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It’s a sad time for the travel industry, and for anyone (like me) who had lots of epic travel adventures planned for this year. I’m still mourning cancelled trips, whilst trying with all my hope to stay positive about those already booked for later in the year.
But while actual travel is suspended until further notice, isolation is still a great time to think about all the places you want to visit, and start planning future trips in one way or another! Below I’ve detailed a few of the ways I plan each of my trips.
Make a list
In true virgo style, I have a list in the notes of my phone, of all the countries I want to visit, in order of priority – i.e. how desperate I am to visit. If I already know, then under each country, I list the specific towns, or areas I want to visit. If I don’t, then I move onto the next step.
I am addicted to Pinterest for literally everything, recipes, home decor and fashion, but mostly for travel. Any time I get an idea of a place in my head, or I am booking a trip to a particular destination, Pinterest is pretty much my first tab that opens.
On Pinterest you can search loads of different terms to get the best results. For example, before my trip to Mexico in February, I searched for things like ‘things to do in Los Cabos‘ – this leads you to pins that likely have an accompanying blog post for that location. Pinterest is also an amazing way to find great cafes, restaurants and bars for your location – particularly for city breaks. I also always search ‘Location + travel photography’ (e.g. Los Cabos travel photography) to get photography and instagram inspiration for different things to do or additional places to visit.
Leading on from Pinterest, blog posts are a great way to get more insight into a destination – particularly for budget, best time of year to visit, itineraries and sometimes full city or country guides. This is a great step for finding out more practical information, and helping you to narrow down the time of year you will want to plan your visit for. I also use a mixture of blog posts, Pinterest and Google Maps to map out a rough route or itinerary if planning on visiting a few different towns and cities rather than doing a one stop trip.
Once I’ve narrowed down a month or two to visit, I open up Skyscanner and search for flights for the entire month to find the best prices. I also try and be flexible with airports if possible. For example, when I was booking this years trip to Vietnam, I was planning on visiting the whole country again, so I could be flexible with flying into either Ho Chi Minh City or Hanoi, depending on which flights where cheaper.
For accommodation, I have three go to’s!
Booking.com – a really good option for hotels around the world, I particularly love their free cancellation policy, along with their book now and pay on arrival option, which can help you secure some great deals.
AirBnB – my favourite option if I’m travelling with a group or planning on staying a while. You can really feel more like a local in an AirBnB, and there are such amazing properties around the world where you can have a real unique experience.
Hostelworld.com – some locations, I like to go back to my backpacking days and slum it in a hostel. I say ‘slum it’, but actually hostels are incredible these days – throughout Asia hostels are my automatic go to accommodation as the quality is super impressive. It’s also a great way to save your budget, AND to meet fellow travellers from around the world!
Plan a rough budget
If you have your heart set on a destination but aren’t necessarily ready to book right away (and whilst the world is currently ‘on hold’ this makes complete sense), I like to work out how much I can roughly expect to spend on everything. This includes flights, accommodation, travel expenses, visas, and spending money. That way, whether you’re dreaming of a luxury trip to Hawaii, a road trip in New Zealand or a weekend in Paris, you have a budget to hand which can help give you a realistic time for when you can make your dream trip a reality.