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I’ll be honest. I’m not the greatest trip planner in the world when it comes to planning a trip, either at home or overseas. What I mean is that I much prefer selecting my entry and exit points, and whatever happens in between happens. Obviously I plan the flights and a bit of accommodation, but I’ve found that the best travel experiences are the ones you didn’t see coming – whether good or bad.

Planning A Trip Guide Tips Destinations

My planning levels do vary though depending on the length of the trip – for example, short 1 to 2 week trips would involve more planning than a year round the world trip, and if there activities that are popular, I’d factor that in and book early to avoid the disappointment of missing out.

Anyway, this post is a bit of a brain dump of the things I’ve learned with my travels when planning a trip – and there might actually be some useful crap in here! There’s a few humorous anecdotes as well to help prevent you to flicking to some other website too!

My motto – just have a rough outline of what you want to do, and the rest will work itself out! You can become overwhelmed with information overload that this in itself can cause a bit of anxiety.

Planning a trip also comes down to personality – you might be the anal retentive control freak type who needs a spreadsheet to document a minute by minute schedule, or you may be the type who doesn’t really give a f&$* and would rather go with the flow. I’m towards the latter, but will incorporate a bit of structure if I need it or feel like it.

Anyway this list of 20 steps will give you an idea of what to consider when planning a trip – so take what works for you and leave the rest that doesn’t.

The aim of this is to actually get you to go exploring the world to see what it offers. If you haven’t done this before, then the best way is to actually do it and go travelling.

There’s truckloads of information on this silly website and some of it might actually be useful! And now I’ve put it all together.

I’ll be covering a number of different areas, such as booking flights, accommodation, activities, travel insurance to accessing your funds on the road, passports, visas and more!

They can be applied to travelling solo, as a couple, or with a family.

How to Plan Your Next Trip – Some Practical and Offbeat Tips!

Here we go!

Step 1 – Find Out Where You Want To Go

You know what? It doesn’t matter where you actually go – just go somewhere. Any place will do. As long as it doesn’t have a high chance of a fatal visit, you’ll have a great time. And don’t have FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) – just making the decision to go somewhere is a good one and I’ve had plenty of great experiences in plenty of places – they’re just different from each other.

Find Out Where To Go On A Trip.

But you do have to be a tad specific when planning a trip – for example, a city, country or maybe an overland trip. Whatever it is, just specify it, pick it, and stick to it.

You can then commit to wherever you’re going to, and then you’ll know what the costs will be based on your research (see next point) and you’ve got something to aim for.

You may want to go to Europe to experience hundreds of years of culture, food and architecture. Or you might want to immerse yourself into the big open spaces of Africa. Or maybe hiking around Patagonia in South America. Picking your destination around your interests helps. But travel is about all sorts of things – culture, food, scenery and most of all, personal development – especially if you’re travelling solo.

Here’s some inspiration:

