5 important travel planning aspects
As travellers, we live by the age-old aphorism “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” I am sure most of us do a lot of planning, at least in our mind, before an upcoming trip. It is an innate nature of us humans. However, the key is to write the plan down and try to stick to it. Can the plan change before or during the trip? Yes, of course! It has happened to me before and can happen again. Hence, its best to have a written plan, as it helps to replan better, should the need arise. Planning a trip can be an enjoyable exercise and at the same time, one learns a lot about the destination. For example, I found about the famous ruins bar and a couple of more things to do in Budapest while planning for my journey. This resulted in adding a few more days to my schedule.
Over the period, we have devised a travel planning method that helps us plan our trip better. We add, change and delete stuff as we delve deeper. The reason is, no two travels are the same.
I think the following planning tips are most important for a stress-free, pleasurable and satisfying holiday. I have also included examples from my past travels to explain how these planning tips have helped us. I find once we have these pinned; other planning factors fall in place.
It is easy to say, but it is so difficult to achieve. There is always a thing or two which we pack as “just in case.” However, many times, the type of travel encourages us to travel light. When I flew from Kathmandu to Lukla for my Everest Base Camp trek, it was in a small twin propeller airplane and there was a weight limit of 10 Kilograms for the checked in luggage. Now, this was a blessing, as trekking with heavy luggage is never easy.
I was to find out later, all I ever needed for the grueling multiple-day trek could quite easily be accommodated in just one bag.
The second most important factor is to pack the right clothes and gear. For example, when I travelled to the frozen Baikal lake, I needed the right amount of warm clothes and a couple of extras, in case my clothes got wet. I actually carried a second pair of lightweight boots meant for -10 degrees Celsius, in case it got too cold. I found on the first day on the icy lake that I had made the right decision by carrying the second pair.
Planning the Money Matters
It is quite easy to get carried away when planning for an exotic destination and what we want to do there. The whole purpose of budgeting is to estimate how much we want to spend on our travel. The money-god always seems to play the spoilsport whenever we are travelling. There is never enough for all the things that we want to do.
Based on our 100 plus days in Europe, we devised a thumb rule for budget estimates, which is one-third each for accommodation, food and everything else. Of course, travelling to and from the destination has to be considered separately.
However, when we make my travel plan, we always make sure to have access to at least 20 to 30% more money than my budget as there could be so many unknown factors or events that could dent your pocket.
Planning for security back home
Our planning must always cover our home base. We should remember that life is full of surprises and it is best to be financially prepared for everything. Hence, I have prepared myself with ICICI Prudential Life’s iProtect Smart, a term plan. The plan covers me against 34 critical illnesses and also secures my family with a life cover. This allows me to travel with a free mind as my travel budget remains secure.
Planning Around Visa Limitations
We all know when we Indians travel to Europe on a Schengen visa, we are allowed to be in Schengen zone only for 90 days in 6 months. However, with meticulous planning, we included non-Schengen countries in our travel plan to extend our Europe trip to 100 plus days.
Although countries like Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia, Macedonia and Romania are not Schengen countries, they allow us to enter on a valid Schengen visa as long as we come from and exit to any of these countries or to any other Schengen country. This information meant that we could travel more on the same visa.
Away we go!
As Hans Christian Anderson puts it, “to travel is to live”. So work, save and travel.
So we see every travel is unique but once we have the above travel plans in certain detail, we are actually ready to go. In fact taking care of these little nuts and bolts makes your travel all the more enjoyable.
So, where are you travellers planning to go next?
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