Do you wish to plan a trip? Do you intend to leave without an agency? This complete trip planning guide should inform you about the things to consider when planning a trip overseas without using an agency.
This article will teach you all the things to consider when planning a trip on your own, regardless of the location. I will go through many practical parts of the preparation, such as location selection, bookings to be made, bank charges, insurance, lodging, transportation, plane tickets, and other travel tips.
After reading this, you should be able to plan a trip without using a travel agency! As always, comments are welcome on the blog. Please contact us if you are planning a holiday and have any more inquiries.
Why Plan Your Vacation On Your Own?
There are several advantages to travel planning without the assistance of a third party. Many people become anxious when faced with the prospect of planning a stay. This is especially true on one’s first journey outside of Europe for example.
However, once you start preparing your travel plan yourself, it becomes impossible to return to a travel agency. Independent travel has several advantages, like reduced costs, complete flexibility, a 100% tailor-made stay, and so on.
Before I go into the preparations, I’ll quickly explain why I strongly advocate travel planning yourself rather than via a travel agency.
Travel planning equals flexibility!
Many people plan almost their entire trip for their first vacation abroad by themselves: transportation, lodging, excursions or activities,… However, the more you become accustomed to meandering around, the less you prefer to prepare and reserve. Finally, after a few visits overseas, planning your travel itinerary yourself gives you far more freedom on the ground.
It is quite simple to know where to expect your lodging reservation and where you may reserve the same day on site if you develop a habit (depending on the destination, the season, etc.).
This level of adaptability is not available during a stay booked through a travel agency. The timetable is set long in advance of departure, so you have far less freedom on the ground.
If you’re reading this ultimate guide to plan your first dream trip, you probably want to book everything, from your cheap flight to car rental. Everyone has been there, therefore it makes sense! However, bear that in mind. You will notice that after a few freelancing experiences (that is, without using an agency), you will spend far less time planning them. And you will gain flexibility when itinerary planning.
The language barrier is becoming less and less of an issue while going…
This is becoming less and less common. Many individuals in the vast majority of countries speak a little English. This is especially true for those who work in the tourism industry (employees of hotels, restaurants, agencies, museums, etc.).
Even though some nations, such as China and southeast asia, can still be difficult to navigate due to language barriers, this is becoming less common. As a result, it is simpler to converse on the moment.
Furthermore, with the numerous internet booking services available, it is now feasible to book almost anything from the comfort of one’s own home. You will have no troubles on site if you plan a stay of this type. This is especially true for French individuals who do not understand English (or almost). Accommodation, day trip, cheap flights / rail / bus transportation, car rental, tickets for locations to visit or museums, Uber transfers, and so on may all be booked online.
Even if your English is inadequate, you will be able to arrange and organize a vacation, a long term travel, a road trip, camping trip, family travel, all on your own.
How To Plan A Trip In 7 Simple Steps
Are you planning a trip and need help organizing everything?
And, true, trip planning is not always easy, especially if you are unfamiliar with it. Fortunately, vacation planning is my speciality, and I’m here to assist!
In this part, I’ll offer you all the guidance and insights you’ll need to plan your trip, including how to make a thorough itinerary planning, book your flight and accommodations, rent a car, and much more travel tips!
Not only that, but on Travel Tips, I will also provide full and free guides to a lot of places soon enough so make sure to follow this travel blog. You will discover all of the necessary information to choose and organize your perfect vacation destination fast and conveniently.
1. Determine your destination.
The first step in planning a trip is to decide on a destination.
And consider that it is not always as simple as that!
Because the globe is big, you may not have the same expectations as the person(s) you will be traveling with, and most importantly, it is not feasible to visit everywhere. at any time of the year.
To plan your vacation and decide which destination to visit, you must first ask yourself a few questions:
- Do you wish to spend your holiday in the sun and on the beach?
- Looking for a cultural getaway that includes visits to a museum, national park and historical sites?
- Do you prefer to stay in the US or go to foreign lands?
- Looking for tourist attractions or something a little further off the beaten path?
- How many hours are you willing to spend in the flight?
