With our trip to Costa Rica having just wrapped up I thought it would be the perfect time to talk about how we plan our trips!
Let's face it deciding that you want to travel somewhere is easy, but planning out the whole trip, transportation, and an itinerary can become overwhelming and stressful. In our opinion, travel should be as stress-free as possible, not the cause of your stress. So, to help you out in your traveling plans here is the order in which we plan out our trips:
1) DestinationWhere do you want to go? Country? State? City? This is the first step, otherwise steps two through six will be very hard to accomplish.
2) Plane Tickets
Once you know where you want to go, it is time to arrange your mode of transportation. For us, this mostly consists of plane tickets but this could also very easily be by boat, train or car transportation. Whatever mode you choose we highly recommend you make sure that it is the most time efficient for the price you are paying. This just means you are willing to pay more to get to your destination faster or less to take a little longer in travel. You have to find that perfect balance.
3) Accommodations/ Attractions
After we know how we are getting somewhere, we then find our accommodations, whether this is hotels, hostels, Airbnbs or with friends and family, it is good to know where you will be resting your head every night. When looking for where we want to stay, we also like to take this time to decide if there are any attractions we want to see that require scheduling or purchasing tickets in advance. There are some tours and attractions that fill up weeks in advance. This maybe when you discover that there is some special event or festival going on while you will be there. Something like a Fringe Fest, music festival or annual market could be great additions to your itinerary!
After accommodations and any tickets we have to buy in advance, we start looking to find transportation for when we arrive at our destination. This can seem like a very daunting and expensive task but just take it one step at a time. How are you going to get from the airport? Are you staying in a walkable town? How is the public transportation? We always recommend looking into local and public transportation first. It may take a little bit longer getting around, but it can be an extremely cheaper option than private transportation or renting a car. It can also be a little less stressful not having to navigate the streets of a new place, especially if your destination has different driving patterns than what you are used to.
Cuisine is not something that everyone is going to plan out in advance but seeing as we both follow a mostly vegan lifestyle, it is good to look up restaurant possibilities. You may want to educatebyourself on local customs, traditional fare and the likelihood of vegan or vegetarian options. This can help you map out some of your days or prepare you to be going to the local grocery stores for food you can prepare yourself. So far, we have never been to a country that did not have fruits and vegetables.
Now, we had mentioned attractions before in the same spot as accommodations, but attractions can also be one of the very last things you plan. A lot of the time, especially when we are staying in a hostel, we book the tours and excursions we want to do at reception. There are multiple good reasons to book from the hostel. You can often get a discounted rate from the hostel, transportation is usually included, and it is a great way to make friends with some of the other people staying in your hostel.
And that's it! Of course, there are other little things like packing and researching the customs that we will cover in another article, but after planning out these six things you will find yourself with a well-planned trip!
Happy travels and remember!
It's an adventure!