You deserve a break. Disconnecting from work and routine can help boost motivation, creativity and productivity. It’s no secret though that the best travel plans don’t just depend on your destination. A vacation just gets better when it fits your budget, has the perfect weather throughout, and feels like smooth sailing. And all good things (including a vacation), come to those who wait. A little patience and planning can go a long way in ensuring that your next trip feels like a cakewalk. Wondering how to plan a holiday trip? This guide will help you make a mental note of all the things to consider while planning your next trip.
Things to do before you plan your trip
Even if you are not one to sit down and make a list, this detailed plan of a journey will make you. It’s broken down into easy-to-understand parts that you can tackle one by one. As they say, every drop counts. Read this guide if you find yourself asking, “how to plan my trip?” Let’s get planning!
1. Set a budget
Step one of how to plan a holiday trip is setting a budget. Once you have a fixed amount that you can work with, you can start taking the next step. Keep in mind that your budget needs to cover your transportation costs, stays, eating out, sightseeing, local commute, souvenir shopping and any other emergency expenses that may occur.
An ideal strategy would be to start off by narrowing down a region. If your budget is under INR 50,000 you can consider travelling within India and Southeast Asia. Countries like Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Bali can be covered on a budget as well. If you want to cover European countries, it is best to have at least INR 1 lakh in your savings to avoid any last-minute scrimping. Be realistic when you pick a destination because it will determine how much you actually enjoy yourself without stressing about money. This is one of the most important things to consider while planning your next trip.
2. Decide the duration of your trip
Ideally, a relaxing vacation should be anywhere between 4 to 7 days. Anything longer than that can be mentally fatiguing and a trip shorter than 3 days won’t really feel like a vacation. You can take a weekend off for a quick road trip or a trek, but if you really want to log out and rejuvenate consider a longer time frame. How long you travel for will also affect your budget so play it safe but don’t compromise on the duration of your trip. Switch the location instead. Make a detailed plan of your journey and add everything that you want to do. You can enjoy a week in Coorg just as much as a week in Florence. The goal is to experience a new culture, take plenty of time off and indulge in new experiences.
3. Figure out who you are travelling with
Different trips have different requirements. If you plan on travelling solo, book hostels, consider walking tours and plan everything extensively since you will be on your own. Look up tips for travelling solo to navigate planning better.
If you are planning a trip with friends or a family vacation, your priorities might change accordingly. For instance, it would be better to book hotel rooms and taxis instead of hostels and public transport. Group trips are easier on your pocket so if you are travelling on a budget, consider doing that to save some money. As a family, you might want to look up tips for travelling with kids or senior citizens, depending on who is tagging along with you. Keep in mind the budgets and needs of everyone so no one feels disappointed on the holiday. It’s best to know how to plan your holiday trip when travelling with others.
4. What weather are you comfortable with
Ask yourself this question when you pick your destination and make a travel plan. Yes, the mountains, islands, forests and beaches are all romantic, but what do you enjoy? You can either pick the location that has the weather you really want, or your favourite weather in a random location depending on your limitations. South India is great during winter and so are the Himalayas. On the other hand, it is better to visit central India and the northeast during late winter. If you plan on going to Europe, the shoulder season which falls right after summer and before autumn fully hits, is perfect. It’s less crowded and still warm enough for you to flaunt your best fits without layering them up in coats.
Tip: If heading to snowy areas for the first time feels daunting, then start off with a detailed plan of a journey in regions that are not extremely cold. For example, before hitting Manali, try Jaipur in the winter.
5. Make a packing list
Lack of research when it comes to packing will affect your vacation photoshoots. Not just that, it might affect how you experience your trip. Do a little research about what fabrics, outfits and footwear are ideal for your destination. In India, it is best to carry loose, comfortable cotton wear and plenty of sunscreens when travelling down south. However, if you plan to visit the mountains, pack in plenty of layers. It’s better to be too warm than to be too cold and not be able to enjoy anything. Make a checklist and make sure you don’t forget anything behind.
6. Plan your trip in advance
You need to start planning your international trip at least 3 months in advance. Even if your trip is within India or to neighbouring Asian countries, an ideal timeline of two to three months is recommended for planning. This will help you get the best deals on flights and stays while offering you more choices too. Everything won’t be booked out and you can take your own sweet time to book things that meet your budget and preferences. A European visa generally takes 15 days, so keep in mind to apply in time so you are not running around.
7. Travel insurance
For most international trips, travel insurance is obligatory. So pick one from the range of insurance providers online. It does not have to be extravagant, but make sure it covers the basics such as sickness, repatriation and stolen baggage. Your safety is important. Good travel insurance is one of the most important things to consider while planning your next trip.
8. Dietary preferences
While you cannot really tell the reality until you visit a place, you can get a rough idea of what the cuisine is like there. If you have specific dietary preferences, look up restaurants that serve according to that. It’s better to know what your options are and not feel lost at the last minute. Bookmark some superstores around your stay in case you want to grab some snacks too. A detailed plan of your journey will really help.
9. Book everything
You may not be a planner, but booking everything will be the best thing you do when you plan your trip. You can either choose to buy a tour package or plan everything yourselves. Consider booking free walking tours and other special activities at your destination. It could be trekking, skiing, diving or food tours, and they will introduce you to a special aspect of your destination.
Still unsure of how to plan your holiday trip? Budget, your travel group, your destination and stay are some important things to consider while planning your next trip. You can start there and slowly tackle the rest.