18 (Straightforward) Step Information on Planning Your Journey in 2020

planning a trip overseas

Up to date: 02/24/20 | February 24th, 2020

I keep in mind after I began planning my first journey world wide. I had no thought what I used to be doing.

Once I determined to give up my job and journey the world, I walked right into a bookstore and purchased Lonely Planet’s Southeast Asia on Shoestring. Shopping for that guidebook was my first step towards long-term journey. It made the journey appear extra actual, extra tangilbe. It made all of it appear doable.

Whereas useful, the ebook didn’t precisely put together me for planning a visit world wide. Again then, there weren’t actually journey blogs, guides, sharing economic system web sites, and apps like there are at present. I used to be excited and decided — however I used to be misplaced. I simply needed to determine it out as I went, hoping I didn’t miss something necessary.

Journey planning generally is a daunting process. The place do you start? What’s the 1st step? What’s step two? What’s step three?

It’s straightforward to get overwhelmed, particularly once you haven’t carried out one thing like this earlier than — and particularly contemplating simply how a lot info there may be on the market lately. Blogs, social media, and guidebooks have by no means been extra plentiful. There’s a firehose of knowledge on the market which might typically make the duty of planning a visit much more difficult and overwhelming.

After a decade of touring the world, I’ve deliberate numerous journeys and holidays for myself, associates, household, and even group excursions. At first, it was trial by fireplace and I realized a variety of classes the exhausting manner. Nonetheless, that helped me develop an environment friendly guidelines that ensures I don’t miss something necessary in the course of the journey planning course of.

In any case, I don’t need to get to my subsequent vacation spot after which notice I forgot one thing. And neither do you!

There’s a variety of info on this web site (and much more info packed into my ebook), however one query that comes up ceaselessly is, “Matt, how do I put this all collectively? How do I plan a visit?”

In a unbroken effort that will help you get out the door and into the world, I’ve created this step-by-step information on how you can plan a visit. It really works for any form of journey and irrespective of how lengthy you’re going for! Simply observe this guidelines and also you’ll be off very quickly!

If you wish to bounce forward, merely click on on any of the hyperlinks above.

The right way to Plan Your Subsequent Journey

Step 1: Determine The place You Need To Go

a map of the world

Defining the place you need to go units a objective to work towards. Lots of people speak vaguely about journey. They by no means say the place they’re going, simply that they are going. Selecting a vacation spot is immensely necessary, because it provides you a particular objective.

It’s loads simpler to mentally get behind “I’m going to Paris in the summertime” than “I’m going to Europe” or “I’m going someplace.” Not solely will your journey turn into extra concrete for you and simpler to decide to, however it can make planning simpler as properly…as a result of you already know what to work in direction of. Get particular along with your plans. Get detailed. The extra targeted and concrete your objective, the better will probably be to truly attain it.

Assets for choosing your journey vacation spot:


Step 2: Determine the Size of Your Journey

How a lot does it value to journey? That relies upon!

With out understanding how lengthy you’re going away for, I can’t reply that query. And it’s a query it’s essential to reply so you can begin planning!

With the intention to determine how a lot it’s essential to prevent’ll have to understand how lengthy your journey can be.

Are you going away for per week? A month? A 12 months?

The size of your journey is a big consider figuring out how a lot cash you want. Spend a while mulling that over till you’ve your reply.

For instance, after you say “I’m going to Paris this summer season,” add “for X days.” That manner you can begin to slender down simply how a lot cash you’re going to want to avoid wasting. “I’m going to Paris for 10 days” is a visit that you may plan for. It’s an attainable objective.

Need to find out how I journey the world free of charge? GET MY FREE GUIDE


Step 3: Will you Journey Solo or Go With Somebody?

One of many greatest selections you’ll have to make is whether or not you’re going to go alone or journey with somebody. Each are nice choices — however they’re decidely completely different decisions too.

Touring solo gives you the liberty to go anyplace you need. No compromising. You simply go wherever the wind takes you! Nonetheless, it means you need to do all of the planning your self — which might appear daunting in the event you’re new to journey planning.

Touring with somebody means you’ve somebody to assist plan the journey with you. It’ll make researching your itinerary quicker and also you’ll have somebody to spend time with on the highway. Nonetheless, it additionally means you’ll have to compromise typically. Maybe on meals or actions or lodging. It’ll simply rely on you and the particular person you journey with.

