It doesn't matter if your idea of a perfect time is laying on the beach doing nothing, exploring classic cities in Europe, or having an exciting adventure in South America -- we all want to make the most of our holidays. However, planning a trip can be a challenging task for many people.
These tips will help you to plan your next vacation. It is easier (and cheaper) than you think!
1. Decide where you want to go
It can sound an obvious thing, but many people are very vague when talking about traveling. Select five specific cities you would like to go to and do some simple research about them. Go on sites such as Trip Advisor and Lonely Planet , where you can read the reviews of other travelers and see useful advice regarding hotels, dining, transport, etc.
Not going solo? If you are in a group with children or elderly people, you should choose places that are accessible for them - maybe leave grandma and the baby home for the hike up the volcano.
2. Decide when to go
Once you choose the place you want to go, it's important to define the period when you can travel. If you want to get better prices, avoid the holiday seasons. Also check the weather! Can you imagine making your way to a Caribbean beach to find out you booked your holiday in the rainy season?
3. Grab the tickets
Buying tickets directly at the airlines websites can be cheaper than on other sites...but it never hurts to poke around a little. If you travel in North America, you can save up to 10% by booking two months in advance. If traveling abroad, booking closer to your date is a better option.
Keep an eye out for last minute promotions, too. Sometimes you can catch a plane to Asia with $500 discount. Again, check the weather! There might be a really, really good reason the flights are so cheap.
4. Plan your spending
You can travel to almost anywhere on a budget. But to avoid trouble, it's important to establish how much you can spend per day -- including everything: Hotels, sightseeing, meals, going out, transportation, all of it. While you are traveling write down everything you spend, even if it seems insignificant. No one wants to run out of money and miss out on fun because they spend too much of candy at the airport.
You should also consider that the US dollar is worth a lot in some countries. In Thailand, for example, you can spend approximately $25 per day and have an awesome time. Even if you spend more on airfare, the cheap prices there can compensate for it.
It's common to have problems with your credit cards while traveling abroad. Always bring some cash in the local currency with you.
5. Consider renting an apartment or house
If you're traveling in a group, renting an apartment through Airbnb can be cheaper than booking a hotel. There are also options to rent just a room in local houses, which can be very practical if you are travelling solo.
According to a comparison made by the website BusBud, renting a place through Airbnb, can be up to $80 cheaper than hotels in the major US cities: Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Portland, Seattle and Washington, D.C. all offer homes for rent at lower prices than hotel stays.
6. The devil's in the details
Travelling to another country is always exciting, but you need to consider a few things before getting into the plane:
Do you need a Visa to enter the country? How long does it take to get ready?
Do you need an specific vaccination to get in the country?
Is it possible to get by in that country with English?
What is the currency in the country? Is it better to change your money before the travel or when you get there?
With a little planning and research, you can have the holiday of your dreams without any stress or surprises.