Planning can seem like the most exhausting and daunting part of going on a trip. Many of the people I chat with don’t even know where to start! Below, are five questions to answer when wanderlust strikes!
Question 1: Why am I doing this?
Before purchasing your tickets, you need to know why you are going. Is it a vacation? Do you need a break? Are you trying to learn more about other cultures? Is it a time for reflection, or partying? Once you know why you want to travel, you can then move onto question two.
Question 2: How much time do I want to spend on my adventure?
Spending a week in a resort is very different from spending two months backpacking. If you have a week of travel time, it may be better to book a cruise, or use groupon to find a great deal within the dates you want to travel.
Question 3: How much money do I want to spend?*
$1000.00 will get you a lot in a week, and, if you want, you can stretch $1000.00 over a month while backpacking. Either way, your budget is going to effect what you do. The sooner you know what you want to do, the more you can plan.
Question 4: What do I need?
Before you go, think about your non-negotiables. Do you need your own space? Then spring on a hotel, or use points from a Barclaycard or scavenge groupon to find some great deals on places to stay. Do you need to have your day planned out? Go on tour with a group, so everything is pre-planned for you.
Question 5: What do I want?
After you’ve made a list of non-negotiables, write out all of the items you want. For me, when I plan, I want to stay in hostels with free breakfast. Is this a need? No, absolutely not! When you have a list of your wants and needs, you will be able to return to it while you are planning the trip.
After you’ve determined the answers to these questions, you can begin to research places, tours, and trips that fit within your purpose, budget and needs. Now, you have a framework to begin planning the logistics of your trip.