Q? Encoding=Utf8&Amp;Marketplace=Us&Amp;Asin=1786571757&Amp;Serviceversion=20070822&Amp;Id=Asinimage&Amp;Ws=1&Amp;Format= Sl250 &Amp;Tag=Thetratar 20 | Budget Travel | Planning A Trip Tips! A Silly Step By Step 'How To' Guide And Checklist! | Booking A Flight, Holiday Planner, How To Plan A Trip, Planning A Road Trip, Planning A Travel Guide, Planning A Trip, Planning A Trip App, Planning A Trip Around The World, Planning A Trip Checklist, Planning A Trip Google Maps, Planning A Trip On A Budget, Planning A Trip Tips, Road Trip Planner, Route Planner, Travel Budget, Travel Insurance, Travel Medicine, Travel Money, Travel Packing Tips, Travel Planner, Travel Safety, Travel Tips, Travel Vaccinations, Trip Planner, Trip Tips, Vacation Planner | Author: Anthony Bianco - The Travel Tart BlogIr?T=Thetratar 20&Amp;L=Am2&Amp;O=1&Amp;A=1786571757 | Budget Travel | Planning A Trip Tips! A Silly Step By Step 'How To' Guide And Checklist! | Booking A Flight, Holiday Planner, How To Plan A Trip, Planning A Road Trip, Planning A Travel Guide, Planning A Trip, Planning A Trip App, Planning A Trip Around The World, Planning A Trip Checklist, Planning A Trip Google Maps, Planning A Trip On A Budget, Planning A Trip Tips, Road Trip Planner, Route Planner, Travel Budget, Travel Insurance, Travel Medicine, Travel Money, Travel Packing Tips, Travel Planner, Travel Safety, Travel Tips, Travel Vaccinations, Trip Planner, Trip Tips, Vacation Planner | Author: Anthony Bianco - The Travel Tart BlogQ? Encoding=Utf8&Amp;Marketplace=Us&Amp;Asin=1786571188&Amp;Serviceversion=20070822&Amp;Id=Asinimage&Amp;Ws=1&Amp;Format= Sl250 &Amp;Tag=Thetratar 20 | Budget Travel | Planning A Trip Tips! A Silly Step By Step 'How To' Guide And Checklist! | Booking A Flight, Holiday Planner, How To Plan A Trip, Planning A Road Trip, Planning A Travel Guide, Planning A Trip, Planning A Trip App, Planning A Trip Around The World, Planning A Trip Checklist, Planning A Trip Google Maps, Planning A Trip On A Budget, Planning A Trip Tips, Road Trip Planner, Route Planner, Travel Budget, Travel Insurance, Travel Medicine, Travel Money, Travel Packing Tips, Travel Planner, Travel Safety, Travel Tips, Travel Vaccinations, Trip Planner, Trip Tips, Vacation Planner | Author: Anthony Bianco - The Travel Tart BlogIr?T=Thetratar 20&Amp;L=Am2&Amp;O=1&Amp;A=1786571188 | Budget Travel | Planning A Trip Tips! A Silly Step By Step 'How To' Guide And Checklist! | Booking A Flight, Holiday Planner, How To Plan A Trip, Planning A Road Trip, Planning A Travel Guide, Planning A Trip, Planning A Trip App, Planning A Trip Around The World, Planning A Trip Checklist, Planning A Trip Google Maps, Planning A Trip On A Budget, Planning A Trip Tips, Road Trip Planner, Route Planner, Travel Budget, Travel Insurance, Travel Medicine, Travel Money, Travel Packing Tips, Travel Planner, Travel Safety, Travel Tips, Travel Vaccinations, Trip Planner, Trip Tips, Vacation Planner | Author: Anthony Bianco - The Travel Tart BlogQ? Encoding=Utf8&Amp;Marketplace=Us&Amp;Asin=1786576406&Amp;Serviceversion=20070822&Amp;Id=Asinimage&Amp;Ws=1&Amp;Format= Sl250 &Amp;Tag=Thetratar 20 | Budget Travel | Planning A Trip Tips! A Silly Step By Step 'How To' Guide And Checklist! | Booking A Flight, Holiday Planner, How To Plan A Trip, Planning A Road Trip, Planning A Travel Guide, Planning A Trip, Planning A Trip App, Planning A Trip Around The World, Planning A Trip Checklist, Planning A Trip Google Maps, Planning A Trip On A Budget, Planning A Trip Tips, Road Trip Planner, Route Planner, Travel Budget, Travel Insurance, Travel Medicine, Travel Money, Travel Packing Tips, Travel Planner, Travel Safety, Travel Tips, Travel Vaccinations, Trip Planner, Trip Tips, Vacation Planner | Author: Anthony Bianco - The Travel Tart BlogIr?T=Thetratar 20&Amp;L=Am2&Amp;O=1&Amp;A=1786576406 | Budget Travel | Planning A Trip Tips! A Silly Step By Step 'How To' Guide And Checklist! | Booking A Flight, Holiday Planner, How To Plan A Trip, Planning A Road Trip, Planning A Travel Guide, Planning A Trip, Planning A Trip App, Planning A Trip Around The World, Planning A Trip Checklist, Planning A Trip Google Maps, Planning A Trip On A Budget, Planning A Trip Tips, Road Trip Planner, Route Planner, Travel Budget, Travel Insurance, Travel Medicine, Travel Money, Travel Packing Tips, Travel Planner, Travel Safety, Travel Tips, Travel Vaccinations, Trip Planner, Trip Tips, Vacation Planner | Author: Anthony Bianco - The Travel Tart BlogQ? Encoding=Utf8&Amp;Marketplace=Us&Amp;Asin=1740594622&Amp;Serviceversion=20070822&Amp;Id=Asinimage&Amp;Ws=1&Amp;Format= Sl250 &Amp;Tag=Thetratar 20 | Budget Travel | Planning A Trip Tips! A Silly Step By Step 'How To' Guide And Checklist! | Booking A Flight, Holiday Planner, How To Plan A Trip, Planning A Road Trip, Planning A Travel Guide, Planning A Trip, Planning A Trip App, Planning A Trip Around The World, Planning A Trip Checklist, Planning A Trip Google Maps, Planning A Trip On A Budget, Planning A Trip Tips, Road Trip Planner, Route Planner, Travel Budget, Travel Insurance, Travel Medicine, Travel Money, Travel Packing Tips, Travel Planner, Travel Safety, Travel Tips, Travel Vaccinations, Trip Planner, Trip Tips, Vacation Planner | Author: Anthony Bianco - The Travel Tart BlogIr?T=Thetratar 20&Amp;L=Am2&Amp;O=1&Amp;A=1740594622 | Budget Travel | Planning A Trip Tips! A Silly Step By Step 'How To' Guide And Checklist! | Booking A Flight, Holiday Planner, How To Plan A Trip, Planning A Road Trip, Planning A Travel Guide, Planning A Trip, Planning A Trip App, Planning A Trip Around The World, Planning A Trip Checklist, Planning A Trip Google Maps, Planning A Trip On A Budget, Planning A Trip Tips, Road Trip Planner, Route Planner, Travel Budget, Travel Insurance, Travel Medicine, Travel Money, Travel Packing Tips, Travel Planner, Travel Safety, Travel Tips, Travel Vaccinations, Trip Planner, Trip Tips, Vacation Planner | Author: Anthony Bianco - The Travel Tart Blog

