When it comes to planning trips abroad, I’m literally in my element. I love researching, booking and planning itineraries for new adventures. I know a lot of people like to go with the flow but I like having a structure in my trips and knowing where and when I’m going to places. I’m currently in the middle of planning a nine week trip around America and Canada. As you can imagine, I’ve been doing a hell of a lot of organising, booking and planning. I thought I would share some of my top travel planning tips and how to make the whole process just that little bit easier.
First up, when it comes to booking your trip I’d highly recommend shopping around. I’ve found that Expedia has some amazing package deals which include both flights and hotels. I’ve previously managed to book 5 days in Disneyland Paris for £100 before! I usually keep tabs on flight prices on Google Flights and Skyscanner and they will email notifications of price changes.
It’s also worth noting that if you are a student or under 26, STA Travel offer amazing deals on flights. I’ve just booked a Virgin flight to New York for £200. The very same flight was retailing on the Virgin website for over £1,000!
My favourite part of booking a trip is researching where to visit and putting together an itinerary. If you are planning to visit a few attractions and museums on your trip, it’s worth looking into city cards. They are usually pretty cost effective if you’re visiting a few places. Also, they are super easy to use and will more than likely include access on to the local transport.
I do actually tend to read guidebooks before visiting a new city but they are super handy as they’ll usually include maps. Browsing the local tourism website will also give you so many options of things to do in the area and usually highlight some great tours.
We all know that I’m usually thinking about where to eat in places. I’ve found Instagram so helpful with discovering some pretty amazing restaurants. When I was visiting Barcelona, for example, I found that there was a Barcelona Food Guide account. Through that account, I could find some great recommendations and also some other hashtags such as #BarcelonaEats to have a browse through.
Once, I’ve compiled a long list of places, restaurants and sights to see I usually create an itinerary. I know that it can be quite regimented for some people but I like having a plan. At the moment, I’ve actually created a spreadsheet for my American trip that way I can see clearly what’s happening on each day.
My biggest piece of advice when it comes to planning what to do is looking at opening times. It’s surprising how many big attractions will close on certain days. It’ll be sod’s law that’s the day you wanted to visit. It’s also worth looking into whether certain museums are free on certain days and avoiding theme parks, zoos etc.. on weekends.
Alternatively, if you really want to make travel planning that much easier, use an independent travel management company such as Statesman Travel. All of your trip will be managed and planned for you by a team of very knowledgeable travel consultants taking out all the stress of it all. So if you’re the complete opposite of me and aren’t a fan of planning everything yourself, this is such a great option!
Do you like travel planning?
*This is a collaborative post