Planning my next adventure is one of my favourite things to do. I love researching a destination, finding out what activities I can do, what landmarks there is to see, and creating a unique trip that is perfect for me. From working out a budget, to researching the culture of your destination, here are 5 of my best tips for planning your next adventure.
WHAT NOT TO PLAN
Although I’m one of those people who likes to have a set plan for everything they do, travel is one thing I’m a little more relaxed with. Because there are aspects of your trip that you can’t plan for, or you shouldn’t plan for.
Now I’m not talking about the big things like transport and your budget. Because lets face it, you’d be a little stupid not to plan for those things. But when you’re in the planning stages of your next trip, or in some cases, when you’re on your trip, don’t stress about where you’ll eat, what time you’ll get to a destination, which attractions you want to see every day. Making your trip too scheduled only restricts your enjoyment and time in that destination, and you’ll likely come back feeling disappointed that you were too focussed on sticking to your itinerary and missed some crazy adventure.
So just relax, and be open to experiencing new things and changing your itinerary up at the last minute – sometimes those trips make for the best memories. And that leads me on to my next point…
Sometimes you’ll wake up one morning and just not want to do the things you planned for. Or you’ll make some friends in your hostel and they’ll invite you to go on a hike or go out for food. Be flexible with your itinerary.
If you’re travelling solo, it’s the perfect opportunity to push yourself and to discover new things you might have otherwise missed.
So how can you be flexible when you’re planning your trip? Don’t get caught up on the details! Yes, make a rough plan of where you want to be on a set date, how you’ll get there, where you’ll stay – but be open to changing up your plans. If you’re staying in hostels, you can book your rooms pretty last minute. If you’re hitchhiking, you literally have 0 time restraints of when you need to move on to your next destination.
PICKING YOUR DESTINATION
This is one of the most difficult parts of trip planning for me. There’s so many places I want to visit that I just don’t know where to head to next.
Before you pick your destination, make sure you do your research. Whether that be finding out the culture, any dress codes you may need to abide to, the temperature, the current state of the economy or any civil unrest that might be happening, or even just whether you need to take bug spray with you. All these things can have an impact on your trip and your experience of the destination!
BE FINANCIALLY REALISTIC
One of my biggest tips for travel is picking somewhere which reflects your budget. If you’re travelling solo and have a relatively low budget for your trip, travelling to an expensive country for a month maybe isn’t the best idea. Research the accommodation, transport, general living expenses and any attraction/ticket fees in your next destination and make sure you can afford it. You don’t want to get halfway through your trip only to have to head home because you’ve run out of money.
If there’s a destination you really want to visit which is expensive, save as much as you physically can in the lead up to your trip, and give yourself plenty of time to do so. If you know you need to save £1,000 for example, maybe give yourself a few months to do so instead of booking a last minute flight.
When you arrive at your destination, make sure you have a budget, and try to stick to it as much as possible. Yes some days you’ll overspend, but there’ll be some days when your only expense will be food or accommodation. For your finances, balance is key.
SEARCHING FOR ACCOMMODATION
Whenever I look for accommodation in my next destination, I always use multiple websites to compare prices. The two I use personally are Booking.com and HostelWorld. As someone who primarily stays in hostels when they travel, these two sites have the best prices and access to reviews/images.
If you’re travelling with a friend, or made some mates on the road, a great tip is to have a look into twin rooms/private dormitories. Sometimes these can work out cheaper when split between two or three of you than booking three dorm beds in a shared dorm. When I was in New Zealand, my friend and I saved 15NZD each on booking a twin room over a dorm room – and that’s a bargain if you ask me.
Be open to booking your accommodation relatively last minute too – sometimes you can nab some great deals, or you might find an even better place to stay!
Planning your next adventure should be a fun experience, so don’t stress yourself out too much with trying to get all the details sorted before you go. Get the basics and the key parts sorted, and you’ll be pretty much good to go.
And when you arrive at your next destination? Have the best time, and enjoy yourself!