Before to start for a new trip everyone needs a travel planner guide. It is like to prepare the suitcase. Like to organize a journey require a list of the things to do. A traveler has to proceed step by step to save time and money. Without forgetting anything. Only in this way we can plan the perfect tour and prevent bad surprises. I want to give you my advice, so you can have now what you need. My experience can help and inspire you. Going around the world for many years was a great life lesson for me. But it gave me the chance also to learn better how to organize myself.
First step: find your destination
As I wrote a couple of days ago, you need to set your goals and focus on the place that you would like to visit. To choose a destination you need an idea, according to your wish and also keeping in mind the season. This step is very important because it is the answer to your needs. Relax, art, sea, mountain… Each environment can give you something. But it depends on what you are searching for. Don’t do like some people who just want to go somewhere. You will not be satisfied at all at the end of the trip.
Second step: decide how many days you have for the trip
One of the most important elements of travel planning is the budget. How can you define it without to know the length of your journey? How many days will you stay there? You need to answer this question. So you can organize yourself better for the transfers, for the reservation and especially to calculate the costs. When you are ready to say “I will be in Rome for one week” (as for an example) you will be ready to proceed. And to follow the other steps of the travel planner guide.
Third step: work on the budget
Probably you already have established a certain amount of money to spend. So you need to make a calculation of the costs to see if it is enough. Don’t forget that you will need to have some pocket money with you for souvenirs, extra costs and any type of emergency or last minute need. You have to clarify what type of holiday you want. Will you go to sleep in a luxury hotel, in a hostel or you will rent an apartment? Will you eat in restaurants, in fast food or you will buy and cook by yourself the food?
These elements, of course, make the difference, but they are in good company. In fact, if the flight, the accommodation and the places where to eat are the huge part of the costs, there are other expenses. For example, you are going to buy a guidebook, you need to pay the tickets of the museums and so on. Be sure to follow the steps of the travel planner guide.
Surf the internet
I suggest you check the internet first. You can find good guides online and you can print what you need and saving money. Also, use forums and Facebook groups to ask some hints to the people who already been in a place. There is also some app that offers the chance to get in touch with locals to see a place or just to collect tips about the tour. Meanwhile, Google gives you a lot of information about prices, so you can compare the costs and the offers found.
Then the calculation is easy. For example, if you need to stay in Rome for one week and the cost of the accommodation is $60 per day, you have to collect a budget of ($60 x 7days) $420. Plus the flight, the food, and the extras. Use the internet to see the average prices of the meals. It helps you. If you still don’t have a budget, you know how much to save. This is a priority for the travel planner guide.
Fourth step: travel rewards
Do you have some cards to collect miles and points from airlines or hotels? Check the balance, maybe you have some points to redeem for a discount or for free tickets. This is a good way to reduce the costs and benefit of services for free or at a small price. One more important habit is the use of your credit card. In fact, you may have the chance to collect points during your shopping. It is just a get back. For every dollar (euro or your currency) spent, the credit company recognizes to you a certain percentage.
Then you can redeem the point through the purchase of tickets or room reservation. Be sure that your credit card has a plan like the one I described. You don’t have to do anything particular. Only buy what you need in your daily life. Plus pay with your credit card. It will be like to have cash back for your holidays. What do you think? It is convenient. Don’t forget to withdraw money using the cards with no-feed Atm. You will not pay the commission to the bank.
Fifth step: check for last-minute offers
The travel planner guide includes the visit to last-minute proposals online. While you surf internet reserve some time to visit the websites with the updated offers. They can limit you about timing, but they give you the chance to have a good deal for a low rate. You can save up to 70% in some cases. It happens for holiday packages, for hotels and flight tickets. Maybe you can be in place very close to your destination and just benefit from a cheap price. On Booking.com, for example, there are deals related to the period you want.
Do your research more time, but use different devices or just clean cookies and cache of your computer, because the system recognizes you. If you go back to the same research more times, the prices will start to increase. The algorithms know that you want to buy a certain offer, so they are programmed to erase the cost each time.
Sixth step: purchase the flight ticket
Now it is time to think about the plane. Use your miles if you have or just try to search among the dedicated websites. Don’t forget the airline company web page. Because the research engines online are not the only ones with good offers and low prices. If you use a low-cost company you need to reserve at least one week in advance, for the other companies at least two weeks before. The best solution, as I want to underline in this travel planner guide, is anyway a couple of months before the departure. It is not only a matter of rate, but it means especially to find seats on the best flight for you.
Seventh step: book the hotel
Are you going to stay for a long period in a place? My travel planner guide suggests you reserve your accommodation only for the first few days. At your destination, it will be easier to find a better deal to prolong your stay. Or you can also find a better hotel for a good price. You will be also free to change idea according to your opinion about the location. Have the chance to explore more a region is not bad. In case you stay in total for a few days or one week this is not applicable.
If you are going to stay in a luxury hotel or better in a hotel part of a chain, hostels included, I suggest you, with my travel planner guide, to subscribe to their loyalty program. Do it online before to reserve. They recognize to you free extra service or a certain amount of points for each night spent. This means that maybe since the beginning you can benefit from a free night during your first stay. Check the chain websites.
Eighth step: make your activity plan
Once you finished with the main part of your travel planning, it comes the proper time to think about what you want to do there. Focus on what you like. It is necessary for calculating the costs. Also, it may be useful to see if you have to book a specific tour. There are museums open only through fixed appointments, tours with a limited number of participants and so on. It should be a pity to be at your destination and miss the chance to see an important attraction only because you did not reserve on time. This is a rule for the travel planner guide.
Ninth step: call your credit card company
It is not mandatory, but it is useful. Using your credit card abroad you may need more money, so check the imposed limit. You can generally change it. Don’t do it on the last moment, because it requires at least 24 hours to complete the procedure. Also, it is a good idea to notify your bank or directly to the credit card company that you will be abroad. Tell them also the country. Why? Because it might happen that some shopping result as fraudulent use of the card. And they will block the payment and the card. Better don’t have bad surprises while you travel.
Tenth step: buy your travel insurance
Going abroad reserve some risks. You may lose the luggage, you may have a health problem and so on. Don’t worry, it is a possibility nothing more. But there is a good way to prevent any problem: insurance. Travel insurance gives you assistance and money to face all types of accidents. Online there are a lot of offers, you can easily find the best according to your needs.
Check firstly if the country where you are going is covered by the company you want to use. Then focus on the rules and the coverage. So you will be sure that you can use it. In case of flight cancellation, it is responsible for the airline company. But your insurance can help you to purchase another ticket and then be reimbursed. This is an example. At the end about this step of the travel planner guide, I have to say that insurance is mandatory to enter in certain countries. If you have to ask for a visa, you will need to provide also the travel insurance number.
Eleventh step: prepare the suitcase
At the end of the planning steps, you need only to prepare the suitcase. Keep in mind that there are some rules of the airline company for the dimension and for the weight of your luggage. It is possible that you need to pay for it or for extra weight. Be careful when you choose what to put inside. If you need more help to not forget something, you can be inspired by my packing list.
Enjoy your trip! Remember: for a luxury holiday it is not necessary to spend a lot of money.