After you’ve answered this, you’ll probably see it a bit more clearly, but don’t forget to double-check certain details regarding your travel destination:
1) Is the time you wish to leave appropriate for your trip destination?
It is essential to learn about the climate in order to prevent being caught in the middle of the monsoon season in Thailand or typhoons/cyclones on Reunion Island, or extreme weather in new zealand for example.
You will not have to worry about big climate occurrences while planning a vacation to Europe. On the other side, knowing the typical temperatures might be handy for packing your bag or determining when you can swim!
2) How is the country’s political and health situation? Are there any specific spots to avoid?
There’s nothing better than visiting the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ website right here.
You will have access to all of the world’s information in real time. This caution is especially important if you are contemplating a vacation to Africa, south america or the Middle East.
3) What are the prerequisites to be allowed to enter the country?
A passport and other travel document are required if you are traveling outside of Europe for example. And, because acquiring one takes time, it is difficult to decide to travel to Canada overnight if you do not have one!
Keep your passport’s expiration date in mind as well. Some nations demand a passport that is valid for at least six months beyond the date of return.
Some destination countries also demand a visa to enter their country. This is the situation with the ESTA request in the United States, or with China, where there is a lot of information to supply in order to receive a visa.
For the most up-to-date information, see the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ website. It is the only source with up-to-date information for planning your vacation.
4) What immunizations will be provided?
You should also check to see whether you require a specific vaccination, such as rabies, yellow fever or covid vaccination.
Please keep in mind that certain immunizations require multiple doses that must be separated by a few days or weeks. This must be considered when arranging your journey.
To organize your vaccines before your travel, visit the Institut Pasteur website.
Still looking for ideas for your dream trip?
Why not check out my blog’s “Destinations” section? There are travel suggestions for all four continents: Europe, Asia, North America, the Caribbean, the Middle East, and Africa. New content is published weekly.
Here are some suggestions for European vacations:
- Scotland is known for it’s lush green scenery.
- Spain and Andalusia are known for it’s palaces and churches (Barcelona, Seville, and Granada).
- Italy is known for it’s dolce vita and great historical landmarks (Rome, Florence, Pisa, Milan)
- Beautiful Italian islands such as Sicily and Sardinia
- Greece (Athens, Delphi, Meteora) and the Cyclades Islands, including the famed Santorini island
- Malta is a Mediterranean and sunny vacation resort.
- And for more distant destinations, follow us to discover my articles on Thailand, China, Dubai, Canada, Martinique, Guadeloupe, San Francisco, and so on.
- It’s easy to find your next travel destination!
2. Plan out your route
The second stage in organizing your vacation is to examine your itinerary now that you know where you want to travel.
Those who simply wish to stay a week or two at the same hotel without moving can go forward to the next phase.
For those who want to arrange a road trip, you must first consider the length of your stay. It goes without saying that you won’t be able to perform the same thing in 7 or 15 days.
I recommend the following road trip tips to create a realistic itinerary that will keep you on track in 3 steps:
- Look for all the activities to do around your destination. You will then come across articles like this one, which lists all the essentials: What to do in Greece? What is there to do in Italy?
- You may combine this study with the purchase of a paper guidebook, such as Lonely Planet.
- Then, using Googlemaps or the Maps.me app, construct a “My maps” map to find all the sites to visit that interest you.
You will be able to arrange your trips and generate a route by carefully examining the distances.
I urge on carefully calculating the travel times between the stages so that you don’t find yourself on a lost road at night and still 2 hours away from your accommodation.
This is true whether you go by car, but it is much more crucial if you choose to take public transportation.
To check if you can go from one spot to another, you must first learn about the trip times by bus or rail, as well as the timetables.
It should be noted that some locations are inaccessible by public transportation and must be excluded from your plan.
After you have finished all of these steps, you will receive a map with a clear route to follow.
3. Purchase your flight or rail ticket
Once you’ve determined the duration of your itinerary and your travel dates, you can proceed to the next critical step in trip planning: booking your flight ticket.
The most efficient method is to employ a flight comparator. Personally, I prefer Skyscanner and google flights to all other sites since it is highly practical and straightforward. It’s a really good idea to find the best deal.
