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List of Essential Travel Tips! | Everything you need to know when Travelling

James | 12th Nov 2022

When I first started travel planning, I had no idea what I was doing. I just wanted to plan my first trip around the world. 

I know some people can get overwhelmed by the idea of travel planning a trip by themselves. You feel like there’s so much to think about and so much to do!

You can be tempted to book an organised trip, and then you have to follow a schedule you’re not always comfortable with, do activities you’re not interested in, and talk to people you don’t know but have to deal with throughout your trip.

Travel Planning a trip is easier than you may think.

..

So if you’re just starting out on your world travel adventures, take note to help you avoid making the same mistakes. And keep note of these next time you start travel planning!

They should help you with everything, from planning your adventures to saving money and even staying safe on the road!

Plus, we’ve split this guide into different sections to help you out; you’re welcome!

Want our overall best travel planning tips? Here they are…

Decide Where You Want To Go

Where do you want to go? 

Your first step in figuring out how to plan a vacation is to choose a travel destination that meets your interests and travel budget.

Are you planning overseas travel or a domestic trip at home? Either way, the whole idea of taking a trip is to have a memorable time, have fun, and relax, not to spend your whole vacation worrying about money.

How much time do you have?

If you only have 1-2 weeks of vacation time per year, don’t waste too much of that time travelling to and from your destination. Plan your trip accordingly.

But if you have 2-4 weeks or over a month, you can look at taking an overseas trip or travelling further away within your home country.

Who are you travelling with?

When you plan your trip, your destination choices can be affected by your travelling companions.

Will you be travelling solo, as a couple, or taking family vacations?

Sit down with other members of your travelling group and discuss your ideas and interests. Memorable trips are those where each member gets to experience something they love.

What kind of experiences do you like?

Would you like to have a memorable trip, or choose a destination that allows you to have experiences you enjoy?

Do you like:

And More!

When to Travel?

Weather and crowds play an important role when you plan your trip. For your chosen destination, do you know when the high season and low season are?

Check the Travel Advice and Advisories

Once you have chosen your destination, visit your government’s website to see the information on security, entry and exit requirements, health conditions, local laws and culture, natural disasters and climate, and how to find help when you are there.

For example, some places require you to get a tourist visa, and the delay to get it can be several weeks. You need to plan it in advance.

This is also where you’ll learn about the mandatory or recommended vaccinations.

After that, it is your call to decide whether to travel there or to choose another destination. Know that if your government doesn’t recommend you travel to a destination, your travel insurance might not cover you.

Book Your Flight/Research Flights and Dates

The trick is to research, research, research. The more time you have to research, the more chances you have to find a good deal, but there is no magic formula.

People used to say that booking last minute makes you save money, but I don’t find that to be true anymore. The only tips that really work each time are to travel off-season and to be flexible with your dates of departure and return.

Set an alarm on a few booking sites and you’ll be informed of the variation in prices. That will give you an idea of when to book.

When booking a flight, always make sure to read about the luggage included in the price so you won’t have an unpleasant surprise at the airport.

Be aware that, unless you pay an extra, you rarely can cancel or change a flight.

As you’re planning your trip, know that certain times of the year are cheaper to travel than others. Everyone knows flights will be more expensive around a holiday, but there are lots of other factors that determine how much you’ll pay for that flight or hotel. Do your research, play around with dates, and decide how many days you can afford to be there.

Book a Accommodation

For us, travelling with kids is not about finding the cheapest accommodation, but getting the best value for our money! We don’t like to rough it as much as we used to.

Depending on the length of our trip and the destination, we chop and change between accommodation styles.

If I am planning a trip that will last a week, I prefer to stay in apartments. They offer several benefits:

Search Accommodation Deals

We recommend booking months in advance to get the best deals if possible. Besides listing all the major hotel brands, you can find a variety of low-cost independently owned hotels that can be difficult to find elsewhere.

I like that you can book a variety of accommodation types on one website – hotels, apartments, hostels; even holiday homes – and I love how simple their website is to use!

