Sometimes going into the new & unknown can be difficult, it can be hard to know where to start when planning a trip – My advice would be to take things one step at a time & enjoy your planning stage, after all it is part of your journey!
Here’s a break down of my top tips to help you along….
Note from the author: This article has been written by me from my travel experience. I may recommend & provide links to products & services that I have used & may make commission from such links. This commission helps cover the costs of running this website & will be at no extra cost to you. Anything that I am recommend is from my personal experience & belief that it is worth using. Happy reading!
Sites such as Sky Scanner & Momondo are a great way to scan loads of flights & routes & will help you to find the best deal! If you are flexible with your dates even better as both sites have a calendar view to show you which dates flights are at their cheapest. It’s also a good idea to take a look at multiple flights separately as this can save a huge amount, for example flying back to Manchester (UK) via Miami from Colombia saved me around 50% on my air fare! I would recommend just taking a look at a map & playing around with different places to get the best deal!
Insurance is one of those things that you just have to have, but it doesn’t always have to be costly, be sure to shop around for the best deal! 24/7 Travel Insurance offer great deals for backpackers & Boots also offer backpacker policies at really good prices, along with which you can collect Boots Advantage Card points which you can use afterwards to stock up on your travel essentials!
Whilst arriving in a place with nowhere booked to stay can seem exciting, in reality it’s hard work arriving with a heavy bag sometimes in extreme heat or cold & then walking around for hours trying to find a good place to stay! Take the time to research places in advance, there are options to suit every budget, sites such as Hostelworld & Hostelbookers have realistic reviews from other travellers & in my experience are normally very accurate! Airbnb can be a great option, especially if you find other travellers with which you can split the cost for an apartment as having your own cooking facilities etc. can also help save on eating out costs. Booking.com & Trivago have excellent deals to suit most budgets but I would really recommend them for when you would like to experience a little luxury at reduced prices.
Deciding what you need to take with you on a trip can be tough, whether it’s short or long it can be so hard to decide what you are actually going to need! My advice would be to take your time, make yes, no & maybe piles – get rid of the no & maybe then review the yes pile again just make sure you really want or need to take these things with you!
Learning a New Language
Speaking the lingo can help massively when travelling & will enhance your experience of a country. I’ve used the free app Duo Lingo to help me learn Spanish & have found that even 10 minutes a day has really improved my skills.
Wandering around aimlessly is all part of the travelling experience, however sometimes it’s good to have an idea of where you’re going! maps.me is an excellent free navigation app which works on your GPRS when you have no WIFI signal, just download the map for the area/country when on WIFI & you’re set to use whenever you need – The app will even locate your closest ATM, restaurant, supermarket etc. so you can easily find what you need!
Keeping track of your spending when travelling can be hard, especially when some days you seem to do really well & the next you seem to blow a chunk of your budget & can’t really recall how! It’s important to remember that you are travelling to have fun & not every day can be a budget day, ultimately it’s all about balance. Apps such as Moneywise can help you as you can record your daily spending & calculate what you have spent over the week/month, it also break things down into categories so you can see where your cash is going.
Seeing the Sights
Booking tours in advance can be useful especially when your travel time is limited, however it is sometimes better to wait until you are in the country so that you can shop around for prices & take a proper look at what you can get for your money – You may find that sometimes a tour is not even necessary as using detailed guidebooks such as Eye Witness Travel (which contain tons of info) can be used as your source of information whilst having a wander around a place at your own leisure. maps.me can also be useful here to help you navigate your way around multi places of interest.