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Traveling Secrets: How I Plan Vacations – No Travel Agents Involved.

Posted on 21 February 2018 by admin (0)

If you are reading this post,  I reckon you are soon traveling somewhere and being a DIY (Do-It-Yourself) type of person like me, you can’t/don’t want to get involved with a travel agent in planning out this trip. But you are completely overwhelmed with this overflow of information ranging from apps, web portals and travel guides on the internet.

Don’t worry, I’m here to help you by breaking down this planning process into easy steps so that you can devour it without any stress and have some fun while you are at it. This will not only help you to have a wonderful and relaxed traveling experience by avoiding any last-minute hassles but also result in saving you time and money.

So, let’s jump straight into it:

The first and most important step is to decide when and where you want to go?  Maybe it’s a work trip during this weekend, 

maybe you want to go celebrate the new year in Dubai ? or maybe you want to spend a well-deserved vacation in Hawaii after hectic working year.

I would recommend you that even if you are going for a business/work trip make sure to include some fun time in it as well. This helps to accomplish your work goals and keeps your mind fresh and energetic with an enjoyable and a refreshing traveling experience.

If you want to go for a vacation, start by deciding a destination. Being vague will result in wastage of time and research efforts. For example, planning to visit Rome or Venice is quite easy as compared to planning to visit Europe. Select destination according to the purpose of the visit. For example, visiting a busy metropolitan on a honeymoon is not a sensible way to go about it.

The next step is to decide the duration of the stay. Is it a short trip (a week or few weeks) or a long trip (more than 6 months) ? Deciding the duration of the stay will help you to calculate and minimize costs. This will also enable you to set a budget for your trip and make estimates about what you have and what you need to save.

After deciding the location and duration, continue your planning by finding out Visa requirements for the destinat

ion you have chosen to visit along with checking out the validity of your travel documents (passports usually). Almost all countries have online web portals that provide detailed information about visa acquisition process, requirements, costs and general timeframes about the visa processing durations. As far as your passports are concerned, make sure they have a validity of at least 6 months.

There are also certain countries that require you to get proper vaccinations or tests before entering their territories. For example, the UK requires that people coming from sub-continent get tested for Tuberculosis and attach the test report along with the visa application. Make sure you don’t miss any country-specific requirements when applying for a certain visa.

Now comes the boring part, the cost calculations. Don’t worry it doesn’t take much time and actually helps you to cut costs and you may use that money for savings or spend them on extra fun activities. Cost calculations help you to get a clear idea about how much you will spend and where will you spend it. It also enables you to select your travel destination. Not everywhere costs the same, there are places in the world you can survive for not more than $5-10 a day and then there are those where you need $200-300 per day. Therefore cost calculations help you to decide where to go and  set up the required budget for the trip.

You can also reap huge benefits and cut costs by looking out for great deals such as travel discounts on new routes, free withdrawal ATM cards, and travel reward cards (sign-up bonuses to redeem miles and points that add up to give free flights).

It is very advisable to book your flights 2 months in advance. Many airlines offer great discounts for booking this much ahead of time (more savings for you, eh?).

Knowing you have an accommodation at the place where you will land is a huge peace of mind. Use Google to search through unlimited numbers of online portals that offer a variety of accommodation options depending upon your budget. Always book a hotel room in advance for a few days so that if you plan an extended stay, you can always look for more cost-effective alternates while you are there. For example, maybe you can rent a travel van if you are planning to travel continuously through a country on an eco-tour and don’t want to stay in one place.


Depending on your destination, search out for fun activities the place has to offer. It is best to plan for them beforehand as it would be very unfortunate to reach a place and find out, you can’t afford it.

The last step is to pack for the occasion. Everybody packs according to their own needs but I can list out few essential items here:

  • Clothes:
  • A dress shirt
  • Pair of jeans
  • Pair of shorts
  • Some T-Shirts and Casual Shirts.
  • Socks.
  • Boxer shorts
  • Towel etc.
  • Medication:
  • Band-Aid
  • Anti-biotics
  • Prescribed Anti-bacterials etc.
  • Gear:
  • Camera
  • Laptop or tablet.
  • Mobile Phone
  • Chargers etc.
  • Misc:
  • Small travel docs carry bag
  • Lock keys etc.

Don’t leave anything to chance by rechecking your documents and luggage before starting your trip.

So, there you have it, a complete and simple guideline for planning a trip. Now, get out there and have some fun.