How do I prepare for such big trips overseas? It takes a lot of planning and research, both innate in me. I have a time line, to do lists, reminders of when to print out all the documents and tickets, list of items to be purchased and packed. As we get closer to date my weekends only gets busier with associated errands for the trip. But I can not recommend it enough to start preparing weeks ahead so that you are not totally overwhelmed by it all. In the end what I want is an enjoyable trip and by doing these preparations it only increases that chance. My goal is to not be stressed by things I could prevent ahead of time so prepping is my number one advice!
Here are some other tips I’ve mastered:
- Narrow down your choices of vacation places 6-12 months before you plan on leaving for the said trip.
- Research, research, research. This includes which of the places would be the cheapest place to fly to and from where you are and the cost of lodging if you fly out certain times of the year.
- Pick a destination and book your airfare at least 3-6 months before the said trip if possible.
- Start asking people that you know who have also traveled to the said destination for some insights and recommendations for food, things to see and do, advice, etc. Believe me this has been very helpful in all of my trips. Oh and just an FYI Rick Steves, New York Times travel section, and National Geographic are also some very good resources.
- Prior to booking lodging at least 2-3 months before the trip make sure you do a fair share of reading reviews of the establishment and neighborhood may it be a hotel or AirBnb. Tripadvisor is also super useful. Location is key but getting insights from people that have been there is utterly important!!
- Plan your transportation between airports and cities in advance and purchase tickets to museums ahead of time if possible. Also, research sights that are free to help you save some $$. European countries are notorious for offering free museum entrances on certain days and times.
- Start learning key words and expanding vocabularies of the language of the country your visiting. This goes a long way and is only a plus no matter where you go.
- Roll with the punches. No matter how much you plan, things happen, life goes on, so don’t forget that you are on an adventure so ENJOY and be carefree! Forget all your worries behind 🙂
Hope this helps and happy traveling!