Planning requires patience and I kind of lack on that. I do have my share, but it is usually used up on the kids, I’m sure you understand. But, on this post I’m going to show you how I plan any trip.
The toughest decision is the first one: where to? This question is always asked to all family members and all answers are given equal weight. After that, I just need to do some research to answer a few key questions:
– How much money do we have? Or how much can we afford to spend? This question is key, because everything else will depend on the answer to this one. Sometimes, even the first question (Where to?) changes depending on this one.
– When? Is it warm, cold, rain season, too dry? Is it the high season or is it off peak? Which is best for what we want to do?
– How do we get there? Plane, boat, car, motorhome, bike, on foot? Is there traffic? How long does it take? How expensive is it?
– Do we need a visa? Is it easy to get? Is it too expensive? How long does it take to process and how long does it last?
– What? Are there beaches, snow, good food, museums, parks, hikes, iconic places, local festivals?
– How long do we need to do what we want?
– Do we need anything else? Vaccines, special medicine, hiking shoes, insect repellant, gifts, sunscreen, ski gear?
– Can all of us enjoy it? Of course, there are times we take our kids somewhere we don’t really like much but most of the time, we need everyone to be able to enjoy. So, checking if there are things for the little ones (in our case, Coral), the big ones (Angelo), the teenagers (Melissa), is a must. Also, if it’s the case, if allergies’ necessities are met.
That is basically how I do it. I usually find a guide (it can be a travel guidebook, a website, a blog, a forum, someone from that place) where I can find most of my answers, and then search for more information that confirms or denies what I found out. I do try to find the latest space, usually blogs from people who live on the place or who visited on the same time I’m planning to go on the year before. I can take anywhere from one hour to a few months researching. It all depends on how much time we have, how much money we have and how far it is.
Oh, and I never set the expectations bar high – that way I cannot be disappointed. I always leave space for change of plans, unforeseen circumstances or whatever, really. I try to book only what I really have to and leave the rest to decide on the spot.
It might seem like a lot to do, but it’s not. Once I got used to it, it flows super easily.
My new favorite is Pinterest, I just type in the destination and it brings our so many pins! I can categorize them by destination and keep them there, amazingly organized. If you have never used Pinterest for planning a trip, I highly suggest you try it once.
Share in the comments how you plan for your travels, I’d love to know!