Travel Tuesdays: How Do I Plan?

The next installment in Travel Tuesdays!

After figuring out where to go, the next step is to do some research.

Now for those of you who automatically get freaked out by the thought of researching anything or planning things in advance, don’t worry. I’m not telling you to plan every single moment of your trip. I am telling you that having a general idea of what you want out of your trip is one of the most sure-fire ways to have a good experience.

The internet is full of travel blogs, travel sites and travel guides. These give you great information on the place you’re going, whether it’s what food to eat, what museums to visit or what sights to see.

My favorites are:

  • Yes and Yes-for great mini travel guides written by natives or expats
  • Nomadic Matt-everything you could ever want to traveling for the cheap
  • The Gypsygals: Solo Female Travel-lots of info on traveling if you’re a single gal
  • TripAdvisor-for ratings on everything from hotels to activities
  • AirBnb-the best place to find places to stay, especially if you’re looking for something a little off the beaten path

If you’re traveling with other people, it’s always especially good to have some loose plan, just so everyone is on the same page. Nothing can break up a good travel relationship like mismatched expectations. Plan out generally how much time you want to spend in each location you visit and what your top three things to do/see/eat are. That way everyone can get at least something included in the trip that they want.

It’s a good thing to accept that you aren’t going to be able to see every single thing you want to see on your vacation. That’s why I suggest picking the most important things you want to see. Say your top three, or top five, depending on how much time you have.

Research where you have to be, when things are open and if you need advance tickets or special visas or paperwork. Research which trains you should take, at least so you have a general idea of how the system works or if taking a bus or a car would be a better use of time and money.

By picking out the things you absolutely want to see and having a back up plan, your trip will go on without a hitch.

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