We’re in the middle of planning our next adventure to……THAILAND! So, we thought it would be a great opportunity to share with you our step-by-step process of how we plan our travels. This process will hopefully help you to choose your next epic trip. Also, you’re going to want to watch this video right through to the end…seriously…you may kick yourself in the butt if you don’t…
The first steps for planning your next trip is perhaps the most difficult, but once you get the following all figured out, it’s smooth sailing. If you follow each step, you’ll have a much clearer idea of the country or countries that will be perfect for YOUR next trip.
Step #1: Time
How much time do you have to travel including flight time?
Two weeks paid vacation and three with seniority is the average for Canadians, while the United States does not legally require employers to provide paid annual leave. Seriously what’s up with that?! Europe and Australia seem to be doing it right giving 20-30 days of vacation time per year. It’s up to you to figure out how much time you’ll have. Perhaps you can work something out with your employer? We also suggest to plan your travel dates around weekends so that you leave on a Friday and come back on a Sunday, assuming that you are working Monday-Friday.
Depending on the amount of time you have will greatly impact your travel plans. If you have one week of vacation time, you may want to travel somewhere closer to come. If you have two weeks or more, then you can afford the time and jet lag to travel to the other side of the world. I like to try and give myself a day of relaxing when arriving at my destination and couple of days upon returning home from a trip. This allows for my body to adjust back to the time zone. Something I would highly recommend to consider.
Step #2: Decide who you are going with.
Is this a solo trip? Couples trip? Trip with family or friends? Are you going with your kids?
Depending on who is travelling with you can also influence your decision on the destination. For one, if you are travelling with one or more people, you’ll want to decide mutually where you want to go. If you’re travelling with kids, you’ll want to consider travelling to more kid friendly places. Travelling solo? The world is your oyster, and it’s only up to you to decide where to go! If you are travelling with other people, you’ll also want to figure out what type of traveller each of you are. Depending on what you want to get out of your trip will influence where you go, which leads us to the next step…
Step #3: What type of traveller are you?
What are your interests? Are you looking for more of a laid back vibe? Are you seeking adventure? Are you a history buff or a foodie?
Figuring out what your interests are will help you narrow down your destination choices. If you’re a foodie and history buff, Rome may be right up your ally, but if you’re an adventure junkie, then you may want to ditch Rome and head to New Zealand for endless thrills.
Step #4 Budget
Do you have a strict budget for this trip or are you flexible?
You’ve figured out the amount of time you have, who you’ll be travelling with, what kind of trip you’re interested in, and now is time to figure out how much money you can/want to spend. Once you know how long you’ll be away and you’re budget, you’ll be able to estimate how much money you have to spend each day. Keep in mind the pre-trip expenses that you’ll be spending. You’ll have to consider accommodations, activities, food and transportation costs. However, you’ll also have to consider pre-travel expenses such as vaccinations, passports, packing supplies, visas and flights.
Step #5 Visas
What are the entry requirements for the countries you’re thinking of visiting?
Depending on where you’re from, you’ll want to check the entrance requirements for the countries you’re thinking of travelling to. If you’ve just decided you’re going to travel, and you’ll be leaving two weeks from now, then you may need to reconsider some of the places you’re thinking of travelling to. While some countries offer entrance visas on arrival, others require you to apply for ahead of time; you’ll have to send in your passport to the embassy and pay a fee to get the visa. Then you have to factor in the time it will take to get that Visa returned back to you. Altogether, this can take a couple of weeks to complete.
Now taking into consideration all of the above steps, you’ll want to start narrowing down the places you’ve been thinking of going to. Start researching each place to see if it meets your requirements. Once you’ve narrowed down your selection to two or three places, then it’s off to the final step….
Step #6 Flights
How much of your budget will be eaten up by your flight ticket?
You’ll want to consider the price of the flight to the destinations you’re thinking and factor that into your overall budget. Booking the flights tends to be the most difficult for many, but also the most thrilling. Now when it comes to booking flights, we are always looking for the best deal out there. We’d rather spend more on our time in a country then on the flight getting there. The number one website/app we go to when booking our flights is Skyscanner. This website is a budget travellers dream!
We have been booking our flights using Skyscanner because they seriously have some of the best deals ever. There’s also the app you can download to your phone which is super handy when you’re already on the road. We’ve saved hundreds that we’ve been able to put toward another trip. In this video, we show you how we use Skyscanner to find the cheapest deals and book our flights. So, hit that little play button and prepare to save!
So my friends, this six step process is how we choose our next destination. We are so excited to heading back to Thailand. It’s both one of our favourite countries and a place I’d love for you to explore as well. This is why, Hopscotch the Globe has teamed up with Skyscanner to give one of you two-round trip tickets to Thailand!!! You’ll have to head back over to the blog next week to find out how to enter. This is out biggest giveaway yet, and we couldn’t be more excited to send one of you and a friend to one of our favourite places in the world.
Kristen Sarah is a full-time traveller, tiny home owner and adventure junkie. She has one of the leading YouTube travel channels and is the head honcha of award-winning travel and lifestyle website, Hopscotch the Globe.