I’ve been thinking about some of my friends who haven’t traveled much or even at all the last few weeks and I have some thoughts I’d like to share.
Traveling may seem a little daunting, with flying, booking accommodations, planning how long to stay where, and what not, but it’s really not. If you plan well and have a good sense of adventure it’s actually some of the most fun you’ll ever have.
The first thing you have to do is decide where you’re going. When you’re deciding where to go don’t just say “oh I’m going to [insert country here].” Actually put some thought into what your budget is, the currency exchange rate, what is happening in that country, what things you want to do/see there. Narrow it down to two or three countries and then do some research online via Pinterest, country travel sites, or blogs, get a guide book at the bookstore (I’m partial to the Lonely Planet guide books). The best way though, is talk to people who are either from or have been to where you want to go. Those people can tell you the things that you can’t miss, best local restaurants, and where to stay.
Once you know which country you’re going to you have to plan your trip. I usually start with deciding how many days I’m going to stay in which city so I can start looking for accommodations. But, to decide how many days you’ll be in a city you’ll have to decide what you want to see there, parks, museums, restaurants, etc, and think about how much you can see in a day. I can usually see 2-4 museums in a day, and picnic in a park. Understand that you probably won’t get to see and do absolutely everything you want to. Once you know how long you’ll be where you can book where you’ll be staying (blog post about that coming soon).
Something you’ll have to think about is how you’ll be getting around while you’re there. I like to walk in most cities because you get to actually see the city that way, and because public transport confuses me. Most large cities will have buses and or subway systems. Some even offer tourist specific buses that stop at most major attractions. To get from city to city buses and trains will likely be the most common.
Ok so you know where you’re going to go, where you’re going to stay and how you’re going to get around once you’re there… something’s missing though… how are you going to get there? and back home? Booking your flight is probably one of the most important things you’ll do before you go. Book early so you don’t have to worry about it at the last second and it’ll save you a good chunk of change too. If you book too early though you might end up spending too much though. Keep checking prices as it gets closer to when you plan to leave. If you see a price you like then jump on it. I booked almost three months out for my flight to Sweden, which some people said was way too early, but I liked the price I paid and having everything booked so I didn’t have to worry about it when it was crunch time. As for airlines, read reviews, and ask people you know that fly often.
Well, that’s all I have for you this time. Feel free to leave questions for me. Until next time friends! 🙂