Want some inspiration? Check out:

Tripadvisor

Don’t be too anal about it – you don’t want to suffer information overload!

Also, are you going solo or are you travelling with someone? If you’re going by yourself, then no worries, you don’t have to take into account someone else’s interests as well! That also goes if you’re travelling with your family.

Step 2 – Decide the Length of Your Trip

So you’ve figured out where you want to go. Now figure out how long you want to go for regardless of it’s a short trip or an extended soiree around the world.

Planning A Trip Tips And Guide For Short Trips Or Backpacking Around The World.

Obviously, if you visit developed places like North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand, you’ll need to account for the higher expenses compared to developing countries in Asia, Africa and South America. Or you might want to mix it up a bit. This is a pretty important aspect when planning a trip because this feeds into Step 3.

Step 3 – Prepare a Travel Budget and Start Saving Money

Once you’ve sorted out where in the world you’re going and how long you’ll be there for, you then need to lock down how much money you’ll actually need based on your style of travel. Obviously, you’ll burn through all of your cash quickly if you want to live like Kim Kardashian (you won’t the first person to want a champagne travel experience on a beer budget), but your money will stretch a lot further if you go backpacking and do other expense reduction things like house sitting or couch surfing.

The worst thing about funding your travels is not having enough money to do the things you really want to do. There’s no point going halfway around the world and then realise that you can’t afford something that’s been on your bucket list for most of your life.

It sounds like a yawnfest, but if you’re serious about going travelling, you’ll need to set a travel budget when planning a trip – one that you won’t exceed, because no one is going to give a crap about your GoFundMe page if you come up short!

In terms of avoiding a travel budget overspend, the best way is to budget carefully for it. When saving money and financing any vacation, a budget needs to be set based on how long you will be away for and where. Once this amount is determined, regularly contribute the amount of money you need per week into a separate account over X number of weeks – calculate your savings time/schedule and stick to it.

Money For Travelling

Be ruthless. Cut whatever you don’t need and add more to your account if possible until you reach your required budget. Store this money in a separate account. I’d also include a buffer of 10 to 20% extra just in case for emergency spending.

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Cut back on any unnecessary spending – the more ruthless you are, the quicker you’ll save up your budget and the sooner you’ll be travelling. Even sell some of your stuff that you don’t use anymore (e.g. on Gumtree, Amazon, eBay or Craigslist) and pick up extra work if you really need to. Cut back on that coffee, booze, going out and spending on useless stuff that you don’t need with money you don’t have to impress people that you don’t like!

For example, if you’re going away for 2 months (say 60 days) and you need $100 per day for your food, ground transport, activities and accommodation, well you’ll need to budget $6000 and then add on the cost of our flights, visas and other ancillary costs.

If you decide to go on a working holiday and you’re eligible, this may also be used to supplement your income too.

It’s a bit silly, but check out my how to save money travel tips!

Step 4 – Get A Passport!

Sounds obvious, but if you don’t have a passport or your current one has expired, you’ll need to get one. And allow enough time for the processing in your country. Otherwise, every other single planning a trip step is damn useless!

