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!
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.
📣 IMPORTANT UPDATE: As of October 21, Filipinos can now travel overseas again for non-essential trips!
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!
All the things you need to know before you embark on your trip!
DECIDE WHERE TO GO
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.
FIND AFFORDABLE FLIGHTS
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!
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.
PREPARE TRAVEL ESSENTIALS
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!
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.
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.
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.
MAKE AN ITINERARY
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!
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!
DOWNLOAD MUST-HAVE TRAVEL APPS
These FREE travel apps are lifesavers! Make sure to download them on your phone before you leave for your trip!
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.
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.
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.
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.
PLAN YOUR OOTD
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!
PACK YOUR STUFF
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!
BAVIN 20000mAh Powerbank w/ 2 USB Dual Port Slot and Digital Power Indicator ( PC151S )
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.
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!
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!
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.
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!
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.
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!
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!