I’ve travelled a great deal and part of the reason how I am able to is because of good planning. This is something I wouldn’t be too modest about – I am a kick ass travel planner. Or fine, at least I think I am.
The thing is that people think that the way to cure the itch of the travel bug is to get a map and point, buy a ticket, and leave. You can do that, sure. However, a strategy this spontaneous can get you in all sorts of trouble eventually. It’s better to have a good picture of how the trip will go in your head so you can make sure that all bases are covered and that you are getting the best experience for your time and effort, and the best value for your money. You don’t need to be a cheap ass to cover more world mileage; you just have to be smart even before you step out of the door.
Here are some very basic yet very important things to consider when planning your next trip
Don’t just plan a straight line. Read up on your destination of choice and create a “plan B” section for your itinerary. If you find more things to do go ahead and create plan C too.Trust me, when you get there you can be persuaded by locals to change course or activities, but at least you are already in the know of the top recommendations and which of them fit your interests and budget.
Don’t just pack light, pack smart. Make sure you are able to look up the weather, cultural practices, types of activities and facilities in the location you are going to. This will save you having to buy clothes that will just add to your baggage weight later on. This also applies to medication. Make sure that you go to your physician and let him know your travel plans so he can either send you off with meds or with a prescription that you may need later on.
Find the best deals. Don’t just shop around for discounted tickets. Think long term. Before even booking that flight, ask around for travel deals. I find it useful to join frequent flyer programs that include comprehensive insurances and other benefits while providing low deals on my destination of choice. For example, Aeroplan partners are able to redeem their miles faster when they use their card even in partner establishments, and are also covered by a range of insurance offerings from medical insurance to trip delay insurance. Book your flights smart, thinking of possible ways to earn miles so you can accumulate them for another ticket later on while getting everything you need already covered.
Call your card company. It is important that you are able to inform them that you
will be visiting other countries so that they don’t mistake your financial transactions abroad as suspicious activity. This will save you from the headaches and the soaring phone bills from international distress calls later on.
These are very simple pieces of advice when travel planning that is usually taken for granted. If you keep these things in mind, travelling can become easier and more enjoyable. While traveling the world with a backpack is all about spontaneity and following your heart, it doesn’t have to drill a hole into your pocket. If you want to be a real world traveler, it starts with planning each trip one at a time.