Using a comparison ensures that you will receive the best price since you will see all of the flights available on your trip dates with all of the airlines and air companies.
You may use the search box right below to schedule your flight.
If you don’t need to fly and want to plan a trip to Europe or anywhere near to home, you might be able to get there by rail.
I recommend that you browse timetables, rates, and make your reservation on OMIO, the greatest rail travel compare. You enter the date, the city of departure and arrival, and the site returns all available trains.
It is also quite convenient (and environmentally friendly!) because the tickets are accessible in digital format.
Check rail rates and schedules across Europe by clicking the icon below:
It’s worth noting that the Omio booking tool also works for bus rides.
4. Purchase travel insurance
When you’ve decided on your vacation dates, you’ll need to take another step in the planning process: purchasing trip insurance.
It is critical to ensure that you are adequately protected for diseases and accidents when traveling!
You’ve undoubtedly seen on the internet or on television people who end up spending exorbitant fees for hospitalization in a foreign nation. I can promise you that these folks did not have travel insurance.
Worse, those who are unable to pay are compelled to rely on family members or set up participation pots on the internet. And all for the sake of saving a few dollars…
Because, believe it or not, travel insurance is not that pricey and will not really affect your travel budget!
Prices for a week’s travel insurance (which includes hospitalization and repatriation) start at $15 and increase from $40 to $100 for a month.
Paying even $100 versus tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars is a no-brainer for me! In fact, it’s another good idea to optimize your trip budget.
CompareTheMarket is great tool for you to book your travel insurance and chose the one that best matches your stay and trip budget.
If you need more informations, click on the following link: Best Travel Insurance Comparison.
There’s never been a better time to add trip insurance to your travel plans, especially with potential problems with flight cancellations, flight delays and Covid. The article offers a list of the most well-known travel insurance firms and allows you to simply get a quote and book your flight insurance.
If you don’t have time to read the post, here are the two best comparisons based on your needs:
ACS-AMI (click here) offers the lowest travel insurance, which solely covers health insurance. You are therefore protected if you become ill or are involved in an accident, for example.
However, you do not have insurance in the case of luggage loss or theft, and you do not have cancellation insurance.
AXA Assistance USA (click here) The AXA’s Platinum plan hits all the high points for coverage that you’ll want if you’re looking for top-notch protection.
I emphasize that, in addition to the pricing and coverage offered, these two insurances were picked for the unrivaled quality of their services.
5. Book accommodation
Organizing your trip also requires going through the stage of booking your accommodation(s).
Here, you have two schools: people in backpacker and improvisation mode who are looking for accommodation while being there, and the others (like me!), who prefer to book in advance.
Personally, I always prefer to book my hotels in advance in order to have a choice and to be able to compare prices.
And above all, when I’m traveling, I don’t necessarily like wasting time scouring a city or a place I don’t know to find an available hotel.
After a long day of touring, walking, or driving, I love knowing that my hotel room is ready for me.
Furthermore, even if you like to book on the spot, the only travel tip I recommend that you always book the first and last nights of your visit.
Arriving after a long flight, I can guarantee you that you will enjoy the ability to relax immediately and recover from jet lag.
And, let’s be honest: when traveling, it’s best to spend your time visiting and discovering new things than looking for hotel rooms.
Booking.com is without a doubt the greatest website for booking accommodations. There are several hotels/apartments/hostels/B&Bs available all around the world. It’s really great for digital world nomads.
You will be able to compare all prices as well as check ratings and reviews from past clients. You may also select your accommodation type and discover if the hotel offers a swimming pool, a spa, private parking, and so on.
Above all, the indisputable advantage of booking with Booking.com is that the majority of hotels provide free cancellation.
What I also like is that the more reservations you make, the more advantages you receive. Their (free) loyalty program entitles passengers to an extra discount on the nightly rate, to be upgraded, or to have breakfast included.
Just follow the link to book your accommodation anywhere in the globe (advice: bookmark the site for the next few times!).
6 Rent a vehicle.
If you want to go on a road trip, you will need to rent a car (unless you don’t want to drive yourself!).
Here, too, I plainly favor one website: Rentalcars.com. It’s easy; I just use them for all of my car rentals. Cars for rent are available practically everywhere in the globe.
