14 Steps to Planning Your Travels

Written by Freedom Strider

On February 4, 2019
14 Steps to Planning Your Travels

14 Steps to Planning Your Travels

by Feb 4, 2019

Where? When? How?
Travel is a great alternative to the daunting 9-5 life, but planning your travels can be overwhelming.

Planning a long trip can be a daunting task that can easily overwhelm you and prevent you from having some of the best experiences of your life.  The prospect of leaving can petrify some people, but in actual fact, all you need is the strength to step out your front door and head forwards…or right or left but definitely not back inside.

Here is your guide on how to start planning your travels.

…..

14 Steps to Planning Your Travels

STEP 1

Make a list of the countries you want to visit.

Where do you want to go? Get them inspirations running through you.

Planning your travels involves a lot of list making, so, make a list of as many places you want to go! It’s always better to have too many than too little – then you can always cut down if necessary. ;D

But alas, the world is a big place – you can’t go and see and do everything at once and you must prioritize. Start listing everything you can with a minimap or world map – start pinpointing countries, cities, anything you want to go and see. Do it!!

A great way to organised your mad travel thoughts: pick a country – let’s say France. Next, what is the general area(s) in France you want to visit? Paris, Normandy, the Alps, so on and so on. Then ask yourself, what you want to do in those areas. Say you want to go skiing in the Alps and see the Mt. Blanc tunnel, see Geneva lake – you get the idea. Plan, plan, plan!

Find out what you want to do in France, discover new ideas and interests, get some catalogs, make a collage, grab loads of web links and articles. Go nuts!

Okay great, you have some information on the countries and places you want to visit. Next, start shortlisting, see if you want to hop from country to county or do you want to stay longer and explore in depth.

For example, the Alps aren’t just in France – so maybe you have a trip dedicated to just the Alps? Who knows, the possibilities are endless!

The most important thing to do at this point in time is getting information, more is better  – that is the golden rule!

STEP 2

Decide on your budget and pick your destinations

So you have your incredible travel destinations – these are the places you want to go and visit.

But can you afford to?

This again is where your research comes in handy. Hopefully, throughout the thousands of webpages and magazines you read through, you will pick up how much basic things will cost you.

Indonesia will be pretty cheap, £2 for a large meal of street food, £10/night in Ubud. In Germany, the cost for a basic room could be 3 times the price – and don’t even get me started on food prices…

You have to be sensible in your budget when it comes to planning your travels. £1000 could last 3 months in Indonesia easily, but maybe only a month or so in western Europe. To help your budget go further see our blog on ‘How much does Backpacking Cost?

A mistake lots of people make is that they say “I want to go to this place for 6 months” and when they work out how much it will roughly cost them it is unfeasible but they still go along with their dream anyway. This is not a way to plan your trip(s). If you run out of money, you will not have a good time trying to either get home or live off £5 for 3 days whilst you wait for your return flight. Also, skimming by is not the best way to explore and see everything you might want to.

Further, consider the time when you’re going. High season in most places means you get the best weather, but this will cost more as everyone jacks up their prices during high season. But go low season, certain tours and events might not be open; you have to weigh up what you want out of your trip.​

FREEDOM STRIDER

“If you want to fly, give up everything which weighs you down.”

STEP 3

Trip Duration

Again, this is determined by where you’re going and what your budget is. A year-long trip in France might be your dream trip but if it will cost £8000 and you will have only £2000, maybe rethink a little. Maybe go for 3 months, or save some more money before you go, unless you are earning money on the go.

Remember, planning your travels in the high season will cost a lot more than the low season because people there know more tourists come in high season so they can jack up the prices of accommodation, pretty much anything they want – take this into consideration!

STEP 4

START SAVING!

FINALLY! You have the place you want to go, you know the costs and attractions, you know how long you’re going for and roughly when you’re going.

Okay great…now… you need money.

You might have been saving your pocket money up for years, note that down first. More than likely, that will not be enough, so you’re going to have to find yourself a job. This will start bringing money in from which deduct any necessary expenses (rent, food, transport) – the rest you should put aside. For more creative ideas on ‘How to Save Money for your Travels‘ check out our blog.

Also leave some for the present, to enjoy yourself, there is no point being unhappy whilst saving! 😉

What you have left is money you can put away in a savings account for your trip. Once you know how much income you have spare and you have roughly calculated how much your trip will cost (flights, accommodation, food, attractions and everything else included), you will know how long you need to save for before you can go. You might need to adjust when you leave or the length of your trip a little depending on how much money you have coming in.

STEP 5

Check VISA and vaccination requirements (if any)

Double check whether you need to have any injections or need to take certain pills (e.g. Malaria pills). These again might cost, depending on where you get them from.