On the finish of the day, there isn’t a improper reply.

Personally, I really like the liberty of solo journey. However I’ve had some unimaginable journeys with associates too. Chances are high you’ll get to do each through the years. However for now, what is that this journey going to be? Solo or with somebody?

Step 4: Analysis Your Prices

So you already know the place you’re going and the way lengthy you’ll be there, however to essentially nail down how a lot cash you want, your subsequent process is to analysis the prices in your vacation spot on the model of journey you need.

Do you need to backpack, or would you relatively keep in luxurious resorts?

How a lot are hostels, resorts, eating places, and points of interest?

Understanding will assist you to estimate how a lot cash you’ll want in your journey. Right here is how you can analysis prices:

  1. Purchase a guidebook.
  2. You’ll be able to start with my journey information part.
  3. Ask on group web sites like our discussion board and Fb group or Lonely Planet.
  4. Google costs for particular belongings you need to do.

You don’t have to do greater than that. There’s a lot info on the net that in the event you go down the rabbit gap of overplanning, you’ll get misplaced and confused by the firehose of knowledge. Keep on with these 4 issues and also you’ll be set!

In our instance, if you’re going to Paris for 10 days and want $75 USD a day (not together with your flight), you already know it’s essential to save $750 USD (although spherical as much as $800 USD because it’s good to have further) in your journey.

For those who have been to journey world wide for a 12 months, you’d want $50 USD a day.

Listed here are another insightful posts that may show you how to higher estimate your prices:

  • 5 Methods to Make Your Cash Final When You Journey
  • The right way to Know the Journey Information You Discover is Legit
  • How I Analysis My Solo Journey Locations

    Step 5: Begin Saving Cash

    saving money for travel in your piggy bank

    Earlier than you can begin saving cash, it’s essential to understand how a lot you’ve and the way a lot you’re spending. Begin to write down all of your present bills so you’ll be able to decide the place you might be spending cash — and how one can reduce.

    Folks bleed some huge cash day by day by way of small purchases: a espresso right here, a snack there. All of it of that provides up. With the intention to make adjustments to your spending habits, you first want to know them. Making a listing will just do that. It’ll additionally put your monetary wants into a greater perspective.

    For instance, in the event you want $2,000 USD for the journey you’re taking in eight months, meaning you solely have to avoid wasting $8.33 USD per day. Couldn’t you discover a solution to save $Eight USD per day? Heck, your every day espresso is most of that!

    For those who’re struggling to economize, listed below are 22 methods to chop your bills and lower your expenses for journey. It will show you how to get began and on the highway to saving cash very quickly!

    Step 6: Get a Travels Rewards Credit score Card

    travel credit cards

    When you’re working to economize, get a journey bank card so you’ll be able to earn sign-up bonuses to redeem miles and factors free of charge flights and resort stays. Amassing factors and miles from journey bank cards is how I get tons of free flights, free hotle stays, and free journey perks each singel 12 months — and with none further spending too!

    Nowadays, most playing cards have welcome gives of as much as 50,000 factors once you meet their minimal spending requirement. That’s sufficient miles for a free flight virtually anyplace on this planet!

    If you’d like a free flight, join the playing cards that assist with that. If you’d like free resort rooms, get a resort card. Both manner, join a journey bank card and begin incomes factors at present. So long as you’ll be able to repay your month-to-month steadiness, you’ll get free journey credit score.

    You don’t want to enroll in very many playing cards both; decide one or two and give attention to these. Do that the second you resolve you need to journey. Don’t wait — ready equals misplaced miles, which suggests much less free journey.

    Amassing factors and miles (which known as “journey hacking”) is what all of the specialists do to chop their prices and journey longer. It’s what has saved my prices down and me on the highway for thus a few years.

    I’m at all times doing this so I can journey for as low cost as doable.

    For extra info on journey hacking and journey bank cards, take a look at these posts:


    Step 7: Swap to No-Price ATM Playing cards

    When you’re overseas, you;re going to want cash. Whereas many international locations will settle for bank cards, within the majority of nations money remains to be king. Meaning you’ll want to make use of ATMs to withdraw the native foreign money. And that additionally means you’re going to get dinged by ATM charges.

    For those who’re simply away for per week or two, paying a number of {dollars} in ATM charges isn’t the top of the world. However in the event you’re away for an extended interval, these charges will add up and chew into your journey finances — a finances you’ve labored exhausting to develop. Don’t give banks any of your hard-earned cash.

