Everyone wants to travel and see the world – but unfortunately, not many are good at planning trips. Planning a vacation can be a daunting task, especially if you don’t know where to start! I’ll show you how I usually plan my trip and give you tips from pre-trip to post-trip. I covered the basics of planning a trip and also included the tried and tested websites and apps I normally use. This ultimate guide will ensure that you get the most out of your trip without spending too much!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Read more about our disclosure policy here.

I know we’re still on lockdown but one thing’s for sure, once this pandemic is over, everyone will be excited to explore the world and seek out what they’ve been missing for the past months! So arm yourselves with the right travel resources now so that you can travel smarter in the future.

Let your adventure begin! Choose which section you want to start with or simply read from top to bottom so you won’t miss anything!

Trip Planning Tips

PRE-TRIP

All the things you need to know before you embark on your trip!

Planning Trip Location Pin

DECIDE WHERE TO GO

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First, you have to know where you want to go! Inspire the wanderlust in you by researching possible countries or cities you want to explore. Check out travel websites, Instagram accounts of travel bloggers, and my favorite method – browse travel-related Pinterest boards.

“Dare to live the life you have always wanted.”

In case you’re traveling with your significant other and this will be your first time doing so, read this helpful article: 3 Travel Tips For Couples To Survive Your First Trip Together.

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FIND AFFORDABLE FLIGHTS

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Now that you have pinned down your dream destination, time to check out the best airfare deals! These are the top websites I usually visit for affordable flights. They have app versions too which come in handy for those times you want to quickly check if there’s a price drop!

My go-to site when I want to find the cheapest flight options available among many airlines.

You will love the “Flight Watch” option which can notify you when there’s a price drop!

I normally check this to compare airfare prices and make sure no deals are left out.

If you’re from the Philippines, make sure to regularly watch out for Cebu Pacific seat sales. Most of my budget trips abroad and locally were booked via this budget airline.

💡 PRO TIP: It’s possible to travel without breaking the bank! I had already been to Japan twice and believe it or not, I only spent less than Php 4,000 for each round trip airfare. Read the 7 Cebu Pacific Seat Sale Hacks That 100% Worked for Me!

Trip Planning Tip Accommodation

BOOK ACCOMMODATIONS

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Finding a great place to stay is now made easy, thanks to numerous websites and apps that collate every best deal possible! Here are my top 3 go-to sites for booking accommodations!

I normally start my search with Agoda! They list over 2 million properties worldwide.

If you want to live like a local, stay in one of their homes! It’s a great experience!

From cozy country homes to hostels and apartments you can find it here!

💡 PRO TIP: Always read the reviews of the properties listed before making a decision! Other things to consider before booking accommodation: flexible cancelation policy and proximity to transportations. You want to make sure it’s near a bus stop or train station to be able to save on travel time. It’s also nice if the hotel can offer a refund in case you decide to cancel the trip, giving you peace of mind.

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Trip Planning Tip Essential Docs

PREPARE TRAVEL ESSENTIALS

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Travel smart and make sure you have these things prepared ahead of time! It will save you the hassle and avoid any canceled trips! Search about the best times to apply for a visa, if needed, so you can schedule accordingly. The last thing you want is to be stressing about deadlines!

Trip Planning Tip Visa
VISA AND PASSPORT

If you plan to travel internationally, make sure you have the necessary documents such as a valid visa and passport before heading to the airport! It’s always good to note when your passport will be expiring so you can renew it ahead of time.

Philippine passport holder? Check this article about Philippine Passport Application and Renewal Requirements!

💡 PRO TIP: Scan copies of important documents and upload them on your Google Drive or Dropbox so you can easily access them for reference in case you lost the actual ones.

Trip Planning Tip Money Exchange
MONEY AND CARD

Find out how much you will need for your dream vacation and budget accordingly. If it’s an international destination, make sure you have the right amount of local currency on hand before boarding that plane. Of course, you can always have your money exchanged on your destination, but it’s wise to have a few local currencies in case you have trouble locating the nearest money exchange centers.

If you plan to use your credit card abroad, make sure to inform your bank ahead of time. They might automatically cut your account if they see any unusual transactions from a foreign country if you didn’t inform them of your travel plans.

