Planning for a trip can be overwhelming, and even if you prepare all the necessary aspects ahead, there is still some great chance of something going wrong: some flight delays, payment problems, or simple miscommunication with the local service providers. An experienced traveler is ready for everything, but if this is your first time traveling, your planning must be most cautious.
While sometimes the unexpected can be good, like when you spot a whale on your boat tour or stumble upon some free local festival on your way, it may also be downright frustrating, like when you miss your flight home or get your reservations lost or mixed up in a system. To try to avoid unpleasant surprises, be sure to follow this list of essential steps while you plan your very first adventures.
1. Book Your Flights in Advance
The first step in planning your trip is booking your flights. This will help you get an idea of how much your entire trip will cost. Compare flight offers and keep a list of important details, including departure and arrival airports and times, fees, and cancellation policies.
You can find some flight deals online or use a travel agency or airline app to book your flights. Once you’ve done this, it’s time to start researching your other valuable aspects, like accommodation options, transportation, and the activities you plan to do. And don’t forget to free your schedule for the trip by using a free essay writer service or any help from your coworkers and relatives.
When traveling internationally, choosing lodging in or near the city center can be helpful so you can easily walk to places of interest. Many hotels and Airbnb offer bonus rewards on certain credit cards. You can also find great hotel and flight bundle deals on many booking sites.
2. Find and Prepare Your Accommodations
It’s no secret that booking travel accommodations ahead of time can save you money and lots of nerves. Many experts recommend booking accommodation a month or more in advance to keep tabs on the prices, wait for them to decrease, and then book your trip.
You should also determine your transportation needs and look for hotels in safe neighborhoods. If you’re traveling for work, you may need to stay near a venue where you have meetings or other obligations. Especially if it is your first time in a new country or city, living near your company-assigned meeting venue will make sure you won’t get lost on your way through unfamiliar streets.
If you’re traveling on a budget, consider hostels and other shared accommodation options. These can be great places to meet people and connect with other travelers. You can also find group tours easily in hostels, or simply create your own group with your newly-met neighbors.
3. Book and Plan Your Tours and Activities
Whether traveling solo or with a group, planning for the activities and tours you’ll do will make your trip much more enjoyable. From visiting some area-exclusive local festivities to shopping at a local market for souvenirs, every day of your trip needs to be planned and prepared in advance. Some events even offer discounted prices for early booking, so be sure to take advantage of them if you can.
A good place to start is by looking at a local travel guide and researching the top attractions, as well as off-the-beaten-path spots. Also, consider checking out some special apps like Airbnb Experiences, Viator, and Urban Adventures for day trips that cater to your interests.
If you stay with some locals or your hostel neighbors are more experienced travelers, be sure to ask them to join you for a quick walk or at least to recommend some great places to see nearby. Getting a sightseeing partner can help you feel less alone, anxious and afraid as you explore – and can be helpful if anything goes wrong!
4. Rent a Car if You Need One
Whether you’ve never driven on foreign soil before or put your car rental plans on hold during the pandemic, your first travel experience will surely be new and exciting.
If you decide to rent a car, do your research and choose a reliable company with plenty of pick-up and drop-off locations around the city. If your friends and relatives had some experience in it, be sure to ask them for a recommendation.
There are plenty of destinations around the world that are amazing for road trips and easy to navigate. There are some obvious ones like North America, Australia, or France. Talking about Europe, you could also choose to visit islands such as Majorca or Sicily with a rented car. Or what about Corfu, in Greece? You can check Corfu car hire prices, you will see that it is totally affordable.
Once you’ve selected a service and found a nice car, you can easily book it by choosing your pick-up and drop-off dates, selecting if you want a full tank or not, and adding any add-ons you want. This will help you get on your way faster with peace of mind and cross another reason of worries out of your list.
When it comes to booking your tours and preparing for your adventure, it is always best to have a general idea of what you want to do. However, even the most well-calculated plan may fail or go off the rails, so it’s also important to be flexible and embrace uncertainty. After all, that’s one of the best things about travel – discovering unexpected gems you would never find in a guidebook!
When in doubt, prioritizing quality over quantity is a good idea. It is far more rewarding to thoroughly explore fewer locations at a comfortable pace than frantically trying to fit whole countries into your trip.
Be sure to take care of most important aspects like flights, accommodations, means of transportation and experiences way before your actual trip dates and make sure to free your schedule to enjoy your experience to the most.
It’s common for first-time travelers to feel overwhelmed at the outset of their trips. But if you take the time to prepare for your first trip, it can make all the difference in having a great experience or a disappointing one!
Now you know how to do it and will be less likely to get lost in the tedious preparation process, so go for it, and may your first experience be the adventure of a lifetime.