    How? By utilizing a no-fee ATM card.

    I take advantage of Charles Schwab, however there are many different banks (don’t neglect to test your native banks) that don’t cost ATM charges. Moreover, you’ll be able to be part of a financial institution within the International ATM Alliance.

    By utilizing a no-fee ATM card you’ll be able to keep away from these pesky ATM charges, leaving you extra money for what it was supposed for: journey

    Right here’s precisely how one can keep away from ATM charges whereas touring.

    Step 8: Keep Targeted and Impressed

    When you get nearer to your objective, just remember to preserve feeding your need to journey. Journey planning might be exhausting and overwhelming — particularly in the event you don’t have assist out of your family and friends. It will probably usually get discouraging and really feel out of attain at instances.

    Fortunately, there are tons of the way to remain targeted and preserve your spirits excessive due to the superb group we have now on this web site. Listed here are some inspiring journey tales to assist preserve you impressed to journey:

    Moreover, you’ll want to be part of our on-line journey group The Nomadic Community. Not solely will you discover assist (and tons of ideas) on-line, however we additionally host common in-person occasions all world wide. These are a good way to get impressed, meet different superior vacationers in your space, and get journey recommendation.

    Step 9: Examine for Final-Minute Offers

    Okay, you’re impressed, ready, and in your solution to saving cash in your journey. However earlier than you go purchase that flight or ebook that resort, test for offers you may need missed. It’s possible you’ll dream of Paris however possibly there are nice offers to Berlin proper now. Or possibly you may get a seven-day cruise for 70% off, a package deal deal to Hawaii for the value of your flight to Paris, or 50% off crusing journeys round Greece.

    Nowadays, there may be at all times a deal to be discovered — particularly in the event you’re versatile along with your dates and/or locations. Some deal web sites value trying out are:


    Step 10: E book Your Flight

    taking off into the sunset

    After you’ve used your journey bank card and obtained your sign-up bonus, use your miles to ebook your flight. It’s tougher to make use of miles lately attributable to much less availability, so ensure to ebook early to make sure you get your required flight.

    Luckily, there are nonetheless some ways to keep away from being the particular person on the flight who paid essentially the most for his or her ticket. My favourite websites for locating low cost airfare are:

    • Momondo – A terrific platform for locating actually low cost flights.
    • Skyscanner – Skyscanner is among the greatest web sites for looking a number of locations on the identical time.
    • Google Flights – Like Skyscanner, Google Flights is nice for open searches to a number of locations.
    • Kiwi – Kiwi is nice for locating lesser-known routes or smaller carriers.
    • AirTreks – AirTreks focuses solely on multi-destination RTW tickets.

    For one of the best offers, ebook your flight about two-three months upfront. Listed here are two articles on how you can rating an affordable flight:


    Step 11: E book Your Lodging

    luna's hostel in panama city

    For those who’re touring for below two weeks and have a set schedule, be at liberty to ebook lodging throughout your journey if it gives you peace of thoughts (or in the event you’re visiting in the course of the excessive season).

    For journeys longer than two weeks (or if you’re going to be touring long-term) simply ebook your first few days. That may guarantee you’ve a spot to go on arrival. As soon as there, you may get insider recommendation out of your resort/hostel employees in addition to different vacationers. You’ll be able to then use that data to plan your subsequent steps.

    When you can ebook greater than your first few nights, you would possibly find yourself wanting to vary your plans when you land. I favor having flexibility, which is why I at all times simply ebook my first few nights and go from there.

    Listed here are my go-to websites in terms of discovering one of the best offers on lodging:

    • Hostelworld – Hostelworld has the most important number of hostels and is my go-to web site for locating inexpensive hostels on-line.
    • Agoda – Agoda has one of the best outcomes in the event you’re heading to Asia and the widest number of properties within the area.
    • Reserving.com – Reserving.com is one of the best general platform for locating finances resorts and guesthouses. They’ve the most important stock and greatest offers.
    • Airbnb – The go-to web site for personal rooms and flats owned by locals.

    For those who plan on staying in a variety of resorts throughout your journey, join a resort bank card earlier than you depart. Playing cards like Marriott’s Bonvoy Boundless provide an enormous welcome bonus, 6x the factors on resort stays, and a free resort keep yearly. Every time I keep in a resort, it’s as a result of I’ve earned it with free factors!

