Planning for a trip is not the most enjoyable part of a vacation. Travel planning involves hours and hours of searching for airfare, arranging transportation and accommodations, and packing. And if you’re completely clueless about travel planning, it could take you even longer.
Below are a few things NOT to do when planning for a trip. Travel planning requires careful execution and if not done properly, can result in the worst trip you’ve ever taken.
Travel Planning: What Not to Do
Book the First Flight You Find:
If you’re traveling abroad and need to book airfare, DON’T book the first flight you find. If you want to find cheap airfare, you need to compare prices. Search online and call the airlines to see what deals you can find. The Internet is filled with airfare discounts and cheap air tickets. All it takes is a little travel planning and initiative to do a search online or pick up the phone and call the airlines. If you don’t, you could end up spending hundreds of dollars more than you should have.
Pin the Tail on the Travel Map:
In the game Pin the Tail on the Donkey, a person is blind folded, spun around, and given the task to pin the tail on the paper donkey hanging on the wall. As fun and entertain as this children’s game is, it’s not a good method to use when planning a trip. If you’re deciding on where to go, don’t just pick a random destination and hop on a plane. You need to research those travel destinations you are interested in visiting. When researching each destination, find out the best time of year to go (you don’t want to travel to Paris during the rainy season). Find out when the best weather is and plan your trip around those months. Bad weather can quickly turn your exciting vacation into a week spent indoors watching foreign television.
Wait ‘Till the Last Minute to Pack:
Packing is almost always the last task on the travel planning list. After the tickets are purchased, the itinerary is set, and the time-off request has been submitted and signed, it’s finally time to pack. However, you shouldn’t wait until the night before you leave to start packing. You should start packing at least a week in advance. Why? Because you don’t want to stay up all night packing and wear yourself out before you even leave for the trip. Pack gradually throughout the week. Pack those items you won’t need during the week. Then, pack clothing items as they become available (i.e. worn and washed and ready to be worn again on your trip). By gradually packing throughout the week, you won’t stress out packing at the last minute and hoping you remembered everything. Pack gradually and save yourself some time.
Travel planning takes time, effort, and a little bit of common sense. If you slack off and don’t plan correctly, your trip could end up a disaster before you even leave your home.
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