Before I start describing my travelling adventures, there’s something you need to know.
I’m a planner. I’m a project manager and I plan. That’s what I do. I also read a ridiculous amount of blogs, social media advice pages, books, street signs, maps, cereal labels…. pardon, I digress.
I believe that people travel differently and all of us have different ways of doing things. Some of us prefer to book a flight somewhere and figure it out as they go. Others prefer to partially book their trip, some will call a travel company and have it all planned for them etc.
I’m a different type of traveller. I work full time and my time for travelling is limited, which means that when I do travel I will always try to make the most of it. In order to make the most of it and reduce stress levels on the go, I research beforehand and I plan it in advance.
One of the most common things I saw while travelling in Europe this April was people on their laptops in the hostel trying to figure out what they wanted to do that day, which means they were already missing out because they were not enjoying the city.
I’m slowly finding my own method of doing things and you will see me talking a lot about spreadsheets…. I’m proud of them (a bit too proud =p) and they contain a lot of information.
- Research and write it down.
- Everything and anything. Just write it in a notebook, a word document, on your phone etc. Any information, blog, reference, bloggers names, websites… if you think they might be useful when you’re thinking about your next trip, keep a record. (below is my ‘chrome ‘travel window’. Some of these things will become irrelevant, but until I decide that, they shall remain open….)
- Draft plans
- These are the beginning of your final trip plan. I usually have a spreadsheet where I’ve got different tabs for schedules, budgets and ideas. It’s always work in progress until I start booking stuff. (below is my 2017 travel spreadsheet)
- Set it and book it!
- After your research and the provisional plans you should have a more clear idea of how your trip will pan out. Time to book it all, keep records of what you need and don’t forget to take it with you. (below is my Europe 2017 budget and schedule for 2weeks)
Yes…it takes time and it’s hard work but honestly….half the fun is in planning it all, at least for me.
Having said that….I’ve always given myself some time in each place to improvise and be spontaneous. It just meant that I didn’t have to spend hours stuck in the hostels looking for stuff to do! I got to do everything I wanted and had tons of free time to meet new people and do things I had not planned at all!
If you’ve made it through the entire thing…. the last bit of advice.
Crazy Unicorn girl advice:
- Ask for advice and read read read!
- Try different ways and find Your own way of travelling (YOWT)
- We are all looking for different things, so don’t allow anyone to tell you you’re silly for planning it all yourself or for preferring to book it all directly with an agency