How do I Plan a Great Trip Abroad?
The first thing you need to know is the destination of your trip abroad. Once you have found a location, decide how long your trip will be. Knowing these two things in the first place is a huge help for budget management. Thoroughly research the destination you have chosen. There are plenty of sources around to use: internet pages, travel guides, travel blogs and forums. Try to find out as much as you can about the country/city you are traveling to, including information about the weather, local currency, food or tourist attractions.
Research possible health threats associated with the country you plan to visit. Some countries and regions (mostly tropical ones) have local diseases which can be a serious threat, especially to foreign travelers. In most cases a vaccine can take care of this and if so, it is highly recommended getting one in order to protect yourself.
Your research should also cover how safe the region you're going to visit is. Learn about the areas/neighborhoods you should avoid and what are the biggest threats for you.
Very importantly, you need to have the proper legal documents required for the destination you are traveling to. Most commonly this means you need a valid passport or ID and in some cases a visa. Inform yourself and prepare the documents in advance. Sometimes it can take up to a few months to obtain a visa for certain countries.
Now, if everything above has been checked, you can start working on a list of landmarks and tourist attractions you intend to visit. For each of the above do your best to find out the location (an exact address is best), opening hours and prices for visiting. Opening hours may vary depending on the season and other factors. Knowing the entrance fees will help you estimate a realistic budget.
At this point you are ready to start the process of booking a flight and accommodation. You can do this with help from a travel agency which makes your life easier, but the costs may be a bit higher. The alternative is to book everything yourself and this can be easily done online. You can book a flight from the website of a specific airline (if you prefer one) or from general flights search engine websites. Always look for deals first, you might get lucky and pay a discount price for the flight.
The same logic applies to booking accommodation. Probably the easiest way to do this is to use an online booking website. Do not throw yourself at the first hotel you see. Look for special deals, if you find any you may save some money. Always check the ratings and read the opinions of other travelers about the hotel you want to book (most booking websites have a user rating system). In some cases you have to pay for accommodation at the moment of reservation, in other cases you may pay when you arrive at the location. If this is important to you, choose the option that better fits your needs.
Before you start packing don't forget about the travel insurance! This type of insurance is intended to cover healthcare costs. You never know what can happen during a trip overseas so it is a very good idea to have such insurance. Keep in mind that in some countries medical services are very expensive while travel insurance is very cheap so it is worth having one.
OK, now you can start packing, but don't overdo it! It is better and easier for you to travel light. Too much luggage may be both annoying and uncomfortable, not to mention expensive (airlines usually charge a fee for each suitcase). Most likely you will do some shopping, so try to leave a bit of room in you luggage for things you will buy during your trip abroad. Don't forget to pack a photo or video camera with spare batteries and memory cards!
Finally, it is a good idea to let somebody know you are leaving on a trip overseas. Announce family members or friends and let them know the location of your trip, how long you will be gone and some contact details (phone number and hotel address).
Now all you have to do is enjoy your trip! A well-planned trip will spare you a lot of potential trouble and will let you take delight in the local wonders of your dream destination!
Edited by: Rajesh Bihani ( Find me on Google+ )