How do I plan my trips?
This is the most common question I get from friends who want to travel, but aren’t sure where to start. The answer, of course, depends on what type of trip you are looking to plan. Let me give you some basic tips on some apps I use and the process that I go through to plan a trip…
Where do you want to go?
Whether its a different country, or just to another US state, I pick one location and I write a list of everything I want to see in that area. Usually there are two columns: what I MUST see and what I would LIKE to see. I read a LOT of other travel blogs and, of course, I browse the locations on Instagram to see what fun things other people do in the area. Pinterest is also my best friend, and I have a different board for every area in the world.
How do you get there?
I am a big fan of road trips. If you are looking to plan a road trip, guess what? Getting to your destination is one of the best parts of the trip. Plot a route using whatever map app you like using, or even :::gasp::: a real live map!! Research things you pass by on the way and stop at every giant ball of yarn you can find.
When it comes to flying I, hands down, use Skyscanner for my flights. There are a lot of flight apps to pick from, but Skyscanner has never led me astray and has given me better deals than other app. They also have a great feature that you can explore all the cheapest places to fly from your home airport. It allows you to search “Everywhere”, and I have gone on some pretty cheap spontaneous trips because of that feature.
Some other apps to mention (that I would advise you to put on your phone)…
Travel Pirates: Some awesome deals on flights and vacation packages
Also a good tip is to look for non-connecting flights. I have saved a couple hundred dollars by booking flights separately. Granted, there is added stress and you have to make sure you give yourself a long enough layover to be able to conquer any issues, but it is a great way to save some money.
…And what about money?
Traveling costs money. Duh. So work more. Budget better. Sell your useless shit. Eat ramen. Give up some luxuries. Travel Cheap. Sleep in cars. Stay in hostels. Couchsurf. Camp.
If traveling is REALLY what you want to do, don’t ever let money stop you.
I travel cheap. I use Hostel World to book cheap lodging (hostels are also a great place to meet other travelers). An alternative to staying in hostels or expensive hotels is booking an AirBnB. I use Roam 2 Rio to figure out the cheapest way to travel in these new places (bus routes, taxi estimates, in-country flights). And I look up fun free stuff to do in the places I visit.
So using all these tools, I plot out my route and an estimated budget. I always aim a little higher on my budget to give me some wiggle room. Once there is a set budget, I work my ass off until I make that money.
And then I go.
Understand that everyone plans differently, and everyone travels differently.
This is just what works for me 🙂
Till next time. Here is my rabbit:
Is there a place you have always wanted to go, but have been intimidated by the thought of planning the actual trip and spending the actual money? I encourage you to start planning, start budgeting, and make it happen.