In this article, I have detailed my methodology, but also my advice to ensure that the preparation of your trip goes smoothly. I have already had the opportunity to organize dozens of trips.
1. FIND THE PERFECT DESTINATION
This may seem obvious, but before preparing for a trip, you have to know where to go! If you already have in mind the destination for which you want to organize your trip, you can skip to the next step. If not, the tips below will certainly interest you.
Depending on your travel dates, you need to be able to find the right destination based on climate and attendance.
To find out the best time to travel to a destination based on climate or simply find travel ideas based on your dates, you can use sites like partir.com or routard.com. You will easily find the best destinations according to your travel dates.
Personally, I also use the book “Where to Go When” published by Lonely Planet which is really very well done, and which offers 360 travel ideas organized month by month.
The budget! This is often the first criterion that comes into play in the preparation for a trip. Indeed, depending on the destination or the period of the trip, a holiday on the other side of the world can quickly come back very expensive! Fortunately, there are rather cheap destinations that will allow you to significantly reduce your budget. But how do you choose your destination based on your budget?
2. CHOOSING YOUR MODE OF TRANSPORTATION AND BOOKING TICKETS
Once a destination is chosen, the second step in organizing a trip is to book your transportation. This will allow you to permanently block the dates of your stay, which will facilitate the further preparation of the trip.
Depending on the destination chosen, the mode of transport will sometimes be quite obvious. If you go to Asia, Africa, Oceania or America, you won’t have much choice but to take a plane. Unless you have several months to spend on your trip, this is often the only option available to you.
3. CREATE YOUR TRAVEL ITINERARY
Now that you have chosen your mode of transportation and booked your tickets if necessary, it is time to move on to the biggest piece of the organization of a trip: creating the itinerary.
For my part, I like to detail in advance everything we do during a trip. Search for the best providers for activities, find places to see off the beaten track… So I spend hours and hours preparing for each trip. Even though I’m going to explain how I do it, you obviously don’t have to go into that much detail to give more room for improvisation.
However, keep in mind that a well-planned trip will often save you a lot of disappointment or a waste of time when you get there!
To prepare for the creation of your travel itinerary, you will need to start learning about the destination you are interested in and recording the information you will find.
4. BOOK TRAVEL ACCOMMODATIONS AND ACTIVITIES
I like to organize trips and that’s why I enjoy booking my accommodations. I like to take the time to find a superb hotel with a nice view, a charming and welcoming B&B or a small functional apartment close to the heart of the city. For me, this is an integral part of preparing for the trip. However, this step is not necessarily mandatory when organizing a trip.
If you go in high season to a very touristic country or city, the question does not arise. You must book your accommodation in advance and as soon as possible. At the last minute, you may end up with very little choice and poor quality accommodation that you will pay the full price! So anticipate as much as possible your reservations.
For a long-term trip or in low season, you can actually choose not to book your accommodation in advance and to search for it once there. The advantage is that your itinerary will be less constrained and you will be free to spend more time in one place if you wish. On the other hand, you will have to spend time on site searching for accommodation by carrying your bags and suitcases.
5. MANAGING TRAVEL FORMALITIES
Are your accommodation and activities booked? Congratulations, you are almost finished organizing your trip! All you have to do is manage the final formalities to make sure everything goes smoothly.
Passport, Visa and other administrative procedures. Before you go to a country, you must make sure that you are in good standing to be able to stay there.
I recommend that you pay particular attention to the following points:
Do you need a passport? In most countries of the European Union, an ID card is sufficient, but apart from that, you will need a passport whose validity date is later than the return date of your trip. Some countries even require that the validity of the passport exceed the date of entry by several months.
Do you need a visa? Some countries apply for a visa regardless of the length of stay, others do not apply for a visa for stays of less than one month, still others implement simplified visa applications… If you need a visa, do so as soon as possible because the processing of applications can be long. Be careful, the visa application can sometimes have a rather high cost, to be taken into account in the travel budget.
Do you need an international license? If you want to drive a car or scooter abroad, this may be necessary. Refer to Step 4 “Book Your Internal Transportation” in this article if you need to know more about how to apply for an international driver’s license.
To visit countries such as Asia, Africa and South America, you will often need to carry out vaccines to protect yourself from the potential diseases and infections you may face during your stay. Some vaccines are mandatory, others are recommended.
6. RELAX AND ENJOY THE TRIP!
There you go! The preparation of your trip is finally over. Congratulations on this fine work. I’m sure you’ve created a perfect stay that looks just like you. You can be proud of yourself!
All you have to do is wait for the journey to arrive so you can finally enjoy it!
During the trip, do not forget that even if you have organized your trip with a few onions, you have to leave a little room for the unexpected, the beautiful meetings and the discovery! The goal is to take a deep breath and discover the atmosphere and culture of a country, not to run a marathon to see a maximum!