It is very important for me to plan my trips in advance to make sure that things go well and I get the best out of it. I have been traveling regularly for many years now and have learned many things with these experiences.
I classify my trips into two
- Short Trips
- Long Trips
Short trips are usually day trips or weekend trips which would be less than 3 days. These trips would not be planned much in advance, but definitely would do the minimal research or at least would be with somebody who would be knowing well about the place where we are going to visit.
Long trips are usually planned well in advance (1-3 months or even more). Below are the tips that I would like to share with you all. Check it out and let me know if I have missed something.
Tips to Plan your trip
Read about the place
First thing I do is read about the place and understand the importance of all the places. When you do a search for places to visit, you will find some places which would be most visited places and reviewed by many. I get some idea of the place and If it matches my interests, I would add it to my places to visit. I also would check my global bucket list of places to visit to make sure I have not missed.
Climatic and weather conditions
I make sure that the time when I travel would be best in every perspective.
I avoid traveling to any destination, when it is too crowded.
I try to travel during the beginning of the season so that I can avoid crowd and still enjoy the place
For example, my recent trip to Shimla, I could see the flowers blooming, enjoy the snow, the climate was pleasant.
There is no point for me to go Ooty when it is raining, I will have to just sit inside my room and sleep.
Deciding on the places to visit
As I mentioned above, I decide by places to visit after doing my own research. I do not go with any fixed tour packages, instead, I prepare my own list. I also use the social media / travel groups to get suggestions / help to decide my places to visit. Rather than visiting very popular places, I give important to places which are less popular, but difficult to reach. Once I reach the place, I do interact with locals to find if there are any places that I have missed which are worth visiting.
During my recent visit to Sikkim, I went to some places which were suggested by our local driver / guide and was amazing. I also keep updating my bucket list if I missed any place during my visit.
Listing the restaurants that should not be missed
Other than places to visit, my other interest is to explore the best places to eat, local cuisines, etc. Again after reading, I make a list of restaurants/ hotels which I would want to visit.
Deciding on the number of days for the trip
First would be the right time to go for the trip and then would be the number of days that would be needed to complete the trip.
I would make sure that I cover most of the places that are in my list without stressing out. We do travel to enjoy, so I make sure that I get sufficient time to relax when traveling.
If it is an international trip, then I would need to apply for a visa if required. There are many countries, where we can get visa on arrival.
Booking the flight tickets
If you need to fly to your destination, then it is very important to book your flight tickets well in advance so that you can save some money. So Once I have everything planned, I book my economy tickets.
Getting the best local tour operator
I prefer to take services of a local tour operator rather than any big branded companies like MMT / Thomas Cook. Dealing with local tour operator has the advantages of pricing and better service. Word of caution, make sure the person whom you are dealing is trustworthy and has good reputation. You can do this by reading reviews on Google / Trip Advisor or any other similar services.
Once I have a trustworthy local tour operator, I would send him the places that I want to visit, the airport pick up time / date and drop date / time. I also would tell him about the kind of vehicles I need for local transport and home stays for staying. He would send me a tour plan as per my requirement. I would double check it, do necessary corrections if needed and send it back to him for a final quote. If I feel the price is good, I would confirm and pay the necessary advance.
Planning day by day activities
The final plan would have day by day activities
Booking the places to stay
I usually use services like AirBnb / Booking.com to book my stays and my first preference is to Home Stay. I like living with locals and having local food with them. Advantages of staying in home stays are low cost, personal attention from locals, can enjoy local food, etc
I do all my local travel booked in advance using the local travel agent. Make sure that you do all the communication via email or any other mode which can be referred if needed in the future.
I give highest priority to safety when I plan my trips. I make sure that the I do not go to places when the climatic or any conditions are not safe.
If you are planning for an international destination, then check out the mobile connectivity options before you travel. If it is within your country, you will need to check if the place you are traveling is well connected by your mobile operator.
You should make sure that you are carrying cloths as per the climatic conditions of your travel destination. Try to travel light as much as possible
- Plan your trip in advance
- Travel Light
- Stay in Homestay
- Safety First
- Read about the places
- Bucket List of Places to Visit
- I do maintain a bucket list of places to visit around when I read or come across or is referred by anybody.
- Get a local tour agent
Video on how to plan a trip?
Some of my trip planning Videos
Even if it is a short trip, plan your trip well so that you can enjoy the best!!