Trip Planning Tip Insurance
TRAVEL
INSURANCE

Travel insurance is very important especially if you plan to do extreme activities and if you will travel a lot. This will save you the hassle in case something goes wrong along the way. One of the most trusted is World Nomads which offers simple and flexible travel insurance plans. They’re designed for travelers by travelers so you know their products are well thought of.

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Trip Planning Tip Itinerary

MAKE AN ITINERARY

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If you’re the type who wants to be organized on a trip go ahead and make your own itinerary. In this template, all you have to do is input the correct details. It’s already formatted for travel itineraries. Sweet!

DOWNLOAD FREE ITINERARY TEMPLATES HERE

Aside from travel blogs and quick Google research, I also usually check the Visit A City website to check travel itineraries. It’s so easy to use – you just have to input your dream destination, and then select how many days you intend to stay. It will automatically create an itinerary for you for FREE!

Of course, you can still modify it to your liking and replace it with other activities – but at least you instantly have something to work on with so you don’t have to create from scratch. Best of all, you can easily download the itineraries or view them from their awesome app!

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Trip Planning Tip Travel Apps

DOWNLOAD MUST-HAVE TRAVEL APPS

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These FREE travel apps are lifesavers! Make sure to download them on your phone before you leave for your trip!

Klook

Discover and book amazing things to do at exclusive prices. I always check Klook for discounted entrance tickets to theme parks and other tourist attractions. I also normally rent a wi-fi device and purchase train tickets from them. Download Klook from the App Store or Google Play.

XE Currency Converter

Find out the current exchange rate in an instant! It has an easy to use interface and you can choose from different international currencies. Best of all, it works offline! Just make sure to download the conversion rate of the country you intend to visit and you’ll be good to go. Download XE Currency app from the App Store or Google Play.

Splitwise

Traveling with a big group? Easily keep track of your shared expenses and balances with your friends and companions on your trips. This way you don’t have to mentally remember anything anymore – everything is accounted for and you can split the cost among yourselves fairly. Download Splitwise from the App Store or Google Play.

Naver Papago – AI Translator

Never get lost in translation ever again with this app that can help translate 13 languages – including Korean, Japanese, French, German, among others. It has a lot of cool features like image translation, voice translation, and handwriting translation. The app can be used even when you’re offline! Download Naver Papago from the App Store or Google Play.

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Trip Planning Tip Clothes

PLAN YOUR OOTD

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Travel in style and plan your travel outfits accordingly! This way you can avoid overpacking since you will only bring pieces of outfit you will actually wear! Make sure to bring clothes that you can easily mix and match and are versatile. It’s also important to find out the season or weather during your travel period so you can bring appropriate clothes.

Check this Pinterest board for travel OOTD inspirations!

What I like to do is choose all the clothes I plan to bring, then mix and match them, and take a photo of myself wearing each set of clothes. This gives me a visual reference when I’m on the actual trip itself – so I don’t have to do any guesswork anymore on which item pairs best with which. It saves me tons of time when getting ready!

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Trip Planning Tip Luggage

PACK YOUR STUFF

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Do you always seem to forget to pack something essential? Or are you one of those who love to travel but absolutely hate packing? I super get you – I used to hate packing and I used to forget a lot of stuff every frickin trip, too! Worry no more! Check out these handy dandy checklists of what to pack in your luggage and hand-carry! You’ll be a master packer in no time!

My top 2 must-have in every trip!

Powerbank for Trip

BAVIN 20000mAh Powerbank w/ 2 USB Dual Port Slot and Digital Power Indicator ( PC151S )

Universal USB Travel Adapter For Trip

Universal Travel Adapter With Plug Converter Travel Changing Adapter 16A 250V

💡 PRO TIP: Don’t forget to bring a book or two! They will come in handy especially during the long wait at the airport.

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Oh hey, look at you! You’re all packed and ready to go! Now to really maximize your trip, I shared some more tips on what to do during your trip!

South Korea Trip

DURING TRIP

What you should know when you’re on your destination already!

Be a responsible traveler

Always observe the customs and traditions of the place you intend to visit. If they’re a conservative country, make sure you dress appropriately. Don’t litter, loiter, and do anything that can harm you or others. Save an emergency local number on your phone – you never know when you will need it so it’s best to save it ahead.

