Photo of cups, book on blanket and backpack in camping tent. View from inside

How to plan your travel abroad: 7 easy tips

When it comes to traveling, many people feel lost and usually get services from a travel agency instead of planning the whole tour on their own. They fear that problems that are difficult to solve without outside help may arise, such as buying the wrong airplane tickets, booking unsuitable accommodation, getting an issue with airport pickup, and much more. If you belong to these people, worry no more. As soon as some travel research is done, you will understand that independent travel is effortless to organize on your own, and you may enjoy it even more as you will do everything you want to. The advice in this article will guide you and help you to get the most out of your vacation, bringing back good memories only. 

Photo of happy young couple with suitcase in airport

1. Decide on a direction

First, you need to select the country and then the city you want to visit. It may be the destination you heard from your friends about and always wanted to try for yourself or something you saw on TV or online. Next, consider what type of recreation you prefer: an active vacation with sports, beach parties, hiking, or lazy soaking in the sun, roaming around the city, absorbing every bit of the place in your heart. Remember the cultural aspects of this country you would be interested to know. After you have decided on these, explore all the possible destinations that match your choice. You can study blogs, travel vlogs, and check popular hashtags on social networks. Considering how long your vacation is, you will know for sure which places you must see on your own and what places to skip for now or leave for another time. 

Photo of young friends resting on pier near lake. Camping season

2. Set a budget for your trip

The travel budget will depend on your choice of destination, your vacation length, and the level of comfort you decide on. However, the main list of travel expenses always includes the following:

  • Visa expenses if you travel to a country that requires visa payment.
  • Airport transfer to and from if you live in a smaller city that does not have an airport.
  • Purchase of suitcases, backpacks, necessary equipment, etc.
  • Hotel booking or bookings if you have multiple destinations.
  • Plane tickets. Your task is more than just buying a ticket on the first site. To have the best deal, you can download special applications or use website ticket search engines. Also, note that direct flights are usually more expensive than those with transfers. The plane ticket must be booked at least two months before departure.
  • Meals budget. While it may be a more comfortable option to get hotel lunches and dinners, consider where and when you may eat on your own and get a full taste of the country you travel to.
  • Local tours. Find out which places you can reach on your own without buying a special tour, or study travel applications for good deals on the tours.
  • Local transport. Find out about the traveling system in a country of your choice and buy the tickets for several days at once or a traveling card. It might be a good idea to rent a car or a motorbike.
Photo of young couple with cocktails in beach chairs at seacoast

3. Find out and process your visa if needed

This essential point should be remembered and taken care of in advance. There are many visa-free countries, but also those for which a visa is required. You can find out more ahead of time by checking online on the official embassy website of the country you plan to visit. In any case, your passport should be valid at the time of travel, with more than six months to expire. 

Photo of tourists with camera taking photo of blossoming tree on city street

4. Find and book accommodation

If you are used to traveling with the help of tour operators, then you have probably never encountered the independent search for accommodation abroad. Depending on your preferences, you may book a hostel, hotel, or apartment. It is better to monitor all the profitable options in advance and book online. You can also rent accommodation for the first few days, and when you arrive in the country of destination, look for a place that is more advantageous in terms of location and cost. Remember to check the reviews, actual location on the map, distance to the airport, etc.  

Photo of happy young woman with suitcase receiving key at reception desk in hostel

5. Plan your tours and routes

When planning your trip, investigate the city in detail: what to see, what to do, what to visit, what food to try, and where; then make an itinerary and the best routes. Once you know these, take care of your tours and tickets in advance. It is possible to make bookings online. Getting them on your own may save you a big chunk of your expenses.

Photo of happy young couple having fun at beach on sunny day

6. Take care of travel health insurance

We advise you not to neglect this step, as travel insurance covers a significant part of the costs in case of an accident. The cost of medical insurance will be based on how long you are going to rest and in which country. You can also make an online purchase, but in this case, make sure to save it on your device or print a copy and bring it with you. 

Photo of happy family near car trunk on sunny day. Road trip

7. Decide what items to bring with you

This point is no less important than all of the above, as it is easy to fill a suitcase with many useless things you will not use even once. Think carefully about what you will definitely need on your upcoming trip, and remember that most of the appliances you may require are available in a hotel, along with hygiene items. And if you miss something, you can always buy it in a regular supermarket. Be advised to check the weather for the duration of your trip to possibly include a raincoat, warmer clothes, or an umbrella. Traveling without big luggage but with hand carry only is much more convenient and budget-friendly; however, consider extra space for souvenirs or other travel purchases.

Don't be afraid to travel on your own. Although it is impossible to take into account and calculate everything, you will be able to learn and see everything already on the spot and add to your traveling experiences. We wish you good luck and safe travels!

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