    For those who’re on a good finances otherwise you need to join with extra locals furing your tarvels, contemplate becoming a member of paltforms like Couchsurfing or Be Welcome. These communities enable vacationers to stick with locals free of charge as kind of cultural alternate.

    Lengthy-term vacationers may also attempt housesitting or WWOOFing in addition to they each provide free lodging (in alternate for both pet sitting or farm work respectively).

    Step 12: Plan Your Actions

    plan the perfect adventure overseas

    To ensure you have budgeted correctly, define the main actions you need to take pleasure in throughout your journey and the way a lot they value. Make any last-minute changes to your financial savings so you’ll be able to make sure you find the money for. This may even assist you determine in the event you want any reservations in your chosen excursions or actions.

    Search on-line for reductions as properly. Whereas some international locations provide cheaper costs in particular person, others give reductions to those that ebook early/on-line. Analysis which is which in your itinerary so it can save you cash.

    For shorter journeys, you can even ebook your actions upfront to make sure you get tickets. For longer journeys, ebook as you go.

    Moreover, earlier than you allow dwelling, have a tough thought of what actions are priorities for you. That manner, in the event you run out of time or cash, you’ll be able to focus in your prime actions so that you don’t miss out. Additionally, ensure to double-check that there are not any holidays or different obstacles that may stop you from sure actions as properly.

    Step 13: Promote Your Stuff

    If you’re happening a long-term journey (six months or extra), promote your stuff with the intention to earn more money in your journey. Begin doing this about 60 days earlier than you allow. Some websites to make use of are:

    • Gumtree – An internet labeled web site with a spotlight within the UK and Australia.
    • Amazon – The largest on-line retailer on this planet.
    • Craigslist – On-line international classifieds which have each native and international attain.
    • eBay – One other international on-line labeled web site.
    • Fb Market – Nice for locating individuals close to you (so that you don’t have to ship your objects).

    For those who aren’t going to be gone that lengthy, skip this step. If you’re going away long-term however need to preserve your stuff, transfer it to a buddy’s home or preserve it in storage. A very good storage firm within the US is Public Storage. It’s one of the crucial inexpensive choices on the market.

    Step 14: Automate Your Payments

    Eliminate your mail, go paperless, and arrange on-line invoice cost in your recurring payments to make sure you received’t miss any whereas abroad. If you’re nonetheless going to get paper mail, use a service like Earth Class Mail, which can accumulate and scan your mail for you. (If you’re happening a two-week journey, you don’t really want to fret about this, so you’ll be able to skip this step, too.)

    When you have the choice (and don’t need to pay for a mail service), you can even have all of your mail despatched to a buddy or member of the family.

    Moreover, you’ll need to ensure you cancel any cellphone plans you’ve or change your plan to at least one that’s extra travel-friendly. T-Cellular is nice for vacationers happening journeys below Three months. For any journeys longer than that, you’ll need to cancel your plan and simply purchase SIM playing cards overseas. That can be less expensive!

    Step 15: Inform Your Card Firms You’re Touring

    Irrespective of how lengthy you’ll be gone, it’s a good suggestion to let your bank card corporations know you can be abroad; that manner any transactions that you simply make aren’t flagged as fraudulent and your card is much less prone to be blocked. There’s nothing worse than having to sit down on the cellphone along with your bank card firm as a substitute of having fun with your trip.

    Additionally, ensure you have a number of bank card and debit playing cards with you. That manner, ought to one card get flagged, misplaced, or stolen you received’t be left excessive and dry. I’ve misplaced playing cards, had them stolen, and had them flagged many instances through the years. With out a backup, I might have been stranded — so plan forward and convey some backup playing cards simply in case!

    Step 16: Pack!

    pack your bags

    Time to pack in your journey! It may be tempting to need to convey every little thing with you “simply in case” however in terms of journey, much less is extra. You don’t want 5 sweaters or Eight pairs of sneakers. You will get by with much less, I promise. it’s really fairly liberating when you get used to it!

    I journey with a 40L REI bag after which a smaller day bag.

    Until you’re heading to a number of climates and want cumbersome winter hear, you don’t want a large 70L bag stuffed to the highest. Right here’s my advised packing listing that will help you take simply the correct amount of stuff and keep away from overpacking (right here’s a listing for feminine vacationers as properly).

