After spending hours and hours of travel planning for my husband and I, I realized there were ways to make the process easier. There is so much to choose from when it comes to trains, planes and automobiles- let alone which country you are going to visit. Travel planning should not be a stressful headache rather a fun and enjoyable process to be shared with someone else or yourself. I was that crazy person with the binder with all of the tabs before every trip and stressed about each leg of our journey. Now I sit back, relax, and enjoy the process and because I do, I find I enjoy my travels much more. I found that there are a few key tips and tricks to making the travel planning easier.
1. Know your sources
In this day and age, the internet is overwhelmed with information. From a 100+ choices for a hotel in Paris, to different ways of getting from an airport to your hotel, how does one know what’s the best solution for you? I find that using a few trusted sources like Travel & Leisure, Fodors, and people’s experiences are the best. I love to find a blog where I can hear someone’s experience firsthand.
2. Be realistic
When it comes to planning a trip, be realistic about every aspect. We all have high hopes of being carried down the street in a chariot and being whisked away to the highest castle in town, but then there is reality. Be realistic about the amount of time for your trip and your budget.
3. Be organized
This means not waiting to the last minute to sort out your plans. If you plan ahead, organized with your information, the trip is bound to go more smoothly.
4. Decision process
You can spend all year trying to decide on one hotel in one city in your three week trip through Europe. Figure out what is most important to you, what pros and cons matter the most and from there make a decision. Not quickly but timely.
5. Traveling or vacationing?
There is a difference. Vacationing would be more of a spend by the pool or beach with spa treatments sort of experience. Traveling is a more active trip that bounces through a few cities and has full day itineraries. Find out what is best for you and your travel partner.
It is important to take a look at where you are going and being educated. Perhaps you didn’t know in Italy, most cabs only take cash? These are important things to be aware of before your trip.
7. Enjoy the process
Grab a coffee, get inspired, and have fun.
Bon travels!! Xx
PS — Are You Booking a Trip Soon? Use My Booking Checklist!
These are the sites I use most to book my own trips. Using the links below is a great way to support Bon Traveler’s travel journalism at no extra cost to you. If you need help organizing your itinerary, get my free travel itinerary template here.
1. Book Your Flights
Use Skyscanner to find the best flights. It searches 100s of airlines and websites across the globe to ensure you’re not missing out on any route options or deals.
2. Book Your Accommodations
Use Booking.com for hotels and guest houses. They have the biggest inventory and consistently offer the best rates.
3. Book Your Tours & Experiences
4. Book Your Car
Use Discover Cars or Rentalcars.com to find the best car rental deals. I recommend comparing rental agency reviews on Google to ensure you are booking with the best company in that destination, as the reviews are often more accurate than the car rental search engines.
5. Don’t Forget Airport Lounge Access
Get a Priority Pass membership to gain access to 1,400+ VIP lounges and airport experiences worldwide. The Priority Pass app is the first thing I check when I have a layover. I’ve been a member for over a decade, and having a comfortable place to relax before and between flights makes air travel so much more enjoyable.
6. Don’t Forget Travel Insurance
I never leave the country without travel insurance. It provides comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong (ie. illness, injury, theft, and cancelations, etc.). I use it frequently for my travels to stay protected.
My favorite companies that offer the best coverage and rates are: