Iberostar Hotels & Resorts are located on the world’s best beaches, and offer fine gastronomy, exceptional facilities, beautiful décor, impeccable service, and respect for the surrounding environment.
I’ve planned countless trips for myself (and even some for friends), and over the years, I’ve developed an efficient little checklist that ensures I don’t miss anything important (I like lists). I don’t want to get to my next destination and then realize I forgot something.
Research destination costs. While you may take more time after choosing a destination to find great deals on travel and hotel arrangements, doing a quick online search of approximate costs to travel to each destinations may help you narrow your choices based on your budget.
Travelmuse: Enter your departure city, season you want to travel, and budget, then your preferred trip themes, activities, and mode of transportation. The search results will be tailored to your preferences and prices.
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We also use Trip It – a cool app that organizes all your travel plans in one place such as flight bookings, hotels, car rentals, and you can even access your itinerary offline, while in flight or to avoid roaming charges when we travel abroad.
As a traveling family, if it’s an overseas trip and a long haul flight I like to plan my trip so we get to our destination as quickly as possible, with the most amount of comfort and facilities our budget allows!
When you are planning a trip sometimes your important documents get misplaced. Companies can lose your booking reservation or there is a communication breakdown between the price you paid and the expected service.
What do you suggest for how far you should “book ahead” in terms of flights. For example, I know I’ll be in Italy and Greece the end of June- end of July. What is the timeline for booking trains, flights, and inter-country travels (including boats for greece)?
While a lot of services track airfares and notify you when they rise or drop, Kayak boasts a “Price Predictor” that anticipates the fluctuation in price before booking. Remember, nothing on the internet can prognosticate perfectly, but Kayak’s metrics are a helpful gauge. Click here to learn all about Kayak.
Pack Up + Go plans 3-day weekend trips around the United States. All you have to do is tell us your budget and fill out a quick survey. We’ll take care of your travel + accommodation arrangements – all while keeping your destination a surprise.
And check-in online! Trust me, it’s no fun running through an airport with two young kids in toe because you are late arriving for check-in. To take the stress and hassle out of this, when possible we always check-in online.
Pick a destination out of a hat. If there is no compromise on the horizon, let fate choose for you. Write down all of the destinations and put them in a jar or a hat. Then have someone (ideally, an unbiased third party) pull a name out. That’s where you’ll go!
Nice guide Craig! New York City is really a great place for food, especially if you are a pizza lover! Been there last week and tried the pizza napoletana at Ribalta Plaza and it’s amazing! We stayed at The Skyline Hotel and it’s the perfect location for me and my family as it is near the city center and shopping, sighseeing, bars and restaurants are all nearby! Yeah I agree specially on your Step 4 that booking ahead of time is a must specially for busy cities in New York. Thanks!
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Great travel guide tips Graig! I am too planning for foreign tour somewhere in Europe. Not sure about the place, but either of Spain, UK or Sweden. I will make sure that I have tick all the boxes mentioned above.
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Hey Ashley, glad you found our tips for planning a trip useful. Yeah, a pre-paid travel card is not our favorite option and wouldn’t be our first choice, but we like to have multiple ways to access our cash whilst on the road. So just adding it in there for people to consider.
If you’re extremely flexible on time and place but not so much on cash, your best bet is to follow flight deals sites. There are countless of sites like Airfarewatchdog or The Flight Deal, but one of the web’s most raved-about services is Scott’s Cheap Flights. You can sign up for a free newsletter, or get a paid subscription for insider alerts to ridiculously cheap fares. (I got a roundtrip flight from New York to Japan and Singapore for under $500.)
You can use any ATM in the world and Schwab reimburses all the ATM fees at the end of each month. It seems that if there was an award for most favorite (and the least evil) bank ever it would probably win.
Sometimes you won’t find your favorite or most convenient airlines on these sites. Southwest Airlines doesn’t list its flights with any third party vendors, while American Airlines is missing from both Orbitz and Expedia. When in doubt, search your itinerary directly with airlines to ensure that you don’t miss a cheap rate.
Plan A Vacation
Decide why you want to travel. If you know why you want to leave home, choosing a destination will be easier. Determining whether your goal is to relax and unwind, have new adventures, see famous or ancient sights, or provide your children with lifelong memories will determine what kind of destination you should choose.
Packing cells are a lifesaver. In each packing cell, we roll up each item and arrange clothes based on type and season. And Caz loves her underwear organizer that rolls up and clips together like a little sleeping bag and sits in your suitcase neatly just like packing cells do.
