UK Lifestyle Blog

28 April 2014

Planning An Extended Trip

Michael Palin once said ''Once the Travel bug bites there is no known antidote, and I know I shall be happily infected until the end of my life''. Those same words ring very true for me too, there is just something so infectiously exciting and desirable about travelling. It could be a weekend trip in your own country or a long-haul trip to the other side of the world, both awaken the wanderlust in me.

If you have read some of my previous posts you will already know that I am planning a month long trip this summer around Europe. I will be doing lots of posts before and during my trip but I thought I would start off with the actual planning. For me, I started planning this trip months in advance, almost a year I think! However I am the type of traveller who likes to research everything from how to get to the hotel to where is best to eat. There are all different kinds of travellers out there, some can easily hop on a plane to an unknown destination and be content, others, like me, need a plan.

So here are my tips on planning a long trip:

1. Decide where you want to go-
 This could be very easy or very hard. First decide what part of the world you want to see; do you imagine yourself drinking coconut milk from your hammock in the Caribbean ? Does history and architecture get your pulse racing? There is so much to consider.

2. Make a list of ''must visit'' places-
 Once you know where in the world you want to go, it is now time to put pen to paper and decide on specifics, Rome or Venice? Bratislava or Budapest? Make a list of the places you really want to visit, then prioritise them in terms of ''must see''.

3. Timing-
  Another key aspect that will lead on to my next tip is timing, in particular trip length and season of travel. There are perks to all seasons, winter brings quieter cities meaning the queues are not as long for attractions and also prices are much cheaper. However many cities' restaurants and bars shut during the winter, less people means less ability to socialise with fellow travellers. Summer brings beautiful weather, plenty of open attractions, bars and restaurants. This gives you ample situations to get sociable. However, it also brings crowds, long lines and high prices. This is an important factor to decide upon when planning your trip. The next is the length of the trip, is it going to be one month? six months? Maybe even a year? This is extremely important to decide as you will need to know how long you want to spend in each ''must see'' destination.

4. Decide on a budget-
 The third point is vital for your budget, season and length of trip play an integral part in deciding upon your budget. There a plenty of ways to save money whilst travelling, such as choosing hostels instead of hotels, using alternative methods of transport, seeking where the locals eat and drink. All of these will help you decide what kind of budget you're going to have to save for. Factor for the things that will suit your travel style. For me personally I have used the major factors first; Travel, Accommodation and Food. On top of this I have budgeted for attractions and beauty purchases (priorities girls ;) ).

5. Research-
 Once all of these factors have been decided, get researching! There are plenty of travel blogs, websites and review pages that can help you get a feel for the place before you even leave your sofa. It is helpful to know of any national holidays in which prices and crowds may increase, or if there are certain days that museums and shops are shut. Get to know the place before you go and you will feel much more comfortable when you're there.

6. Get excited!-
 Don't get too caught up in the planning process and stress yourself out! remind yourself why you are taking this trip, and if you're like me spend time just imagining that gelato as you stroll in the sunshine through the winding streets of Italy.

Is there anything you would like me to expand on? Do you have any other tips I have

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