Take lots of photos

Create new memories and one way of preserving them is by taking photos! Saw a great architecture? Snap a photo of it! Yummy-looking food? Take a photo of it! Awkward in taking a selfie? Learn how to take Instagram-worthy photos!

Buy souvenirs

Aside from photos, you can preserve a travel memory by buying souvenirs! You also get to support the local sellers so it’s a win-win! What I always ensure to bring home are handcrafted keychains & ref magnets, and local delicacies.

Try local food

Don’t miss out on the chance to try authentic local food! Find out what’s their must-try local food and then Google the nearest place where you can buy that. You can also try searching for Michelin-starred restaurants whenever you travel internationally – I did that in Hong Kong and it was a great experience!

💡 PRO TIP: Never go out with all your money inside your wallet or bag! Leave some in your hotel room in case your wallet gets lost or stolen.

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Japan Trip 2

POST-TRIP

Missing your trip so bad? Here are some ways to battle the travel blues away!

Create a travel blog

Have an interesting story to tell about your trip? Or perhaps you want to have something to look back to for years to come? Starting a travel blog is a great solution for those!

Print photos

Remember the highlights of your favorite trip as you leaf through a book filled with memorable photos. Photobook is an excellent service that does just that! They always offer discounts so watch out for them! It’s also a great gift idea for your loved ones, too.

Travel Quote For Your Trip

Soak in travel quotes

Get inspired for your next trip with this collection of travel quotes. It’s filled with inspiring travel quotes to get you by until your next adventure. You will feel motivated to save up and work hard so you can travel again soon!

Travel souvenir gift idea

Turn your travel photos into fun and exciting Big Head caricatures! They’re also great gift ideas to give your travel buddies on special occasions. Use discount code “hazywanders” to get 20% OFF.

Post on social media

Inspire others with your photos and videos from your vacation. Share something interesting about the places you visited! You will surely get new followers around the world when you offer valuable information.

Follow my Instagram account @hazywanders for travel inspo! 💙

@hazywanders

📌 SAVE IT ON PINTEREST FOR LATER! 📌

So that’s it for this ultimate guide on how to plan your trip! I hope you learned something new today and that I was able to inspire you to travel more. Let me know if you have questions, I’d like to help!

Like this post? I’d appreciate if you share it!

55 Comments

  1. nawindang ako sa title, sis. considering, lol… but you’re right, as soon as this pandemic is over, people will want to go out and about. sana hindi muna excessive travelling. hinay hinay muna.

    1. Hehe made this for future reference of anyone seeking to travel after this pandemic. 🥰 but of course, right now it’s better to stay safe at home. Thanks for dropping by, Wendy! 😊

  2. This is such a great guide to go by especially for someone who’s not much of a traveller like me. I dread packing too and I tend to bring everything, haha! Definitely pinning this one! Hopefully come June, things will clear up and we can travel once more.

  3. always wanted to do a blog post like this but find it too taxing as it takes a lot of research time and data gathering. Yet you did it, awesome work!

    1. Hi Ryan, yes it did take a lot of research gathering all these travel resources. But I always get asked by friends for help regarding travel tips – so I made this. 😀

  4. This is an excellent and concise travel tip on planning! Too bad I wasn’t able to thoroughly plan my OOTD and itinerary when I went to Singapore! I will definitely bookmark this article, so helpful!

  5. This is a good guide for first-time travelers. They could have missed crucial steps like checking accommodation reviews, to save them from any disaster. Not all cheap accommodations are worth to try, there are situations that we need to consider convenience and comfort as we need to recuperate after a day’s worth of touring and activities.

  6. Can I just say that I love your pics and the way you design the icons on your article?! Lovely! Anyway, thanks for these tips, there are a lot of apps that I didn’t know and for sure, I will download them! I am the type of person who creates an itinerary but ends up not following them haha! At least I tried di ba?! Thanks again and will re-read this after this ECQ because I found a lot of great tips!