If you’re lucky enough to be a citizen of a country where the passport processing times are efficient, expect one to arrive in the mail about 2 to 3 weeks after submitting your application. Yes, you’ll even have to go through the really sad passport photo capture process as well!

But that’s awesome if you have a cool name like Batman bin Suparman!

Funny Passport Photos - Batman Bin Suparman

You’ll need your passport to enter and exit every place you visit otherwise you’ll be up for a free cavity search if you don’t!

Step 5 – Plan Your Visas and Know Your Entry/Exit Requirements

You could be lucky enough and be the holder of a ‘power passport’ where you hardly ever need a visa to enter most countries, or at worst, just need to pay a small fee or obtain a visa on arrival.

But you don’t want to turn up to the airport and be refused to board the flight because you don’t have a visa for a country that requires you to have one, or you’ve got the wrong visa.

There is a travel theory that the countries that have the most arduous and painful visa application process are the ones that most people don’t want to visit anyway. But for me, that’s a reason to go and visit so I can avoid the hordes of tourists!

So when planning a trip, definitely check out the visa entry requirements for your destination, any specific visas you need, and the application process – especially the wait times.

Don’t leave this to the last second either otherwise you could have a very expensive non-trip on your hands after you’ve paid for your flights and other things!

To check out the visa requirements for your citizenship, check out Project Visa and then check again with the relevant embassy site – and call them directly too!

Here’s a personal example of why it’s important to check out visa requirements. When I went to Kazakhstan (no it’s nothing like what Borat says) I had to send my passport from Australia to the United Kingdom to have it processed before I could go there. It took a couple of weeks and my passport had to go all around the world for it!

Kazakh Visa | Budget Travel | Planning A Trip Tips! A Silly Step By Step 'How To' Guide And Checklist! | Booking A Flight, Holiday Planner, How To Plan A Trip, Planning A Road Trip, Planning A Travel Guide, Planning A Trip, Planning A Trip App, Planning A Trip Around The World, Planning A Trip Checklist, Planning A Trip Google Maps, Planning A Trip On A Budget, Planning A Trip Tips, Road Trip Planner, Route Planner, Travel Budget, Travel Insurance, Travel Medicine, Travel Money, Travel Packing Tips, Travel Planner, Travel Safety, Travel Tips, Travel Vaccinations, Trip Planner, Trip Tips, Vacation Planner | Author: Anthony Bianco - The Travel Tart Blog

The funny story behind this was that there used to be a Kazkh consulate in Australia, but it was closed when the head diplomat didn’t want to go back to his home country and he took off somewhere in the wide expanse of Australia, and he hasn’t been seen since!

Step 6 – Travel Fund Access – Get a Travels Rewards Credit and Switch to No-Fee ATM Cards

I’m a bit of a points whore. I’ll maximise my points earning potential wherever I can and I make ALL of my purchases on the credit card for one airline loyalty program only to consolidate my points (ie. bills, living expenses etc).

The main programs are affiliated with OneWorld, Star Alliance or Skyteam. Each have their pros and cons in terms of the airlines you’ll fly (which hopefully won’t include some shonky Russian Planes) and the destinations they fly to.

Frequent Flyer Points Reward Credit Cards

The main aim of racking up all of these points is to cut down on the cost of your airfare – which is usually one of the biggest travel expenses. I’ve taken loads of trips with my frequent flyer points – including a round the world trip over 5 stops and for six weeks. Having the points and then just paying the taxes certainly helps bring the price down.

There are often large sign up bonuses which might actually cover most of your airfare! They do vary so keep an eye on the deals around. But do it sooner than later, because you want to rack up points as soon as you can and this should be considered early when planning a trip.

What I also do is buy tickets to events in bulk for others and they pay me back which also helps. That is, paying for things on your credit card with other people’s money and then they pay you back.

Here’s another tip – pay for work functions on the card and then claim expenses back and then pay your credit card off in full on the due date. It’s mainly about channelling your normal spending into one credit card and ‘double dipping’ when you can, eg. hotels, other programs. See more inventive ways to rack up frequent flyer points!

When it comes to bank accounts, find out which banks provide you low fee, or even better, fee free bank accounts so you can access funds via cash. Note that there are many countries which are still ‘cash societies’ so it’s inevitable you’re going to need to access some tangible notes and coins for your trip. Like the Zimbabwe Dollar.

Check out the terms and conditions for withdrawal fees or anything else like conversion fees – and shop around. And bonus points if you come across one of these!

