My Tips & Trics

Plan your trip

If you like me prefer to plan your trip yourself and not going through a travel agent, the process of planning is not always that easy. To avoid frustration, I usually stick to the same “rules” which I though could be useful for other wandering souls. 

Step 1: Choose a destination

I usually know where I want to go: whether as per friends’ advice or follow my own aspirations, this is always my starting point. After all- duration, budget, time – all depends on the place you are going to visit.

If you don’t have a place on your mind, you could:

  • Visit friends: think about who can host you, so you can catchup in a cost effective way while discovering new place.
  • Check travel websites for last minute deals. Some airlines fill empty places by selling really cheap tickets or even whole vacations
  • Try “Blind Booking”: you have never heard of it?! OMG!!!

Eurowings offers the service- you choose the departure location, the category (beach, city, shopping, etc.), pay a fixed amount (33 EUR at the moment) and off you go! Try it and I promise you will not regret it!

  • Consider weather and climatic conditions for the chosen period of visit: for example, Sicily is best in April, Dubai from November to March.
  • Choose depending on the duration: taking a long flight for a long weekend doesn’t really make sense
  • Use you budget wisely: Although 200 EUR would be enough for Athens getaway, the same amount will only buy you a dinner in Moscow.

Step 2: Choose when you want to go

If you are not restrained by your work / family schedule, you should consider:

  • Weather conditions: you don’t want to end up on the beach during the rainy season or boil in own sauce during the heat in the desert.
  • Do you want to go during the off-season or while tourism is booming? The off-season is less busy and could possibly offer some discounts, but some sites will for sure be closed. Also, many hotels use the less crowded time for renovation and you could end up in a hotel with no lobby (as I did in Tel Aviv).
  • Check ticket prices: at least for me, this is often the deciding factor.

Step 3: Check the validity of your documents and apply for new ones well in advance

Step 4: Apply for visas well in advance

Sometimes you might be asked for supporting documentation which will delay the visa application process.

Step 5: Plan an itinerary

Of course, in the Internet era, you will research the area you are going to online. You should:

· Plan the museums, galleries, outdoor places, such as parks you want to visit.

  • Use a map so you can see where everything is located. Thus, you will not lose any time wandering from one end of the city to the other. Also, you can decide how to get around- by foot or use any type of transportation.
  • Make sure your schedule is loose as, we all travelers know, things do not always go as per our plans. Plus, you need time to just enjoy a cup of coffee in that small café you saw.

Step 6: Set a budget

Normally, you know how much you can afford to spend prior to departure. Depending on your set budget, you can set a daily allowance for:

  • Food and beverages
  • Transportation
  • Museums and other entrees
  • Souvenirs
  • Shopping

Sticking to the budget will help you limit yourself to only purchasing the essentials and not overspending for purchases you will then regret.

Step 7: Make your reservations

Do this well in advance (if you can) to avoid disappointments. Research low cost fares, alternative sorts of accommodation such as Airbnb, coachserfing , ect.

Step 8: RESEARCH, read forums, buy maps and travel guides

Better be safe than sorry, right? Making sure you know enough about the place, culture, people will help you avoid any confusion while travelling. 

Well, this is how I plan my trips. What do you do? Maybe you have other useful tips-let me know!!!