Rent a vehicle if you will need to get around a lot once you have reached your destination. If you’ll be doing a lot of sight-seeing in areas that are spread out, a rental car will be a better option than taxi services. Be sure you know your hotel’s parking policies and fees.
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.
While you can opt to buy a local SIM card, assuming you’ve got an unlocked phone, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Viber have made it easy to make international calls for free. Just remember to add your contacts in before leaving and hope your hotel Wi-Fi is strong enough to support a quick chat.
Okay, you’re inspired, prepared, and on your way to saving money for your trip. But before you go buy that flight or book that hotel, check for deals you might have missed. You may dream of Paris but maybe there are great deals to Berlin right now. Maybe you can get a seven-day cruise for 70% off, a package deal to Hawaii for the price of your flight to Paris, or 50% off sailing trips around Greece.
It doesn’t have to be on Evernote either. It can also be in a Google Doc, Excel sheet, the Notes app on your phone, or in your middle school diary. Every time a friend recommends a place to go, write it down. You can refer to this later when deciding where you want to go.
When heading to a foreign country, Google Translate is a must. Ideally, you should download the language you want ahead of time so you can use it offline. Same goes for Google Maps. You can select an area you want to save and navigate without internet connectivity.
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Another excellent and inspiring article. I don’t thank-you near enough for changing my thoughts of travel into dreams of travel, then plans, then actions, then reality. I’m still a budding traveler but it’s already changed my life and you helped me get here! Thank you for your amazing blog ?
Off-peak season. This is when the majority of tourists aren’t visiting a destination — typically due to weather (e.g., a ski lodge in the summer). You’ll normally find very affordable flights and accommodations during this time, but on the flip side, there’s usually a reason for it being “off-peak.” In some countries, off-peak can mean a monstrous monsoon happens nearly every day.
The best part is that it employs flesh-and-blood people who spend their days seeking out the best fares. It’s kind of like having a personal travel shopper. Airfarewatchdog does the research while you sit back and wait for the deals to rush in.
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.
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)?
List what is important to you in a hotel. Consider options like free breakfast, free wifi, in-room amenities like mini-fridge, microwave, and television, as well as options like having a good view or being near public transit lines.
Imagine you’ve finally made that trip to Paris you’ve always dreamed of. You’re taking in the sights, the sounds, and the people. You LOVE it. So you decide to buy yourself a nice meal to celebrate your first night — and it’s amazing.
If you are planning an overseas trip and don’t have a passport yet, give yourself enough time to apply – at least 6 weeks before departure and preferably as soon as you have booked your flights and accommodation.
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.
Holidays. You know what’s more expensive than vacationing in New York City? Going to New York City on New Year’s Eve. And if you’re budget conscious, you’re going to want to keep in mind the holidays when YOU travel. Depending on the destination, flights and hotels are going to be more expensive if it lands on a major holiday.
“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.”
[…] change depending on what days you select to travel. When searching for flights, be sure to check airline carriers’ direct websites because they often have lower fares. Additionally, I recommend only paying for a direct flight if […]
HostelBookers.com. With over 35,000 hostels in over 170 countries, HostelBookers should be your first stop when trying to find a good hostel. You’ll have no trouble finding an awesome (yet budget-friendly) option here.
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.
These are the brands that I recommend. They all have their pros and cons, but they are comprehensive and easy to use, and they cater to a variety of needs and interests. And while most customers will be searching for flights, hotels and rental cars, remember that many of these services can book cruises and activities as well.
Check your passport if it has enough pages for the countries you are going to. Some countries take a page. Check the validity as well. You are safe to have at least 6 months before your entry to any destination.
While you’re working to save money, get a travel credit card so you can earn sign-up bonuses to redeem miles and points for free flights and hotel stays. Most cards have bonuses of up to 50,000 points when you meet their minimum spending requirement (often $1,000 within a three-month period). That’s a lot of miles — enough for a free flight almost anywhere in the world.
A 2016 study conducted by Project: Time Off (an organization dedicated to improving people’s work culture) discovered that Americans lost 222 million unused vacation days over the course of the year due to pressures at work.
Though you might not want to copy other people’s photos, you can leverage Instagram collections like Matt and start compiling your own images from places you’d like to go. For information on how to exactly do that, check out Instagram’s page on it here.  