    1. Hi Jowell! Yay, glad I was able to help you with this post – especially on the travel must-have apps! And it’s okay not to follow your own itinerary, I think that makes the trip even more exciting. 🤗 Itineraries should just serve as a guide, not some rule book you can’t break. 😁

  7. I’m not that well-traveled like others but I take notes from those who are. I’ll check out the apps you mentioned for the next trip I have 🙂

  8. Ang laking tulong ng article na ito… usually kasi pag may travel kami nung friend ko siya halos ang nagpaplan… nagbabayad na lang ako. At least ngayon pwede na ko makatulong sa kanya at may idea na ko maishare. 😅

  9. OMG. This is one of my most favorite blogposts so far! I love you managed everything to look clean and aesthetic. I enjoyed reading with the small graphics and very informative article. Nice tips too! So excited to travel again!

  10. I’m like taking everything in. So much valuable and practical information here. I actually started my blog with a travel piece too because I just wanted to reminisce. Hahaha. Hopefully this will all end soon so thatbwe can scurry off into the ends of the world. Lol

  11. I haven’t traveled much but whenever I do, I do the things same on your list.
    This post is very helpful to first-time travelers and you have a great blog and I love it! Keep it up!

  12. Sobrang hirap ako magplan ng trip at gumawa ng itenerary, nung nagpunta kami ng Singapore, nilista ko lang yung mga dapat namin puntahan, did not even bother to plan kung kailan at anong oras namin pupuntahan, go with the flow lng haha, hirap din kase baka mabago plan namin kapag tinopak yung anak ko. I checked your recommended itenerary template and will use it for future trips namin after this pandemic 🙂

    1. I’m sure it’s harder to plan a trip if traveling with kids! But glad you managed it. 🙂 I think what you did is just right. Good thing it worked for you. 🙂

  13. Great job on this Hazel! I’m sure everyone will be needing this after this crisis. Traveler or non-traveler who wants to travel and explore after being quarantined for almost 2 months. Thank you! 🙂

  14. In my case, the more I planned for travel, the less probability that it can happen. So we do spontaneous travel instead.
    Anyway, let’s make it a 2021 travel guide. 2020 is canceled! We need to have a pause coz it will help the environment.

  15. bookmarking this for reference. super detailed!!! actually i do have a notebook for the trip and write everything in there. sa excel naman yung mga expenses and to be expenses. pati yung mga lists to bring, to go to, where to eat.. ganyan. hehe nakakamiss umalis. sana matapos na tong covid ng makaalis na uli.

  16. This is very informative!😊 We usually do DIY and sometimes spontaneous trips but this one is very helpful in planning. Thanks!

  17. I love that you outlined all of the things that people need to consider when they are planning a trip! There are so many resources out there to help us make the most out of what we are spending. OOOH It is SO IMPORTANT to have travel insurance. You never know what will happen. YESSS on being responsible. It irks me when people are doing rude things for the clout. Like really? Thanks for sharing all of these great tips!

    Nancy ♥ exquisitely.me

    1. Hi Nancy, yes I agree – there are so many resources (like travel apps and websites) that we can all utitlize to help us travel wisely. 🙂 Glad you agree with the travel insurance and being a responsible traveler! 🙂

  18. Looking forward na sana mawala na si COVID. Glad you mentioned TRAVEL INSURANCE because most travelers especially here in Philippines don’t mind about this thing. Except for those traveling international, I think travel insurance is compulsory if I am not wrong.

    1. Hi Dexter! Yes, hopefully we can all travel again soon! As for the travel insurance, European countries are strict about it, when applying visa you have to get an insurance too.

  19. The ticket hunting and booking accomodations are really the nost expensive part of any trip. So, dapat matagal ang preparation at malayo ang ipunan.

  20. Thanks for this guide!! Usually, my family and I would just wing it. We want to feel surprised Kasi haha but I guess having a plan is better. It will make our short stay in a certain place or country worth the while 🙂

  21. My husband and I are huge traveler planners! Love this list! Can’t wait to start planning our trips as things start to “normalize”

  22. Your blog layout is amazing! …but also, really great content here for someone who’s about to travel. I never travel w/o a power bank, so that one’s a muse for me also. I love your What to do after the trip, so keep the vacay vibes going.

  23. Very informative guide. This guide will help other new traveller. Planning the place you will visit and ability to budget your expenses matters in travelling. Reading about other travel blogs and searching online for itinerary helps a lot. Respect the culture and traditions of the place we visit to avoid trouble with locals. 🙂

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