Buy a travel guide. Even though they may be considered old-fashioned, a printed travel guide can be one of the best companions for your travel. They will have suggestions for activities and ratings for specific companies. The information in reputable guides is usually very accurate.
I loved your comments about the security provided by using credit cards when planning vacations. It definitely makes sense to me that being able to dispute a charge or be reimbursed for something you didn’t plan on would give you peace of mind. Some card providers might even have some sort of deal in place to help you get a good rate on your travels.
The rule of thumb for apps is you want to maximize the ability to use these apps offline in case you are in a remote, unserviced area or don’t want to splurge on an international SIM card / roaming plan. Before you go, here are some handy apps to keep in a travel folder.
So you know where you’re going and how long you’ll be there, but to really nail down how much money you need, your next task is to research the costs in your destination at the style of travel you want. Do you want to backpack, or would you rather stay in luxury hotels? How much are hostels, hotels, restaurants, and attractions? Knowing will allow you to estimate how much money you’ll need for your trip. You can begin with my travel guide section or simply buy a guidebook (which are really good for things like this).
Call the local tourism office. Most every country, state, and city will have a tourism office that’ll be more than happy to help you with your travel plans. Simply ask them, “When’s your peak season months?” (For a comprehensive directory of tourism offices, follow this link.)
“There are certain cards that will refund your ATM transaction fee. Charles Schwab’s debit card is a great example,” Naveen says. “In fact, I have a friend who keeps a certain amount of money in his Schwab account so he can use it if he’s abroad or in Vegas or something since the fee is refunded to your account by the bank.”
In my opinion, these apps are the bare minimum you should have before taking off, but for specific interests like food spotting or finding locals to hang out with, BonAppetour has a great list for a variety of needs.
Friends or family may have a guest room that you can stay in. If you vacation somewhere that you have connections, ask around. You may be surprised at the hospitality of even somewhat distant acquaintances.
We all want ease and convenience when traveling, especially when it comes to accessing our money. We also want to reduce our bank and transaction fees. The more money we keep in our own pockets, the more we have to spend on travel.
Plan a surprise. If you are planning a vacation, it’s likely that you are making plans for yourself and other people. It may be fun to plan a surprise—a nice dinner or an exciting excursion—for someone who is traveling with you.
Next Vacay. This is Naveen’s (one of our Zero To Launch graduates) very own site that helps travelers find the best deals. Next Vacay automatically crawls through various airfare sites to find you the cheapest flight possible.
Major credit card companies like Visa, Mastercard, and American Express offer apps that can help you find local ATMs, prepare a mobile wallet, or convert currencies. Just be sure to notify your banks if you plan on using the cards abroad so you’re not unexpectedly locked out.
I was about to plan a trip for myself and just when I found this. Thank you for providing such descriptive and well-elaborated tips. I would definitely keep them in mind while planning a trip for me now.
Consider all transportation needs. Reaching your destination is only one transportation consideration. Once you have arrived in the area, you will need to figure out how to get from the airport, train station, or bus station to your hotel. You may also have plans to travel locally while on vacation.
Kim check out airbnb.com it’s awesome for apartment and room finding and the best part is that there are real reviews so u can see if u would feel safe in that environment . Also really affordable :))
This is the most completely guide about traveling I´ve ever read in my life. Thanks for share it with us. Certainly planning a travel is always a hard task, in fact, my girlfriend and I are thinking in go to Cuba, we want to meet the communism before falls down ?
“If you’re willing to go to a different airport, you can save a TON of money,” Naveen says. “If you want to go to say Paris, but there other cities in Europe on sale like Dublin, you can then take a flight to there and hop on over to where you want to go in Europe via train or plane.”
Hi Craig and Caz, since contacting you for planning advice last year we are now booked and on our way to Australia in just over a week. We are doing the Sydney to Brisbane drive over 3 weeks by hire car. I’ve planned most of our time using your brilliant ideas but just wondered what you would advice for travel around Sydney, we are there for 4 days staying in surry hills, no car hire until we leave Sydney. So I was thinking of getting us all the opal card for traveling around, or would you suggest the hop on and off tour bus, we are a family of 4, 3 adults & a 12 year old, planning on doing the bondi to coogee walk, circular walk and some ferry cruises to Manly, darling harbour etc. We live in rural England so are not particularly city wise, lol. Would love to get your advice. Best Wishes. Nicky