While some travelers opt to join package tours to avoid all the hassles of planning a trip, a lot of travelers prefer to do everything themselves. From planning the itinerary to booking the flights and accommodations. Here are the things you should do when planning a multiple-city trip:
1. Decide when you want to leave.Do you want to see snow? Do you want to see cherry blossoms? Go online and find out when the perfect time is to visit your next destination. There are countless websites that offer valuable weather and climate-related information about the places you intend to visit.
2. Decide how long you want your vacation to be.
Do you get bored easily? Would you miss your significant other or your pets if you went away for too long? Are you dying for a quick beach getaway or a whole month backpacking in Europe? Decide how long you want to be away, then fashion your itinerary to suit your preferences.
3. List down all the things you want to see or do in each city.
This is very important so you’ll know your priorities and how many days you will be spending in one place. You might want to stay in a city with a lot of different attractions a little longer than a city which only offers one or two.
4. Book the flights.
Before you book your tickets, make sure there aren’t any conflicts with the flight schedules. Take note of time zone differences. Also, book the flights before booking the hotel, unless you are certain you can make changes in your hotel booking for free.
5. Book the hotels.
When booking your accommodations, price is not the only thing that you have to consider. Location and safety are also important. Is the hotel near a metro station? Are there supermarkets, restaurants, and bus stops? When you find the right hotel, book it right away. However, read before you click and make sure the website you are using is trustworthy. Also, make sure you can make changes in your booking without paying a fee. Look for these words when you book: FREE CANCELLATION and NO PREPAYMENT.
6. Buy travel insurance.
Let’s say you ate oysters that had gone bad, or accidentally tripped while trying on a pair of Louboutins, better safe than sorry, right? You never know what will happen next. It’s better to err on the side of caution.
7. Print out the hotel details.
You can print them on a cardboard and keep it in your wallet. Having the hotel details handy will make it easy for you to show it to a cab driver who will drive you from the airport. Also, if you’re traveling with other people, make a copy for them so they can go to the hotel themselves. There’s no need to stay as a group.
8. Find out how to get from the airport or train station to your hotel.
There are several ways to get to your hotel: by cab, by train, or by bus. Cabs are expensive but convenient. Trains are faster and cheaper, too. Buses are probably the cheapest way to go but it could take time. Personally, I prefer the train. Go online to check out things like routes, travel time, and fares.
9. Know your hotel check-in time.
You can arrive at your hotel at any time. But keep in mind that hotels do have specific check in and check out times. If you arrive too early, you can still leave your luggage at the hotel. Maximize your time by having breakfast or doing some sightseeing before checking in.
10. Make sure you have enough money, whether cash or credit.
Let’s be realistic. Traveling could put a dent in your wallet. Most people usually save up for a trip and set a daily budget. But at times, we overspend. If you run out of cash, make sure you have money in your ATM and that your credit cards aren’t maxed out. Remember, when you travel everything costs money.
By: Cynthia Yushida