How to plan your next trip like a travel junkie
I’m a travel junkie – a person who has a serious case of wanderlust & can’t stop roaming the globe to live new experiences. Here are a few things I learned from my adventures that can hopefully help you plan your next trip more effectively:
1. What’s my next destination?
First things first… don’t think about the destination think about the journey! Yes, we all have that bucket list that we want to check off, but it’s not about where you’re going, it’s about what you will experience when you’re there.
When I chose Thailand as one of my destinations, I didn’t go there just to check it off my list, I went there because I wanted to go island hopping and swim in some of the clearest waters in the world. Think about how your journey will make you feel and quit being in a rush to pick, because this is the most exciting part of the whole planning process.
How do you pick where to go? Well, there’s no right or wrong way here… All you need is a little inspiration. If you’re looking for an adventure there’s no better way than to grab a map and start exploring areas you have never been to. Stop thinking only about the typical touristy locations and dig deep to pick something you would really enjoy doing.
Another great way is to follow travel bloggers that inspire you. What better way to know what to expect from a country than someone who has already experienced it? Follow The Jetsetter Diaries on Instagram for some inspiration.
Here are some amazing items that will give you some travel inspiration & help you pick a destination:
2. Choosing your flights
Booking the best flight is more complicated than you think… There isn’t one special magical trick and with so many search engines and booking sites out there, it’s easy to get lost in the clutter.I’m here to tell you to think outside the box!
Most people try their best to find the shortest and easiest way to get to their destination, but a true travel junkie would turn the journey into an adventure. Why fly direct to your final destination when you can pick a flight with a long layover in a city you wouldn’t usually think of visiting? Don’t be in a rush to get there… Take this opportunity to stop at cool places that you can experience on your way & save money while doing it!
You’re definitely wondering which search engine is the best. My favorite is Momondo.com. What I like about Momondo is that it searches all airlines & booking sites, even the budget airlines. It’s super fast, reliable & user-friendly. It also shows you which days are cheaper for your selected route in a clear bar graph on top of the page. If you’re flying to a destination and returning from a different one, then search multiple destination tickets, which are usually cheaper than if you book two one-way tickets.
3. Finding the best way to get around
Is flying always the best way to get around? Definitely not! It’s confusing to find the best route, especially in underdeveloped countries. The solution to all of this is an awesome website that I came across called Rome2Rio.com. No it doesn’t only get you from Rome to Rio! It’s an incredible search engine that gives you all transportation options from any location to the other (even landmarks!) along with the average cost for each one. Not only that, you enter the specific dates to get the exact costing and it redirects you to the official sites where you can book your tickets.
4. Picking your home away from home
Before you decide what kind of accommodation you’re looking for, think about the location. I personally love staying in the heart of the action, because I’m not there to look at the 4 walls of my room, I’m there to really enjoy every moment of my trip discovering new places.
If you’re traveling in a group renting apartments is a great option, because you all get to be under one roof & experience living like a local even if it’s just for a few days. For solo-travelers, you also have the option of renting a room in shared apartment. In many cases, the apartment owners will turn out to be great local guides & give you amazing tips and tricks. Another great option is staying in some funky boutique or design hotels for a more unique experience. One of my coolest stays was at Urban Spaces Ibiza, where each room is decorated by a different graffiti artist.
My recommended booking site: Weather you’re looking for a luxury hotel, apartment, hostels or affordable hotel options, Booking.com is the perfect search engine to book your accommodation. Here are 3 major reasons why I love booking with them: 1) Loads of “Free cancellation” or “Book now, pay later” options, which let’s you book and doesn’t charge your card until you check in 2) If you use Booking.com frequently, you can reach “booking genius” status, which opens up extra 10% discounts in several hotels among other benefits 3) You can view photos of every single type of room before you choose the one you like, which is not always the case with other booking sites.
If you’re looking for great apartment options: Airbnb – use this link to get $20 off: Airbnb
5. To book a tour or not to book a tour?
Here, there’s no rule of thumb. This all comes down to the type of traveler. Usually people traveling alone would enjoy the company of other friendly strangers, while others may prefer a more personalized itinerary instead of being stuck in a fixed schedule.What I do is get my ideas by visiting tour sites before I travel. This way I can have a list of must-see sights to experience when I’m there along with some reviews. In some underdeveloped places, you will need tours to get around and make the most of your days there, so in this case I would recommend booking local tours when you get there. This way you don’t have anything pre-booked and you can customize your trip as you go.
A great site that can help you out is Tourradar. It’s a search engine that searches several different tour sites and has great customer service. Use this link to get a special 5% off: https://www.tourradar.com/invite/JetsetPromo
When it comes to food some travelers don’t like to plan anything ahead of time. For me it’s a little different, because experiencing the local cuisine is one of the key factors in getting to know the culture. First, I would suggest asking friends or fellow travelers who have similar tastes and have been there before to give you’re their recommendations. Second, once you arrive to your destination, ask the locals where they eat. Make sure not to ask just anyone, because they might lead you to tourist traps. When you walk into a restaurant in Italy that’s full of Italians, you know you’re in the right place. Last but not least, when you’re roaming around, you will come across some wonderful places to stop and grab a bite. Just quickly check for reviews before walking in and don’t judge a book by its cover. A good restaurant review site is: Zomato.com
7. Other important things to consider before you travel:
- Check for visa requirements ahead of time & before you start booking anything.
- Have a packing list with all the essentials, especially if you’re going to a place with a whole different climate.
- Choose the right time to go. Some destinations are ideal to visit in specific seasons.
- Always carry some cash in case of emergencies.
- Book with a credit card that has travel insurance in case of delays & lost baggage.
- Have an offline map on your phone in case you get lost without an internet connection.
- Learn a few basic words of the local language. It will make it easier to mix with the locals.
Most importantly, put a big smile on your face and go with an open mind. The moments that make you get out of your comfort zone are the moments you will remember the most!