Plan A Vacation
Vacation Planning
Choose activities everyone can participate in. Make sure you think of all of your travel companions when booking activities. If you are traveling with children, be sure planned activities are kid-friendly. If someone in your group has health or dietary considerations, try to be respectful of those as you plan the trip.
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Thanks for a wonderful and informative post, Matt. I was reading step 8 (last minute deals) and wondering how much success one has with it. I am a ardent shopper myself and would always want to get the best deal out there. However, I wait too long (in hope of last minute deals) and usually end up paying more or compromising on the quality. Then, I get to listen to the lectures of my wife to buy early ?
All Apple Vacations’ air/hotel packages include roundtrip airfare, airport/hotel transfers, accommodations, hotel baggage handling, taxes and an Apple Representative in resort! Look for All-Inclusive or Unlimited-Luxury® and all your meals, drinks, activities, entertainment and more are included too!
If you are worried about how to plan an overseas trip because of visas, you can learn more about tourist visas for all countries and passport holders at Project Visa – then double check with each relevant embassy’s website!
Hey Tomasz, glad to hear my guide on how to plan your trip is useful. Yes, for immunizations always best to be done with plenty of time before your departure. Hope you make it to Ethiopia eventually, but best to be on the safe side.
Are you planning overseas travel or a domestic trip at home? Either way, the whole idea of taking a trip is to have a memorable time, to have fun and relax, and not to spend your whole vacation time worrying about money.
Print out hard copies and save your confirmation emails into a “folder” in your web-based email account. Consider leaving copies at home with a trusted person, and if traveling with a partner each carry copies.
This script addresses all of these points in the last paragraph. By showing that you’ve already gone the extra mile to make sure that your responsibilities will be taken care of in your absence, you allay your boss’s concerns that your work won’t get done.
Normally a woman would eat 2000 calories a day and on fast days you only eat 500 calories that is a 75 percent saving on food bills per fast day. Or a 21% saving on weekly food bills which for me works out about £5 per week saving or £260 per year to go in the holiday fund. Also just signed up for the British Airways American Express Credit Card who are giving 9000 Avios points if you spend £1,000 on their card in the first 3 months – thats enough for a flight from the UK to Europe – no monthly fees either, just pay off the card at the end of each month and ‘bingo’ you got yourself a totally free flight.
Family vacations to pet-friendly hotels, last minute travel, outdoor experiences, or holiday weekend getaways, you can be confident that every travel package you find on Expedia will be unforgettable. Travelers can narrow down their search for the perfect vacation package by theme or category. Book the vacation of your dreams today!
You’ll almost certainly need a credit card when traveling in order to book flights, rental cars, hotels etc online. Providers require this for the security deposit, plus paying with a credit card provides some insurance and security for you.
Learn to cook – I learned to cook while in college (a skill that has helped me ever since), and before I left on my big trip, I cut down on eating out to two times per week. I cooked a large dinner and then enjoyed the leftovers for lunch the next day, thus saving more money. Cook more, eat out less, and travel sooner.
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Once you know where you’d like to stay, be sure to specify needs like free in-room Wi-Fi or late check-ins to ensure you’re looking at the right options. When booking on sites like Airbnb or HomeAway, carefully read through the description to determine whether there’s a cleaning fee or extra person fee associated. Some hosts charge varying amounts extra which means a room costing $89 / night with no additional fees will end up cheaper for three days than $59 / night plus a $150 cleaning fee.
Sarah Pascarella has a master’s degree in writing, literature, and publishing from Emerson College, where she specialized in magazine writing and nonprofit publishing. She is a member of the North American Travel Journalists Association and the New England Writers association.
The quickest way to compare rental companies is to use an aggregator site that searches all the major car brands at once and checks which supplier offers the best prices for your chosen dates and location.
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.
“You don’t have to fly out of your own home city. I’m from Atlanta. However, when I flew out to India a few years ago I didn’t fly out of Atlanta. I booked a few different tickets that took me from Baltimore, then back to Atlanta, then to Paris, then to Bombay. I ended up coming back through my home airport — but it was cheaper than trying to find a flight from Atlanta to India!”