With the new year come new hopes, dreams, and travel plans you want to tick off your bucket list. With so many destinations to visit, it's tough to make a choice and decide where you want to head to. Whether it's a trip with your family, friends, or someone special, here are a few tips that you'll find handy the next time you make travel plans to make the most of your trip.
Imagine planning a fun trip with your loved ones only to reach the destination and learn the weather’s not in your favor. Incidents like these dampen your travel plans, and you end up spending the majority of your time in a hotel room.
To avoid such situations, it's best to check the weather conditions before making reservations. While no weather app is 100% accurate, you can reduce the chances of bad weather by planning a trip when it's summer or spring at the place you plan to travel.
The weather in spring can be hit and miss, but it will no doubt be cheaper than booking a summer break. However, if you’re a sports fan, you can always kick back and enjoy some march madness bets from your hotel room if you need to wait for the rain to stop.
Set Aside a Budget
Making travel plans is fun, but you need to know how much it’ll really cost you to get there, spend a few days there, and enjoy the activities you’ve planned without running short on your budget. It’s easy to plan a travel budget these days courtesy of the internet. A rule of thumb is always considering a 20% leeway when planning since prices can fluctuate.
Another smart tip to follow when booking your holiday is to plan. The earlier you book flights and make hotel reservations, the cheaper it’ll be. As flights and hotels take up a major chunk of your travel budget, you’ll manage to plan better trips and potentially save money when booking in advance.
Make a Wise Choice
Every destination has something unique to offer, whether it’s the beaches, shopping, historic monuments, or being kid-friendly. You need to narrow down a destination based on what you’re looking for. There’ll always be multiple choices, so you can check the best activities to do at those destinations and compare your list, flight prices, and weather conditions to pick a location that’ll be affordable and fun to visit.
Duration of Your Trip
Another factor that determines the success of your trip is the duration of your holiday. If you’re taking a 7-day vacation and you’re traveling to a far-off destination or a different country with a different timezone, you’ll spend 2 - 3 days traveling and getting over your jet lag which leaves you with hardly any time to explore and enjoy the place.
A smart way to plan your travel is to take 2-3 short trips and one long trip each year. While your short trips can be a week or short city break, your long trips should be at least two weeks, so you can make the most of the destination without running out of time.
Pros and Cons List
It’s not uncommon for travelers to find a place of comfort in a particular destination. This isn’t always a bad thing, but it can interfere with your plans to travel to new destinations. If you’ve been to a particular place before and are unsure whether to revisit or try somewhere new, try making a list of pros and cons.
While it’s always exciting to travel to new destinations, re-visiting previous destinations can be nostalgic, and there’s no harm in going back. However, if your cons outweigh your pros, you might want to consider stepping outside your comfort zone and trying something new.
Check Travel Trends
Social media can play a huge role in helping you determine where you could take your next trip. Trending travel destinations are great to visit because you’ll always find something fun to do, and you’ll know what season it is best to visit, and when it will be busy. If you love making friends and enjoy learning more about different cultures, following travel trends can help you make the most of your travels.
You should also follow different travel groups on social media that will give you an idea of your next travel destination. Most of these groups will provide travel packages as well, which will take away one additional thing to do.
Monitor Flight and Hotel Prices
When booking your flights and making hotel reservations, don’t settle for the first offer you find. Both these prices fluctuate, and by booking certain days of the week to fly, you could end up saving huge amounts of money. It’s best to start monitoring the price for a few days, and check the trend in prices before eventually booking. This might seem like hard work, but spending time to compare prices each day before booking can help improve your travel budget a lot.
If you’re unsure how to do this, speak with friends or family members who know how to book the right flights. Some people know which dates to book flights and which hotels to pick based on the time of the year. This will help you save a lot of money.
When shortlisting destinations, take time to research everything about the place. As stated above, noting the pros and cons helps a lot. You should also look at other factors that may be important when picking your destination. For example, some people need to work, even when on vacation. A stable internet connection is not a luxury anymore - it's a must-have.
You should also consider what medications and other precautions you need to take when traveling. Some destinations may require you to take additional vaccines, while others may not allow you to carry your medication.
Get Everyone Involved
If you're unsure where to go, you can ask friends and family members for advice. Check if they have any destinations in mind or if they want to brainstorm ideas together. You should also consider kid-friendly destinations if you have young children.
More often, choosing a destination together helps ease the stress. When everyone's input is considered, it helps with decision-making and planning.
Check Your Bucket List
One of the best ways to choose your travel destination is to check your bucket list. Most people spend years compiling their bucket lists and conducting a lot of research when noting a destination on this list.
You can prioritize your trips based on budget, the time needed, and other factors (kid-friendliness). You should also consider why the destination was placed on your bucket list in the first place and if that reason is still valid.
Let 2023 be the year you travel and experience the joy of exploring new places. That doesn’t mean it has to be an exotic holiday that drains your bank account. Savvy travelers know to make the most of a budget holiday and convert it into a luxurious one. After all, it’s all about trailing new lands and learning something along the way. Don’t let the weather or time get in the way of your travel plans this year. Plan smart and travel-free.