Do you want a stress free travel experience? Here are 5 tips that will help you.
Preparing for a trip can be overwhelming, and getting started is often the most difficult part. What do you look at first? What do you need to take with you? How much will you spend? There are lots of questions to be answered.
Fortunately, everything becomes a lot more manageable once you break it down into smaller steps, and that’s where this post comes in. We’ve picked out five ways you can make the planning process much easier so you can set off on your stress-free travel experience right away.
5 Tips For A Stress-Free Travel Experience
1. Decide where you want to go
Planning will be much more simple once you know what your destination is, so make a shortlist of everywhere you’d like to visit, then do some research into each place until you find somewhere that meets your requirements.
Are you looking for adventure? Culture and history? A relaxing beach break? Maybe it’s a mix of all three. You might already have a dream destination in mind. Whatever it is, take some time to think about where you want to go and whether it’s realistic to plan a trip there.
Photo by John Matychuk
2. Work out what your budget will be — then save more
Get the bigger costs out of the way first. Look at the cost of flights (or other transportation if that’s possible) and don’t forget to include the price of a taxi from the airport or station to your accommodation.
Speaking of accommodation now is the time to figure out where you could stay. Some travelers love the social vibe of hostels, while others swear by guesthouses or homestays so they can get a feeling for local life. (These options are normally cheaper than hotels, although prices vary from place to place.)
Finally, look up the average cost of food and transport in your destination, and don’t forget to include the fees for any attractions or activities you know you definitely want to visit or take part in.
Always add on a bit extra in case of emergencies or if you end up going on any spontaneous excursions — it gives you more freedom. Visit Nomadic Matt for tips on how to cut your expenses.
3. Keep all your travel documents in one place
Buy a folder or wallet and use it to store your travel documents. It makes it easier to go through them, plus you’ll know everything you need for your trip is within reach when you have to pack.
Scan everything before you leave, save it to a cloud storage service, and email the digital copies of each document to a trusted friend or family member. That way, if you lose the physical copies you’ll still have access to the details.
Travel documents you’ll need:
- A valid passport. Some countries require you to have six months validity after your departure date; others only need your passport to be valid for the duration of your stay. Make sure you check in advance and renew your passport if necessary.
- Booking details for your accommodation and activities. File all your confirmation emails as you receive them to avoid a last-minute panic.
- Your travel insurance policy. Travel insurance is essential — no ifs or buts. Although any mishaps are unlikely, they’re not impossible.
You might need:
- A visa. You may need to apply for one prior to departure, or you may receive one on arrival. Make sure you find out well in advance.
Photo by Andrew Haimerl
4. Shop around before you book your flights
Before you do anything, switch to an incognito browser — this will stop the sites you visit from pushing up the prices if they know you’re going to buy.
Don’t go directly to an airline’s website. Instead, try price comparison sites. Look for flights that travel directly to your destination, but also consider those with a long layover. They may well be cheaper and you’ll also have time to explore another new place before you go on your way again.
Recent research by Skyscanner suggests the cheapest flights are booked on a Monday and leave on a Friday, so this is worth bearing in mind once you find what you’re looking for.
5. Make a packing list and stick to it
It’s all too easy to overpack, but throwing things in your bag — just in case — will only weigh it down, and chances are you won’t use any of these items in the end.
Instead, list all of your essentials (your travel documents, your phone, wallet, toiletries, and any other gadgets and chargers), then think about clothing. You’ll need to consider the weather at your destination, the length of your trip, and if there are any activities you’ll need special gear or equipment for. It’s also worth looking up any dress code rules, particularly if you’re traveling to a country in the Middle East and Africa.
That’s how you plan a stress free travel experience. Do you have any to add to the list? Leve them in the comments below.