Free Cash Machine Northern Ireland

When I go travelling overseas, I take one Visa and one Mastercard. I’ve found that both are widely accepted everywhere, except that in eastern Africa (eg. Kenya, Tanzania etc), the majority of places and automatic teller machines only take Visa card. My Mastercard was useless most of the time there, so having the Visa definitely saved me from running out of money!

Overall, I prefer using a credit card to pay for what I need overseas as I generally find this is the best way to avoid things like cash withdrawal fees with debit cards, or using your credit card like a debit card by topping up funds – and it’s usually the best exchange rate. Plus I’d rather not carry massive wads of cash with me as I’d rather not lose the cash or not have it removed from me via a pickpocket or mugging.

But I still carry a couple of hundred US dollars for an emergency as you just never know when you might need it. They’re universally accepted and Greenbacks are often preferred more than the local currency!

There’s also travellers cheques, but they’ve almost gone the way of the dinosaur.

Step 7 – Choose the Right Luggage

This is obviously a personal choice and depends on your travel style. If you’re the luxury travel type who needs an entourage, then you won’t care about your luggage because someone else is always going to carry it for you!

Backpackers | Budget Travel | Planning A Trip Tips! A Silly Step By Step 'How To' Guide And Checklist! | Booking A Flight, Holiday Planner, How To Plan A Trip, Planning A Road Trip, Planning A Travel Guide, Planning A Trip, Planning A Trip App, Planning A Trip Around The World, Planning A Trip Checklist, Planning A Trip Google Maps, Planning A Trip On A Budget, Planning A Trip Tips, Road Trip Planner, Route Planner, Travel Budget, Travel Insurance, Travel Medicine, Travel Money, Travel Packing Tips, Travel Planner, Travel Safety, Travel Tips, Travel Vaccinations, Trip Planner, Trip Tips, Vacation Planner | Author: Anthony Bianco - The Travel Tart Blog

But if you’re travelling on a budget, backpacking is the go. Let me put it this way, do you really want to wheel your luggage down a cobblestone street? Backpacks are also great for sleeping on when you’re waiting a few hours for a minibus taxi.

For me, a rugged backpack made out of heavy duty material is the go. I have a Macpac backpack 70 Litre size made from Aztec Fabric which is extremely durable and their harnesses are great. I’ll have it for ages. It might become an heirloom too!

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Step 8 – Get Your Vaccinations

It’s always advisable to visit a doctor to check if your vaccinations are up to date – check out my interview with The Travel Doctor. Especially so if you’re going to places that have Yellow Fever (e.g. some places in South America & Africa). You won’t be let into the country if you don’t have a Yellow Fever Certificate, and if you’ve visited one, you’ll be asked to produce the Certificate as soon as you get home.

Have all your vaccinations listed in your International Vaccination Certificate which is recognised globally. That is of course, you’re not an anti-vaxxer!

Also advisable to see if you need boosters for tetanus, Hepatitis A, Typhoid etc. as their effectiveness wears off after a certain time period. With anything health related, always check with a doctor.

Step 9 – Buy A Medicine Kit

When I’m planning a trip, I also bring a medicine kit and update it with in-date medicines and other first aid type gear. What to bring depends on where one is going, but I bring a small bag of of prescription medicines and a first aid kit that cover the likely issue travellers may encounter – for example, stomach upsets, chest infections and hangovers.  You don’t want to visit a doctor who doesn’t understand your language if you don’t really need to!

Here’s an example of what you might want to take depending on the type of trip you’re going on – note, you need to see a medical professional to make sure you’re not allergic to any prescibed medicines.

Travel Medicine Kit Example

Plus you’ll need to take your prescriptions with you as while some medicines might be legal in your country, they may not be in others.

Step 10 – Book Your Flights

After you’ve racked up all of your frequent flyer points, it’s time to burn them for your flights. Try and book early as sometimes availability is limited, but try for off peak days (e.g. Tuesday, Wednesday) and avoid days like Friday and Sunday like the plague because they’re usually in high demand.

Booking A Cheap Flight Tips

Otherwise, if you need to book independently, go directly to the airline website, or check out Skyscanner which is great for searching multiple destinations when planning a trip.