    Whereas what you pack will rely on the place you’re going, do not forget that you don’t have to pack every little thing you personal. You should buy belongings you want on the highway. You are able to do laundry abroad. On the finish of the day, you need to carry every little thing you convey. So convey much less!

    There are a number of further tiems you would possibly need to pack past your on a regular basis garments, although. Some issues I prefer to convey with me are:

    Moreover, ensure you convey any prescriptions with you so you’ve sufficient throughout your journey. If that’s not possible, convey a docs observe and prescription with you so you’ll be able to fill it overseas.Step 17: Purchase Journey Insurance coverage

    Whereas lots of people suppose, “I’m wholesome, I don’t want journey insurance coverage. I received’t get sick,” journey insurance coverage is rather more than simply medical safety. It covers you when your digicam breaks, your flight is canceled, a member of the family dies and you need to come dwelling, or if one thing will get stolen.

    Sure, it’s an added expense. Nevertheless it’s at all times higher to be protected than sorry. I by no means depart dwelling with out it as a result of I’ve seen first-hand simply what can occur on the highway.

    I by no means thought I might pop my eardrum whereas I used to be scuba diving in Thailand or break my digicam in Italy.

    I didn’t know I might get stabbed in Colombia.

    My buddy by no means thought he would break his leg mountain climbing.

    One other buddy didn’t count on her father would die and he or she must fly again dwelling.

    Sadly, dangerous issues can occur once you’re touring. True, these occasions are few and much between. However they will value tens of thousnds of {dollars} to deal with by yourself. For those who’re not ready to pay out of pocket, purchase journey insurance coverage.

    That will help you determine one of the best plan for you and your journey, right here’s my final information to choosing an excellent insurance coverage firm. It’ll present you how you can decide an excellent plan that covers you for once you get sick, your flights get canceled, in the event you get injured, one thing will get stolen, or your journey is delayed.

    My favourite firm is World Nomads and I take advantage of them for all my journeys. For those who’re older than 70, take a look at Insure my Journey as they’re one of the best supplier for older vacationers.

    For extra info on journey insurance coverage, you’ll be able to take a look at these posts:


    Step 18: Get pleasure from Your Journey

    have a great time on your trip

    And now, every little thing comes collectively. It’s time to go in your journey and have enjoyable! Head to the airport, board your airplane (don’t neglect your passport!), and benefit from the fruits of your labor. You’ve earned this!

    For those who’re feeling nervous, don’t fear — that’s completely regular. You’re about to embark on a tremendous journey — and that’s an enormous change. Feeling anxious or nervous or not sure is one thing each traveler experiences. However you’ve made it this far. Belief your planning, observe your instincts, and also you’ll have the journey of a lifetime. I assure it.


    By utilizing this submit as a tenet in your journey planning, you’ll be able to higher set up and put together in your journey. You’ll test all of the packing containers, not miss something, and have loads of cash in your trip. It may be so simple as reserving a flight and packing or as advanced as rearranging your whole life to go backpack the world eternally.

    However, irrespective of how lengthy your journey could also be, this listing will show you how to keep organized and motivated as you intend your journey and to step onto that airplane and out into the world.

    P.S. – Sure, I did omit visas and vaccinations, as a result of needing these isn’t as common as the opposite stuff on this listing, however don’t neglect to test in the event you want these, too!

    Need to have this info at your fingertips? Obtain this submit as a PDF


    E book Your Journey: Logistical Suggestions and Tips

    E book Your Flight
    Discover a low cost flight through the use of Skyscanner or Momondo. They’re my two favourite engines like google as a result of they search web sites and airways across the globe so that you at all times know no stone is left unturned.

    E book Your Lodging
    You’ll be able to ebook your hostel with Hostelworld as they’ve essentially the most complete stock. If you wish to keep elsewhere, use Reserving.com as they persistently return the most cost effective charges for guesthouses and low cost resorts. I take advantage of them on a regular basis.

    Don’t Neglect Journey Insurance coverage
    Journey insurance coverage will shield you in opposition to sickness, damage, theft, and cancellations. It’s complete safety in case something goes improper. I by no means go on a visit with out it as I’ve had to make use of it many instances up to now. I’ve been utilizing World Nomads for ten years. My favourite corporations that supply one of the best service and worth are:

    On the lookout for one of the best corporations to economize with?
    Try my useful resource web page for one of the best corporations to make use of once you journey! I listing all those I take advantage of to economize after I journey – and I believe will show you how to too!

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