How to plan a trip
So you have decided to go on holidays... Great!!First of all you need to answer these questions: Where will I go? When will I go? How long will I go for? Who will be my travel companion/s? Do I need a Visa? Do I need any vaccination? What is my budget?
If you are thinking to go somewhere for a weekend or few days, then it's better if you choose a city that is close to your home place, as it won't take you long to reach your destination, and you will have more time to enjoy. If you have one or two weeks of holidays, then maybe you could choose to go somewhere that is far away; or you could go to a country that is close to you and explore it.
You have to consider the weather to visit certain places. On one hand, there are places that can get extremely hot depending on the season or the month that you visit them. On the other hand, there are cities where temperatures can be too cold. This is also a personal choice, I can stand hot and humid weather, but if you are doing loads of sightseeing it could be a bit too much. I don't mind if it's cold, but then you will stop more times to have a hot drink to warm up! (it also works with a glass of wine!).
It's important as well to decide with who you travel. Decide in advance what you all want to do to avoid disappointment. As I mentioned on the post "Why we travel", each person is different and has different interests; so choose carefully your travel companions. Another option is to travel on your own.
Another thing to take into consideration is to find out if you need a visa and, in case that you need it, what you have to do to obtain it. Have a look here Do I need a Visa?
If you are planning to go to an exotic destination, you must check in advance which vaccinations you need. Have a look at this link Travel vaccines and get ready (on time) for your trip.
I prefer to plan my trips few months in advance. If you don't mind where to go, you have endless options (specially if you live in a city like London), and many deals. If I'm thinking to do a short trip, I check different destinations and I compare prices (flights + accommodation), then, I let my travel companions know. Finally, based on the total price and our budget, we make up our minds and we decide.
The next step will be to book the flights and the accommodation. So here I mention few sites that I normally use and that could be helpful.
Personally, I compare flight prices in different airlines to get a good deal, and then I normally book the accommodation through booking.com. I never had issues with them and I've been using this website many years.
For a long stay, I will recommend to have a look at airbnb. In my opinion, it's not as reliable as booking.com, but if you know how to look it can be a really good option. I used it few times with no problems, but I know people that haven't had a good experience with this website.
Try to be patient and read the reviews, it can help you in order to decide your ideal accommodation!
If you are in for a treat and your budget allows it, why don't you book a holiday package? Virgin holidays has many destinations to choose from and if you book a tour with them, your only concern will be to pack your stuff and go! I am really lucky and one of my good friends works for Virgin holidays, so I had the opportunity to experience one of their amazing tours.
The last step for me will be to do some research on the internet about the city that I'm visiting. I will then create a short guide with the places that I want to visit and things that I want to do. If I don't have time to find the information or I am going somewhere for more than 5 days, I like to buy a travel guide. My favorites are lonely planet travel guides and I normally go for the pocket size ones. Have a look here lonely planet travel guides. Another great book that I recommend to travellers (it was a birthday present that I got from one of my friends) is The cities book: A journey through the best cities in the world, also from lonely planet.
Do you have more questions? Drop me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you need some help planning your trip. I can help you with the destinations that are on my blog.