don’t know the country?
There is of course, the internet with all its amazing information or complexity – to me that is just TOO MUCH!!!
Being stuck in my ways, I still revert to some of my tried and true ways. I pop into a travel agent and pick up those glossy brochures with 7, 14 and 21 day tours included in them. I’ve got a couple of favourite travel providers that get a bit off the beaten track and consider what these 2-3 companies offer for the destination I am interested in, and how they have managed the timing.
I will also get out the Lonely Planet guides from the Library and read in them…
Next time I will blog more about the specifics of planning the trip – the time required to do this!