Travel holidays are always fun. I love them. But to make them seamless and less chaotic, planning beforehand is important. Not only it saves you from being left high and dry, it helps to make the best out of your trip. If I am paying my money and time, I need full value out if it 😀 . Takes time in beginning but it gets faster and efficient with time. It always gives me the feel of holiday already! I am scribbling down some steps and tips here that help me make my trip better. So, lets start!
- Think holiday: Find your days off. Always use your long weekends! Decide who do you want to go with. Check visa requirements etc.
- Decide on budget: Of course it costs money to travel. You should always decide your budget beforehand. Because I travel for leisure and fun, I admit, I am a bit okay with spending some extra money when traveling.
- Where?: depends on season and what you like.
Tip: Off-seasons are generally cheaper. We went to Iceland in “off season” and cannot be happier. Less crowded. Cheaper accommodations.
- Keep a tab on flight offers: When traveling by flight, I always book my flights well in advance. Some of the train services also have cheaper “early-prices”.
- Always search through multiple flight booking websites: Skyscanner, Qayak (my favorite is Skyscanner though). Changing your current location helps as well. I mean, if you are checking for a flight between New Delhi and Goa, letting your website know that you are sitting in Munich won’t help much.
- Sometimes I prefer train when the prices are comparable to flight (and duration of journey is about +- 3 hours), because it saves time (and money) to go to and fro from the airports (*hidden cost alert*, because airports are generally outside of the cities). And, because you have long stretch in trains, you can always read 🙂
5. Dig deeper: What is it famous for, what would you like to do there, best timings, online tickets, walking tours.
- Most of the cities offer free walking tours (you just pay tips in the end). We had one in Iceland recently. I find them nice and gives you a nice overview of the city mixed with history and cultural vibes.
- Always check the best timings to go to a famous place or monument. Buy an online ticket it available. Saves a lot of time. Talking about timings, did I tell you that once we waited for 2 hours in queue to get to Sagrada familia in Barcelona and another time less than 20 seconds (that too because I was still nibbling on my burger :D)! People learn, eh?
6. Accommodation: Hostels and AirBnB (We both will get some travel credit if you book using this link!)
Initially we were always going for hostels, because it is cheaper and mostly safe. They often offer free breakfast and internet. I have tried them in Barcelona, Paris, Dublin, Amsterdam, New York, Berlin. Recently, I like airbnb better. Reason : Also cheap. You have whole apartment to yourself. Most of the hosts are nice and can help you with local recommendations and how-to-travel-to-and-from airport kind of stuff. Otherwise, you can also check hotels. I always check rating on tripadvisor first.
7. Transport research : This one is generally missed! It is very important to find out how are you traveling during your holidays. Driving/Renting a car? Trains (always check online for state transport)? buses? tuktuks? spaceships?
8. Native language and culture: Find out at least a bit about local culture and language. It is always nice to be able to say excuse me, thank you and Can you speak English please in the local language. It is also important to know how locals deal with different stuff. For example, tipping. You should give around 15-20 percent of your bill as tip in US but tipping is considered rude in Iceland and (I heard, also in Japan).
9. fooood : My favorite part of planning. I love my food and I don’t like eating at tourists places. I know, I am one, but still. (I had a bad coffee , even in Rome, Italy at touristic places and interestingly, had the best pizza of my life in Rome as well, a bit outskirts of the city at a very local place)! I always research about good places to eat at a place before going there (sometimes may be before flight or accommodation! I set my priorities right! 😀 ). Some of them need reservations. So, always check beforehand!
10. So, what are you waiting for? All set? Do you know what and when your next holiday is going to be? Decide. Plan. Travel.
I hope you like this article! Had to put a lot of thought into this one. Time for another coffee!
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Lots of love,
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