Our favourite accommodation search website is Booking.com. They have properties in 200 countries worldwide.

The best thing about booking hotels via Booking.com is the free cancellation on most rooms and the best-price guarantee.

You can book now knowing you are getting a low rate and have the freedom to cancel if your plans change.

We also enjoy reading verified reviews from guests who stayed at the properties. Booking.com is our go-to hotel booking site.

On the Booking.com website, you can search for:

Vacation Rentals

When you plan your trip, also consider vacation rentals. They are another one of our favourite accommodation sites when I plan my trip.

Airbnb and VRBO can be found worldwide, and you can book entire apartments and houses, or just spare bedrooms, allowing you to choose between having the place all to yourself or staying with and getting to know the owner.

Even if you never meet your host, you’ll get to feel more like a local.

Places to Eat & Drink

You can learn a lot about a destination through its food and drink, and you can even plan a trip by eating your way through a destination. For some people, that is their favourite thing about travel. Is that you?

When I plan my trips, I love to discover new cafes, restaurants, bars, and pubs when I travel. I like to try the local delicacies, the local craft beers, and the coffee scene.

And as a family, it’s important we learn about family-friendly places to eat, not only from a practical standpoint but also from a budget standpoint.

Research ideas for:

Things to See & Do

When you plan a trip, you’ll want to know what the must-see tourist attractions and the best free things to do are in your chosen destination.

As much as we like to just show up, some trip planning is a good idea, especially if you are visiting a popular destination during the peak travel season.

Popular attractions like Alcatraz in San Francisco and the Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb are booked out well in advance, so don’t just show up on the day expecting to get in.

Research and organise your tickets to any theme parks, zoos, concerts, etc. And many cities also have city passes that can save you money on attractions. Research those in your travel planning!

Are you planning a trip so you can:

Plan ahead and book any necessary experiences you would like to have.

Make a list of:

Pack Smart

When travel planning, Thinking about packing can be stressful when you are planning your trip, but the best thing to do is pack the bare minimum because you can always buy it there!

Encourage your kids to choose and pack their own clothes to minimise complaints and teach travel planning skills.

Select versatile, comfortable, and loose-fitting clothes in neutral colours that can be worn in multiple combinations, so if something gets dirty, you only have to change part of the outfit.

Additionally, packing cells is a lifesaver. In each packing cell, we roll up each item and arrange clothes based on type and season.

With young kids, pack a change of clothes for dinner, pyjamas, or whatever is needed during the day in case of accidents.

Top 5 Travel Packing List Tips:

  1. Know the weather of the destination you are visiting, which helps reduce over-packing.
  2. When flying, take a change of clothes in your carry-on just in case your checked-in luggage doesn’t arrive with you.
  3. Know the activities you will be doing so you can pack appropriately.
  4. Know the types of accommodation you will be staying at. If you are staying in hotels you won’t need to take things like towels, hair dryers or linen.
  5. Charge your electronics and load up all your tablets and portable devices with things to read, play, watch.

Check Your Passport

If you are planning an overseas trip and don’t have a passport yet, give yourself enough time to apply – at least 6 weeks before departure and preferably as soon as you have booked your flights and accommodations.

Also, if you already have a passport, what is the expiration date? Most countries require that your passport be valid for six months beyond your date of stay and have enough empty pages for stamps/visas.

Know the Visa Requirements

Do you know the visa entry requirements for your destination? Do you even need a specific visa, and how do you get it?

Each country and nationality will be different, and again, don’t leave this till the last minute as it could take significant time to organise.

If you are worried about how to plan an overseas trip because of visas, you can learn more about tourist visas for all countries and passport holders at Project Visa – then double-check with each relevant embassy’s website!

Enjoy Your Trip!

There you go, you now know the steps for travel planning! But if you take these steps to plan and budget ahead of time, you’ll avoid that headache. Then, when you’re on your trip, live it up! Relax and enjoy.

That’s it. You now know all the steps to travel planning!

For more blogs like this, make sure to check out our Travel Blog at Oceans Travel.

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