96117Iw Ousdhiklfiedfgmhlnkk | Budget Travel | Planning A Trip Tips! A Silly Step By Step 'How To' Guide And Checklist! | Booking A Flight, Holiday Planner, How To Plan A Trip, Planning A Road Trip, Planning A Travel Guide, Planning A Trip, Planning A Trip App, Planning A Trip Around The World, Planning A Trip Checklist, Planning A Trip Google Maps, Planning A Trip On A Budget, Planning A Trip Tips, Road Trip Planner, Route Planner, Travel Budget, Travel Insurance, Travel Medicine, Travel Money, Travel Packing Tips, Travel Planner, Travel Safety, Travel Tips, Travel Vaccinations, Trip Planner, Trip Tips, Vacation Planner | Author: Anthony Bianco - The Travel Tart Blog

I especially like how you can search your departure port to ‘anywhere’.

Other sites include Momondo, Kiwi (smaller carriers) and Air Treks (round the world tickets). For something a bit foolish, check out my post on how to find cheap flights.

Step 11 – Book Your Accommodation

This one depends on how long you’re travelling for. If you’re on a tight schedule on a short time frame, it’s probably best to book the majority of your accommodation beforehand when planning a trip, especially during peak times as you don’t want to be caught short and need to sleep in a bus station.

You might be part of a hotel chain rewards program, otherwise you have plenty of options to choose from:

Funny Hotel - Fook Yew

Some good websites to find accommodation include:

  • Hostelworld – obviously for hostels – my go-to site for finding affordable hostels online.
  • Agoda – especially suited for Asian markets
  • Booking.com – a good overall option for budget hotels and guesthouses.
  • AirBNB – for something a bit different.
9D77C37W1 Lpqstnqmlnoqonusu | Budget Travel | Planning A Trip Tips! A Silly Step By Step 'How To' Guide And Checklist! | Booking A Flight, Holiday Planner, How To Plan A Trip, Planning A Road Trip, Planning A Travel Guide, Planning A Trip, Planning A Trip App, Planning A Trip Around The World, Planning A Trip Checklist, Planning A Trip Google Maps, Planning A Trip On A Budget, Planning A Trip Tips, Road Trip Planner, Route Planner, Travel Budget, Travel Insurance, Travel Medicine, Travel Money, Travel Packing Tips, Travel Planner, Travel Safety, Travel Tips, Travel Vaccinations, Trip Planner, Trip Tips, Vacation Planner | Author: Anthony Bianco - The Travel Tart Blog

Other alternatives include Couch Surfing, or House Sitting websites.

Step 12 – Plan Your Activities

When planning a trip, ask yourself these questions:

  • What do I want to do?
  • How do I get there?
  • How much does it cost?
  • Do I need to book ahead?
  • If I miss the activity, will I be rather annoyed?

You’ll need to figure this out as part of the planning and cost estimation process. You might just want to turn up and do things on the fly, but you can’t for some activities, such as hiking the Inca Trail in Peru which often requires you to book months in advance. Just check to see when everything is available and that you have enough funds to do what you want.

The activities you choose will be dependent on the type of holiday, such as:

Activities To Do On A Trip
  • Big Smoke (cities) or the countryside
  • Relaxation (switch the brain off)
  • Adventure (burst the adrenal glands)
  • Beaches (sunburn)
  • Mountains (walking a lot upwards)
  • Seasons – hot or cold, wet or dry
  • Food
  • Road tripping
  • Festivals
  • Cultural experiences
  • Shopping and of course
  • Luxury (splurge), mid-range (not slumming it too much), or budget (tight arse).

Step 13 – Book Your Transport – Including Rental Cars

Most of us aren’t a member of a rich royal family who can afford to take a Bugatti Veyron for a Sunday drive.

Bugatti Veyron Rental Car

When getting around, you might need to use planes, trains or automobiles.

But if you want your own wheels, check out Rentalcars.com and you should be off!

Step 14 – Pack Your Stuff!

I’m anal when it comes to packing.  I try not to exceed a backpack weight of 12 kilograms (26.5 pounds). 

There’s an adage where you lay out what you need on a bed, then halve it! No, not this way!

Packing Too Much Hen Travelling Overseas

Here is my long term backpacking pack list as an example:

  • A weeks worth of underwear
  • 2 pairs of shorts
  • 2 pairs of jeans,
  • A few pairs of socks (I recommend bamboo fibre socks – they last for days without washing)
  • 1 pair of hiking boots (which double as going out shoes)
  • 1 pair of sandals
  • 5 T-Shirts,
  • 1 going out shirt,
  • 1 lightweight sweater (soft shell type)
  • 1 refillable water bottle

Other things I bring include a small toiletry bag for shampoo, soap and other grooming, a multi-tool knife, 1 lightweight plate, 1 set of cutlery, 1 clothesline, + 1 sleeping bag if you think you’ll need it. If you’re missing something, you can always get this on the road. Sometimes I’ve given my clothes away in places like Africa and then re-stocked later. I’ve seen people pack way lighter than me – I’ve seen a guy travel with 2 day packs on the road, but he smelt a bit!

