The anticipation of a trip is one of the most exciting parts of travel. You imagine all the places you’ll go, make lists of the things you’re desperate to see, and trace out your route on a map. These essential travel planning tips offer a strong start to the best trip ever.
1. Balance research with spontaneity
It’s good to have a vague idea of what you want to see and do before you set out on a trip, but having a regimented plan will also hold you back. The last thing you want is to book and arrange everything in advance because you’ll have no rooms for tips you’ll pick up along the way.
Map out a plan of your adventure, but leave room for the spontaneous changes you’ll inevitably discover en route. Be flexible with your planning and relax if things don’t go in the way you expected – going with the flow is half the fun!
2. Use multiple sources
It’s tempting (and less time-consuming) to stick to one guidebook or website when you’re travel planning, but making the effort to consult multiple sources with give you a broader perspective. After all, these sources are only ever the opinion of one person or a handful of people, and there are many different points of view out there on a destination.
Set aside time to look at a range of websites, books, podcasts, blogs, and more when planning your trip so that you don’t miss a beat. Note down the common threads between them as they’ll no doubt be the unmissable attractions, but also pay attention to the out-of-the-blue tips – they’ll be the hidden gems.
3. Ask friends and family
Searching the internet will give you a wealth of travel information, but sometimes good old fashioned word of mouth is the best tool. Ask your friends and family if they’ve been to your destination before to see if they have any tips. It’s fun to chat to a person in real life about things to see and do, and an in-person source is good for those burning questions you can’t get answered anywhere else.
4. Use maps
Understanding the physical geography of a place is one of the most essential travel planning tips. Knowing the lay of the land in your destination will help you to get around more easily and give you an idea of what to expect. The best way to build this knowledge is to consult maps, which is sure to fill you with wanderlust! Head to Google Maps and start scanning around, looking out for cities or big national parks that you might want to add to your itinerary.
5. Get into social media
The wonderful things about the internet and social media is that it leaves a wealth of information at your fingertips. Millions of people upload things to Instagram and Twitter every day, giving you all the information you need to plan a trip. Tap into this bountiful resource by signing up to these sites and look for information about your destination. Search through hashtags or find a blogger or tourism board to follow – all these things will give you buckets of advice for your upcoming journey.
What are your best travel planning tips?