Next, check the VISA requirements for the country(s) you’re visiting. Some you might not need a VISA, some you can buy when you land in the airport, or some you have to get beforehand. Be aware of the cost of the visa(s) you need and also what currency they want payment in – some countries want you to pay for your visa in USD and not their local currency.

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STEP 6

Research legal matters

Laws in other countries are most likely different in some way or another from your home country. Remember to research if you need to do anything different in the places you’re visiting.

Religious sites like temples and churches often require you to cover your bare skin, and although some things might not be against the law, they can be highly disrespectful to the local people.

For example, in Singapore it is illegal to chew gum and spitting it on the street will incur a $700 fine. In Thailand you are not allowed to insult the King in any way including something as simple as stepping on their money.

WARNING! Something simple, some common western world action, or something silly and childish can lead to long term imprisonment or death. Double check. 😉

 

DO YOUR RESEARCH PEOPLE!!!

Still reading? Good! Well done for doing your research.

STEP 7

Stay inspired, keep researching!

Never stop looking!

In your free time, find new places you want to go, read reviews and find free attractions. Look at bus tours, hiking routes, parks, beaches, everything – including checking out our YouTube Channel!

Whatever you do, don’t lose interest. It is very easy to slip into a solid mindset of work, work, work to earn as much money as possible, while not enjoying your time working. If that happens, you may not feel that excited about where you’re going as you don’t know a lot about it or you are even starting to forget what drew you to it in the first place. Planning your travels doesn’t stop at booking your flights.

STEP 8

Book your flights

This is possibly the most exciting yet nerve-racking part of your decision to actually go. Once the flights are booked, there’s no turning back, and you have a date and you can start counting down!

Make sure you check other flight comparison sites NOT JUST SKYSCANNER to make sure you get the cheapest flight (usually hopping around in several cities makes the flight cheaper). Also, USE INCOGNITO MODE! (otherwise, the cookies will make your flights more expensive…damn cookies).

skyscanner.net
momondo.com
kayak.com
google flights

Once you have the flight that is right for you, get booking! And that’s is, click the confirm button, get the confirmation email and you’re all good to go!

STEP 9

Book some Shelter

If you’re only going for a week or 2, you might consider booking all of your accommodation up front. If you’re going for 6 months…that’s probably unreasonable, expensive and not very flexible.

For a longer trip, you can book your first few nights so that you can get sorted and settle down. This will help you feel more relaxed when you get to your destination rather than wondering the streets of an unknown city with your big suitcase/backpack.

Don’t Forget

Download your FREE eBook

Here is the complete overview of What alternative living is, Why it’s a good idea and How you can get the ball rolling.

STEP 10

Get travel insurance

Insurance is often not on the top of your list when thinking of jetting off to another country, but it is super important! If something does go wrong and you don’t have any (or if you’re not covered for whatever damage occurs), it can be really expensive. I’m talking 10’s of thousands of Pounds/Euros/Dollars, possibly millions in the worst cases.

Make sure you go with a respectable company and have proof of insurance quick to hand (either paper print out or quick link on an email) in case you get into trouble.

STEP 11

Sell your stuff

It’s probably getting quite close to your travel date now, and you might be running a little low on funds after booking tickets, accommodation, insurance, new bags and other necessities.

Now might be a good time to clear out your cupboard/room/house/cardboard box/van/car/tiny house/yurt/field and sell anything you don’t use/need anymore. But don’t sell anything you’re using or need, just for a few extra pounds.

STEP 12

PACK!

Okay…the fun, frustrating and never-ending nightmare that is packing:

 

  1. Get the clothes you want to take.
  2. Okay great – now get rid of half.
  3. Now try and pack.
  4. Now get rid of half again… That’s how much you need to take.
  5. Pack the clothes, and then attempt to put all your other stuff in the bag.
  6. You’ll soon realise you’re still taking too much… but you’ll somehow take it anyway because it just fits.
  7. And you have to do this all over again every time you move on to the next place.
  8. Look up information for international delivery services… just in case you need to send things home (because you took too much stuff).
  9. Smile. 🙂

STEP 13

Remember your Passport… (and everything else)

So it’s only a few hours before you leave everything behind and set off from with whatever is in your over packed backpack. Make sure you have a checklist of everything (and I mean absolutely everything that you would mind losing) that you have packed. Go through your bag unpacking and then repacking everything, ticking it off the list.

Then, have photocopies of all your documents, flight details, insurance etc… Next make sure you have your passport (that is in-date and the picture inside looks like you), other forms of ID (driver’s license, national ID card) along with your money.

STEP 14

Enjoy your trip

Away you go! It’s time to get on your plane/car/boat/train/van/tank/bike/tiny house/submarine/spaceship and beat it…just beat it.

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