Travel these days of course, involve electronics!

With travel/electronic gear, there is always a balance to strike with the amount of gear you bring and it’s bulkiness/weight. Being a travel blogger, I find the following is a good balance in terms of tech gear on overseas trips:

  • 1 x Ultrabook. I use a Dell XPS12 which is able to be used as a laptop and a touch screen (handy for the plane)
  • 1 x small Digital SLR with 1 18-200mm lens (great all rounder) and one 35 mm f 1.8 lens (small lens but useful for portraits and night shots)
  • 1 x Flip HD video recorder. While some SLRs have video capability, I find the Flip great because it’s the size of a mobile phone and is less intrusive, and people are less nervous in front of it. Plus it provides HD quality videos
  • 1 x universal charger with all plug types.
  • 1 x dry bag to store all of the cords/chargers for the above

One small and compact electronic travel product that is great for travel (especially those who pack light) which I personally use is the Unihertz Jelly Pro – the world’s smallest 4G smartphone.

It’s great because it fits in the small pocket of my jeans, but has all of the same functions as a larger smart phone. It’s also dual SIM so you can insert a local sim in the country you’re visiting whilst still being able to roam on your own one.

I really like it because it’s lightweight, but does everything I need it to do for a smart phone. People tell me it looks like the ‘Zoolander phone’, but I don’t care!

Zoolander Phone - Small Mobile Phones

You’ll see me using it everywhere!

When you’re planning a trip, do a dry run and pack what you think you need and walk around your home town. If it starts pissing you off, you’ve packed way too much!

Step 15 – Automate Your Bills

Especially handy if you’re going on an extended trip. Actually, you should be doing this now anyway for all of your bills so you don’t have to worry about them.

If for some reason you have a bill that can’t be automated, have a friend check your mail and scan it and send it to you for you to pay it.

Step 16 – Tell Your Bank/Card Companies You’re Travelling

You don’t want your cards to be blocked because the fraud detection department of your financial institution has found out your card is being used overseas. It’s a pain in the arse when your card is blocked at home because someone has skimmed your card and is using it for overseas purchases – like flights and holidays that you’re not going on!

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Right at the end of the planning a trip phase before you leave, let them know via a phone call or online the countries you are travelling to so you don’t have your funds cut off all of a sudden. You don’t want to call your bank when you’re trying to have a good time overseas. What a killjoy!

Step 17 – Buy Travel Insurance

I’ve done work in the travel insurance space and it’s been an eye opener in terms of what can happen, and what’s covered and what’s not.

In reality, the chances of something going very wrong when travelling are very low. As an example, Australians take 10 million trips overseas every year, and out of those, there are 1,000 deaths (the very worst thing that can happen – flying home in Coffin Class). If you’re thinking about ditching travel insurance when planning a trip, think very, very carefully about it.

For me personally, I don’t really care about insurance for lost items etc, even though it’s nice to have. What I really do care about is if something happens to me like getting hurt or injured and I need to get back home as soon as possible, or I require treatment in a decent medical facility.

Planning A Trip - Travel Insurance

In regards to medical treatment costs, that varies widely based on where the treatment happens, and if needed, an evacuation happens and where the person has to be transported to, and whether that would involve a commercial airline or a private jet. If you’re covered by insurance, well then there’s not issue, but if you’re not, costs can blow out to tens of thousands of dollars, or even 6 figures.

I personally think that everyone should take out travel insurance when planning a trip – singles, couples and families. Here are some reasons why:

  • I’ve interviewed Brooke Norton who is a medical repatriation nurse. She does repatriations for travel insurance companies and privately. There’s all sorts of reasons where people require an evacuation – and Brooke mentions someone who had to be transported back home after a coconut fell on their head!
  • I’ve also interviewed Dr Deb ‘The Travel Doctor’ who highlights what happens if something goes wrong and you don’t have travel medical insurance – such as families needing to sell their house to pay for medical bills
  • My sister had her arm clipped by a mini-bus taxi in Mozambique. He was trying to avoid potholes and brushed her arm. The fracture wasn’t picked up in Mozambique because of outdated equipment, but she was in a lot of pain at her next stop in Hong Kong. When she had it checked out again, a fracture was discovered and she had treatment, and then was flown home in business class.

