Hiking along Cape of Good Hope
Plan your trip
Step by step
Plan your trip
1. Decide where and when to go and book transportation
2. Decide where to stay and book hotel/apartment/B&B etc.
3. Decide what to do and where to eat
4. Make a schedule with dates and times
5. Book activities, local transportation, restaurants
6. All set? You are ready to go!
1. Decide where to go
There are probably a lot of places that you want to visit. What is your number one destination?
For most of us both time and money are constraints. Time because we have a limited amount of vacation days. Money because it does not last forever for most of us.
If you have one or a few dream destinations. Start by checking out how much it costs to go there and the price level. Simply because transportation and lodging take a large part of your travel budget. Maybe it is expensive to go there but well there hotels and food are really cheap.
One way to find out where to go is to check out a price level index like this one below from Forex bank 2018/19.
In this one, Sweden is set at 100. A lower figure indicates that the price level is lower compared to Sweden. That is the case with countries like Argentina, South Africa, Spain and Italy. So, even if the cost for transportation is high, it might be cheaper to go there than someplace closer.
A higher figure on the other hand indicates that the price level is higer. That is the case with USA, Norway and Switzerland.
For a US citizen Sweden is cheap, Norway expensive. For a swiss more or less all countries has a lower price level than Switzerland.
2. Decide when to go
Travelling in summer time often brings more opportunities to choose from including nearby places. That makes it a lot easier to push down the cost of travelling.
Travelling in winter time to a warm and sunny place often requires that you have to travel far away. And if you travel far you probably want to stay there for longer. So the cost for lodging will be more expensive and you will need more days away from work.
Travelling on a large holiday like Christmas or Easter requires you to plan and book far ahead since there will be a lot of people travelling at the same time. By booking early you will have more to choose from with fewer and shorter stop overs and hotels that fit your budget.
Going off-season brings a lot more opportunities and the prices are usually lower. You can also book a lot later.
If you are very flexible about the dates you can even wait until last minute and take the chance to find a really good offer for flight and hotel.
Finally, remember to check out the weather and opening hours for restaurants and activities if you choose to go off-season. In some places restaurants are closed during off season.
3. Decide where to stay
Travelling as a group or family might bring more opportunities for lodging compared to if you travel alone.
If you are a group of 4 it might be a good thing to rent a house or an apartment instead of booking two rooms in a hotel.
If you decide to book a hotel, it might be cheaper booking a suite with 2 extra beds compared to booking two standard rooms. Check out the different opportunities. And rememeber booking early increases your opportunities for a good option.
We have often chosen specific hotels simply because they have family rooms. That is often a lot cheaper compared to two double rooms.
Using travel search engines is a perfect way to scan the supply of hotels, apartments, B&B to stay at. In no time at all you get the perfect overview of hotels and prices.
A great advantage with Booking.com is that the setup is the same no matter which hotel you look at. You quickly get an overview of different rooms and services like if breakfast is included, parking is complimentary and how far it is to different sightseeing spots. Besides that you see the rating from other guests.
When you visit hotel websites they all look different. That makes it difficult to find the information you want and sometimes it is even difficult how to find out to make a booking!
I always start with travel search engines and then compare the prices and services that I would get if I book directly with a hotel. Sometimes booking directly with the hotel gives you the possibility for an early or a late check-in/out without extra cost.
Also, I have found out that sometimes the hotel I want to stay at is fully booked at Booking.com, but not at the hotel´s own website. Nothing strange with that. The hotels keep some rooms for direct booking since they then do not have to pay the fee to Booking.com. So, if you are looking for a specific hotel and it seems to be fully booked already, do not give up! Check the hotel´s own website.
4. Decide what to do and where to eat
A lot of people prefer doing all this after arriving in their destination. That gives you total flexibility.
On the other hand, every hour you spend at planning this at home you save when you are on vacation. And you do not have to do everything you have planned.
5. Book/Check up transportation on your destination
As for transportation, it depends on how many you are. If you are a company of three or more it is sometimes cheaper taking a taxi compared to going by public transportation.
It might also be a good thing renting a car if you will travel around a lot.
Does all this sound boring and/or difficult?
Check out our road trips with transportation, hotels, activities and restaurants. Maybe there is something that fits you right away or with a small adjustment in the program.
Does it seem boring and/or difficult to book everything by yourself?
Book a trip with a travel agency. It will probably cost you more and it is less flexible in where to stay, when to go and what to do, but it saves you a lot of time and it might also be a relief relying on someone else.
Do you need some inspiration?
Check out these round trips filled with activities, hotels and restaurants!