Why we all plan for a long vacation or travel ? Sure, our main focus will be freeing our mind and get away from all of our day-to-day headaches. So, we must plan it well to avoid the travel not to be a nightmare. Here are some key points to be noted while planning a travel and vacation.
Estimate a rough budget during the travel planning stage, with priority to big expenses like flight/bus tickets, hotel reservations, Visa etc. Most of the airlines offer best rates if you book in advance and also check for the monthly offers through their websites. Having a rough understanding of average cost for accommodation, food, activities, local currency details, exchange rates will help a lot during the travel. We can visit some online forums to check the experiences of others who visited the place before.
Carrying your money in different forms and in a few different places is always a good idea. Keep little cash in hand and use credit/debit cards for purchase/withdrawal.
Choose your Location
Always fix your locations before you start all plannings. It will help you to have an idea about how many days, money and preparations we need for the travel. It is also advised to get details from a professional tour planner for location and further informations. We can also read some travel experiences also to have a better understanding about the location. Most of the location will have some special festivals or events like La Tomatina (Tomato Festival) in spain, Holi Festival in India, Oktoberfest in Munich-Germany, Obon Festival in Japan or a New Year Celebration in Malaysia.
Always check for the climatic conditions of the place you planning to visit; If you are a beach-lover, enquire about the travel options and restrictions in some seasons like monsoon. eg: No travel operators will run tours in Jan-Feb to Perhentian and Tioman islands in Malaysia. Also google informations regarding the place for disease alerts, environmental warnings etc.
If you have special dietary preferences, please check for the food availability and cooking style in your planned location. List out all the details with address before you pack your bags.
So, as we have fixed our location, we will book our ticket and accommodation. As I mentioned above, if we plan our trip early, we will get air tickets cheaper than bus tickets. If you are going to enjoy some island retreats, please check for ferry availability and schedules and book in advance to avoid waiting and losing time at ferry stations.
Some of the Travel operators and Airlines offer flight with accommodation like airasiago.com. We can use portals like agoda, airasiago, booking.com, hotels.com and compare rates before making final booking. Always check Check IN/OUT details and hotel amenities in the hotel before you book.
Booked flight/Bus, Hotel, so what about activities like “flying hanuman” in Phuket or a bungee jumping activity in Macau Tower? So plan it early and check for schedules and availability.
Plan your outfits and “photo-shoot” session dresses before travel. List out and pack all necessary items, which will really help you to save your money for unwanted purchases; eg: swimsuit for an island trip. Considering wrinkle-free clothes will be good as you do not need to search for iron table in a holiday resort. Carry a raincoat along in rainy season or a small foldable umbrella.
But all of the above, pack as light as possible. Travelling with a light backpack will leave your hands free. Learn how to pack backpack for travel, check out YouTube for some tips. Everyone knows It is not a good idea to carry office laptop and blackberry with you, but depends.
Remember to pack all your documents
Make a checklist of documents to carry along, in planning stage itself; I am always using Google Keep for this. Flight/Bus tickets, Room booking receipts, printouts of other bookings etc should be in the list. As I mentioned above, if the travel is outside of the country, then you must include all the immigration documents including Visa .
Use public transportation
Most of the major destinations offer reliable transport services and that too from airports. You can save a lot while using public transport. Getting offline maps for the location and having a printed copy of public train and bus transit networks will help a lot. Also you can search for local site-to-site tour packages which will be really a money saving, like KL Hop-On Hop-Off in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Also you can rent a car or motor bike and roam around like a free bird. But learn about the local traffic rules and laws before you try this out. If you are planning to rent a taxi with driver, you must check the basic details about the driver including his language competency. Also there will be taxi booking portal available for taxi booking for that area. (like myteksi, easycab in Malaysia).
Be a local there
Learning basic Culture, Customs & Etiquette will help you deal well with the locals and also to get a good deals with shopping. For example, Local Malaysians will really be happy when we say “terima kasih” (Thank you) for a service or favor. Learn some basic words for thanks, Yes/No, Exit, SuperMarket, Road, Building etc will be really helpful. Also have some idea about local eating habits.
So, enjoy your trip.