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Do you ever get stuck on how to plan a trip? I know starting out all the information and things to do can make it super confusing and overwhelming. So here are our 5 steps for how to plan your next overseas trip! We believe that you can dream big and as long as you have a plan and act on that plan you can travel anywhere!
Step 1 | Dream Big!
This is the fun step! Dream BIG! Have fun scrolling through Pinterest and Instagram looking at all the gorgeous photos. I know I started an overseas Pinterest board when I was in middle school… (I’ve been dreaming for a long time!) Try to have some focus (i.e. don’t aim for Bali, London and Canada all in the same trip), and start collecting these dreams and creating a list. This can be specific or general… “The Leaning Tower of Pisa” or “Rome”. Just have fun!
Step 2 | Map it out
Now you’ve got a list of things you’re wanting to see and do, get out a map and start mapping it out. For this you can sketch the country out on some blank paper or print out a map. Alternatively you could just buy a wall map such as these ones.
Add the major cities on it and put in on a pin board (this is great for looking back and admiring your work later on!). Then start putting your Dream List items on the map with pins. Once you’ve put pins in, think through the order that you would go to each of these places and mark the order out using ribbon. TIP: start with the major city in the country as that is most likely where you’re going to be flying in to0. The ribbon is great because it gives you a real visual idea of where you’re going! It also helps with the next step.
Step 3 | Budget and Research
Once you’ve got a rough idea where you’re going, what cities you’re stopping in at and what activities you’re hoping to do… start budgeting! I know it’s not nearly as exciting… but it is so necessary! This is the foundation for your trip! The more detailed and specific you can be here, the better your trip will be.
Start with breaking it down into 6 main spending areas and then research average costs for what you’re hoping for. Remember this is just to give you a realistic cost prediction for how much you need to have to go on your dream trip! You can absolutely readjust these as you go.
- TRAVEL. Think through and research what mode of transportation is best. What type of transportation are you willing to travel in? Is it a bus or hire car? Train or flight? Use the ribbon lines on the map for your major trips between cities.
- ACCOMODATION. Think realistically about what type of accommodation you’re wanting… 5 star hotels for a month is going to be expensive whereas hostels mean you’re sharing facilities and space… what works for you?? If you’re going for any length of time, you could consider WWOOFing.
- FOOD & DRINKS.
- VISAS & LICENSING. Are you going to be hiring a car or scooter? If so, you need to make sure your licence is valid. Also check with the country’s consulate or official website for what visa you need and when/where you can get this.
- GEAR & CLOTHING. Are you going somewhere wet or cold? You’re going to need some great boots and a jacket, which aren’t cheap! Put these things in the budget!
- SPENDING MONEY.
Step 4 | Start Saving!
Again… not so exciting. But remember this step means you get to go on your dream trip while not acquiring debt or spending beyond your means! You can do this!!!
Start with the total amount you already have saved and the total amount your trip is going to cost (add 10% extra to the total you calculated in Step 3). This leaves you with how much you still need to save for your trip!
[Total cost of trip] – [amount already saved] = [how much you need to save for]
With this amount break it down into how much you can realistically save each week and then calculate how long it will take you to save the total amount.
[how much you need to save for] / [how much you can save in a week] = [how many weeks it will take to save for your dream trip]
Have a look at our youtube video for some great tips to increase your weekly saving! It’s not as hard as you think!
Step 5 | Put it in the Calendar
Now that you know when you will have the money for your dream holiday you can start putting it in the calendar! Have a quick research for best months to travel to the country you are looking at, or at least what the weather is like during the time you’re able to go… you may want to put it off a couple of months in order to get snow or sunshine depending on what YOU want.
Also, now is the time to apply for leave. Once that’s approved you have your dates! Put in the beginning and end dates for when you’ll be flying in and out. Then start thinking about how long you want to be in each city. Don’t forget to take into consideration how long travel takes between places you want to visit. Is it a two hour drive or an eight hour train ride… you might need to leave a day just for travel. Here are some great calendars that would be great to plot your next holiday in.
Bonus Tip | Chat to people
Chat to people you know who have been to where you are dreaming of going. People who have actually been there are the best source of information about that country! They can tell you about things that were overrated and any scams or things to avoid. They can also give you hot tips, any things they did or places they visited that were amazing but not necessarily easily found on your google searches.
Don’t forget to have fun! This is an exciting time for you! After applying these steps you’ll be on your way soon!