As a travel blogger, it’s fair to say I travel a lot. I thought I’d use my experience as a frequent traveller to help you learn how to plan any trip like a pro, with ease, minimal effort, and maximum gain. I have compiled a winning list of travel resources to help you plan your next adventure.
Here you will find all the recourses I use to plan my trips in one easy guide. Plus, I’ve included some tips to help you on your way. Travel planning can be both exciting and stressful, so let’s get rid of the stress and make travel planning super simple.
Don’t forget to pin this post:
Decide where to go
Basically, there’s no point getting an 11-hour flight halfway around the world if you have to come home again in two days. If you have a longer time frame, you can be a lot more flexible on this. I always like to look at a map and browse for inspiration.
For example, If you live in Europe, you have a plethora of options right on your doorstep, all within easy reach by plane, bus, train or car. If you live in the USA, not only do you have so many states to choose from, but Latin America and Canada are both only a short distance away.
With so many options to chose from, picking just one destination can be daunting. You know what they say about the paradox of choice after all. I’ve put together a comprehensive guide detailing the best locations for each month of the year to help inspire you.
Think Rio Carnival in Brazil, Day of the Dead in Mexico, Hogmanay in Scotland or Holi in India. Why not plan a trip to coincide with a special event you’ve always dreamed of seeing? This doesn’t have to stop at traditional or cultural events, think sporting events too. Ever fancied heading to the Olympics or the Football World Cup?
Find a deal
Sometimes I just start researching with an open mind and let a good deal sway me on my next location. If you find crazy cheap flights somewhere, what have you got to lose? Even if the location is somewhere that’s not really been on your radar before, you could just surprise yourself and have the adventure of a lifetime. I’ll point you in the direction of how to find some of these good deals later.
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Flight comparison sights:
These are the sights I use to book all the time.
What I love about both of the above is the fare finder/ inspire me options. There you can put in the airport you are flying from and click everywhere and see how much it cost to fly to anywhere in the world.
Jack’s Flight Club is what I have signed up for. As a member, you get sent some fantastic flight deals straight to your inbox.
You can always travel hack. I love the Zero to Travel guide to travel hacking, which you can find here. Also, check out the Zero to Travel podcast whilst you’re there. It’s my absolute favourite travel-related podcast.
Sometimes booking directly will get you the best deal. I always book directly through Ryanair, who offer super cheap flights all over Europe. I have flown for less than £20 return with them several times. If you are looking to go between America and Europe, I recommend Norwegian Airlines where you’ll find some of the best deals.
Check out this book:
If you want to find out how to find cheap flights all over the world, my blogger friend Jen from Jen on a Jet Plane has written an amazing book, which you can get here. Trust me it’s worth checking out.
Every country will have its own local buses, so do some research before you go to find out the prices, routes, and timetables.
Check out Rome2Rio which will help you find the best routes and travel options to get to where you need to go.
Here are some bus services I have used in my travels and that I recommend.
In Europe –
FlixBus will get you all over Europe and can be super cheap. You can find a single ticket from London to Paris for under £15.
When travelling in the UK use National Express or Mega Bus.
In Mexico ADO buses are amazing.
If you’re travelling to and from the Czech Republic use the Regio Jet buses. I love how yellow they are.
Again, each country will have its own train network so it’s wise to do your research before your trip.
If you are going to Europe, I highly recommend looking into purchasing an interrailing pass. There are so many different passes on offer, including ones that will literally take you all over the continent.
Hotels: Book through Booking.com
Hostels: Book through Hostel World or on Booking.com
Rent a place on Airbnb
Alternative accommodation options:
Volunteer through Workaway for free bed and board.
Farm for free accommodation with Wwoof.
Look after someone’s house and pet while they are away with Trusted Housesitters.
Couchsurf and stay in someones home for free with Couchsurfing.com.
If you really have a tiny budget, you could consider wild camping.
Don’t skimp on the important stuff
Travel insurance is so important, trust me! I never go anywhere without it. There have been times it’s really saved me.
The thing with insurance is you gotta find a plan that works for you. The provider I recommend is World Nomads. They have so many options available and cover you for over 200 plus adventure activities, which is great for those of us who like to dabble in more dangerous pursuits.
The best part is you can get a quote quickly in the search box below. Thats one more thing you can tick off the list.
Check out these packing guides
Tip: remember baggage allowances!
Figuring out your itinerary
Sights and locations
After you figure out where you’re going, the next step is to figure out what you want to see and do.
Coming soon – a free printable itinerary planning sheet
This is the bit I love and that gets me super excited. It’s time to research research research. I always start with online resources.
Here is a list of all the online resources I use to research my trip:
Travel Blogs – look back through the Rayner En Route archive for some serious inspiration.
Here are some past guides I’ve written to get you inspired:
Pinterest– you can find so many resources and tips on Pinterest.
Instagram – I like to get a feel for what a place looks like, and note down any great Instagram spots.
Youtube– this also helps you get a feel for a place. See what food to eat, what to do and what a place really looks and sounds like.
Travel Forums– try Reddit or Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree
Facebook groups – my all time fave is the Girls Love Travel closed group.
After you’ve been online, now it’s time to browse the guidebooks and the travel magazines for even more information.
Take all you’ve got and make lists so you don’t miss anything out. Think about what you love to do whilst traveling. Maybe you make a list of top Instagram spots, places to eat, foods to try, local beers to drink or tours to go on.
These lists will help you plan your itinerary.
Events not to be missed
Further to all the usual sights of a place, there are always events going on. The question is, how do you find them? I’ll tell you how.
Check the local tourism website. They usually list a lot of events that are happing in your destination.
Search for events in your destination on Facebook. You’re bound to find some interesting events this way.
Once you’re there you can always ask around or look/ ask at your accommodation to see if there are posters or they can recommend anything. You can also visit the local tourism office once you arrive.
Places I recommend booking through:
My current favorite place to book tours through is Get Your Guide. You can search for locations all around the world it’s quick, easy, you know what you’re getting and you can do it all through an app on your phone.
Walking tours and bar crawls:
Sandemans Tours are a provider I recommend for free walking tours.
I always suggest researching to find out if you can find any bar crawl’s in your destination. These are a great fun way to meet new people and experience the local nightlife.
Now you are ready to book your next trip
Thank you for reading my post and I hope all of the above resources have helped you boss out the booking of your next trip.
Don’t forget to connect with me on social media, as I love hearing about your adventures.
Connect with me on facebook to keep up to date with new content.
You can follow my travels on Twitter.
Be inspired by my travel photography over on Instagram.
And get pinning some travel inspo over on Pinterest.
Thanks for reading,