Simply input your trip dates, the location of arrival, and the time you want to pick up your car, and the site will evaluate the pricing of all accessible rental providers.
There are international firms such as Hertz, Europcar, Avis, and Sixt, as well as local rental companies.
Everything that is included in the fee, such as unlimited miles, a second driver, whether the car is to be returned with a full tank of fuel, and so on, is clearly stated.
Another advantage of using Rentalcars to plan your car journey is that the website provides complete protection insurance.
This insurance is exclusive to Rentalcars and is far more efficient and comprehensive than the insurance supplied directly at the counter when you pick up your car. It protects you against any and all damages and accidents that may occur with your rental car.
It is important to note that rental car insurance nearly typically excludes tires, mirrors, and windows, even if this is covered with Rentalcars complete protection.
If you have an issue (scratch, accident), you can be refunded within 15 days by sending a single email. They have already repaid me more than 1300 dollars after being tested and accepted!
Another advantage is that you may change or cancel your reservation for free.
To book your car, simply click on this link here (which you should bookmark too!).
7. Schedule outings and activities
We’re almost done learning everything there is to know about planning a trip.
Once you’ve decided on the most gorgeous destinations to visit, you’ll undoubtedly want to use your vacation to attempt some unusual or traditional activities.
I’m thinking of a boat excursion to Santorini, a traditional boat tour of the Thai islands (Koh Lanta, Phuket, Koh Yao Noi), or, even better, experiencing the world’s longest urban zip line in Dubai!
Certain visits are frequently advised to be scheduled in advance.
Have you ever seen photographs of the never-ending line in front of Rome’s Colosseum or Seville’s Alcazar? You may prevent these problems by purchasing your skip-the-line tickets in advance.
These tickets and activities are not more expensive than if purchased immediately on site, and in certain situations, such as in Dubai, they are considerably cheaper online!
Here are the three greatest sites I use to book trips or activities (click on the links to get to the sites):
- GetYourGuide which gives hundreds of alternatives by destination. There’s plenty for everyone, including activities, day excursions, guided tours, and skip-the-line tickets to landmarks and museums.
- Tiqets, which offer focuses on museum admission tickets.
- The greatest website for arranging sporting activities is Adrenaline Hunter (nautical activities, extreme sports, parachute jumps, etc.)
Other Things To Consider When Planning A Trip.
I tried not to leave anything out to assist you plan your vacation, but here is some last information and general suggestions that may be helpful:
- Get the Google Translate app, which is excellent for translating from one language to another.
- To navigate the planet, use the Maps.me app. Remember to save the nation map before you go.
- Be wary of travel credit card withdrawal costs. To circumvent the exchange rate, open an account with Revolut or N26, neo-banks recognized for offering free withdrawal costs globally, and pay in local currency.
- Don’t know what to pack in your suitcase? Please read my article with all the things to pack: 10 Travellers backpack item you should have.
- Make a digital duplicate of your identification documents, driver’s license, and travel insurance and store it on your phone or in the cloud.
- Give a copy of your itinerary to a close friend or family member.
Plan A Custom Trip With A Local Travel Agency.
You don’t have time to arrange a vacation? Do you like a fully customized and turnkey tour?
Why not leave the planning of your vacation to a local agency?
This is made possible by Evaneos, a website that connects tourists with local travel businesses.
You will thus be able to profit from the lowest pricing available without the use of intermediaries, as well as the assurances provided by a large travel operator.
Furthermore, these circuits are completely configurable; all you have to do is request a price (free and without obligation) defining your requirements. A tourism specialist will then take care of planning your perfect vacation.
This trip planning guide concludes. Obviously, the post is lengthy since there are several questions and concerns when planning your first trip overseas without the assistance of a travel agency… But you won’t see it yourself, because you won’t be able to do without it after crossing the first trip on your own. And, as a matter of habit, the ones after that will be significantly faster for your preparations!
I have a question. What is your observation? This is why the comments are there. Please leave a remark at the bottom of this tutorial. Our conversations may be helpful to other blog readers who are wondering how to prepare for a vacation.
Excellent job.. extremely good.. Just keep going!