In regards to pre-existing conditions, it’s always best to upfront and honest about them because if you don’t declare them and then have to make a claim, you most likely won’t be covered. A lot of the time, pre-existing conditions can be covered at no additional cost, or for a slightly increased cost depending on what the condition is.

It’s all about risk based on hard data on what actually happens to travellers – this is how premiums are calculated.  The higher the risk, the higher the premium. These days, people are now living old enough to have pre-existing conditions. When you start getting past 50, statistically speaking, this is when things can start to go wrong physically.

Some of those conditions include: previous history of heart attack, an existing cancer etc. The bottom line is to declare everything that you know of which means you’re being upfront and transparent. 

There are other reasons why you might want to consider travel insurance apart from the personal medical mishaps:

I’ve been lucky enough to never have needed to claim on my travel insurance. But there’s always a first time. Check out my best travel insurance tips, and get a quote on some Backpacker Travel Insurance.

Step 18 – Travel Safety Considerations

You know what freaks out people the most about travelling? Arriving somewhere and working out how to get from the airport to your accommodation.

To reduce this stress, especially if you’re jet lagged and tired, do your research and work out the most reputable way to get there you avoid a dodgy taxi fare calculation. Do this for every port you’re about to visit.

Taxi Fare Calculator

There’s nothing like the feeling of starting off your trip with a scam!

If you’re going somewhere where English (or your native tongue) isn’t spoken, maybe bring a phrasebook or Google Translate on your app – or even better, take some lessons before arriving.

As mentioned before, most travellers go overseas and have a great time and nothing bad happens. But use your common sense and don’t do silly stuff like walk around on your own late at night in isolated areas, don’t carry anything for anyone in your luggage, and stay away from the drugs. If you don’t do it at home, don’t do it overseas.

Check out my post about Travel Safety – the things you’d do overseas that you don’t at home.

Step 19 – Store Your Travel Documents – Both Electronically and Hardcopy

Murphy’s Law says that when you’re travelling, it’s inevitable that some of your important travel documents are going to vanish into thin air for all sorts of reasons.

You could lose all sorts of important things when travelling, like:

  • Passports
  • Visas
  • Flight tickets
  • Itineraries
  • Travel insurance policies
  • Hotel reservations
  • Bus, train tickets
  • Rental car reservations
  • Marriage certificate (some countries will only allow married couples to share a room)
  • Tour bookings
  • Drivers licence
  • Credit Cards
  • and anything else you booked for your trip.

Keep both electronic and hard copies of these so you’ve got backup if something goes wrong. I save electronic copies to the cloud and in a specific folder of my web based email account. I keep hard copies in my day pack as even travel bloggers don’t have access to the internet sometimes!

Leave copies with friends and family back home too.

Step 20 – Leave!

Well go on and get the hell out of here! Don’t forget your passport, get to that airport, and just go. It will be the best thing you’ll ever do! Be a complete free spirit and you’ll have one of the happiest times of your life!

Bonus: Saving Money Based on When You Travel

To save money when travelling, unfortunately, summer in many places is the ‘peak season’ and it’s all about supply and demand – and that goes for all travel related things, such such as flights and hotels.

When travelling anywhere, I try and avoid peak season like the plague. If there is a huge demand and limited supply of hotel rooms, the chances of you scoring a bargain is pretty slim, because hotel owners know that someone else will come along with the money they want.

Trying to book early can help, or trying to find a spot either side of peak demand will reduce costs. However, going in low/off-peak shoulder seasons gives a lot more flexibility. The demand is down but supply is up and businesses are more ready to give you a substantial discount

Summary

There you go, you might actually find something helpful there!

The thing is, don’t be too anal about planning a trip. You don’t have to structure your travels the way you structure your work! That’s not the point! Just get out there and enjoy yourself!

See you on the road!


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Avatar Of Anthony Bianco - The Travel Tart

Anthony Bianco - The Travel Tart

The Travel Tart is an Australian Travel Blogger and Writer who dribbles on about the funny, offbeat and weird aspects of world travel today. Travel wasn't meant to be taken too seriously! Strangely enough, he's appeared in reputable publications like USA Today, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, and is a member of the Australian Society of Travel Writers. Check out his Travel Blog, silly Travel Articles and social media profiles to say hi using some Australian Slang or sign up for his silly newsletter!

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