Are you a tourist or a traveler?? Do you dream of going to foreign locations and exotic lands? If yes, read no further!! However, travel comes with an additional task of how to plan the trip to your dream destination. Travelling to places you’re well accustomed to is definitely an easy task. Though, what about when you’re planning to visit a new city, a foreign country you’ve dreamt of visiting for a long time. It’s not as easy as it sounds and undoubtedly not as easy as to pack and head out!! If you like to relax from the planning till the execution of the trip, then I am sure you head straight to a trip planner for all your travel needs. But if you’re one the opposite of the former and love to plan every single thing of your trip by yourself then it can be as enjoyable as it gets but also hectic at the same time. I also fall into the latter category and love to plan my trip on my own, starting from the location, medium or places to see and even what food to eat even it is an off the beaten path.
There are certain things to be considered while making any touring plans for an unknown destination and finalizing the travel itinerary. So, here are my top tips how to plan a trip to an unknown destination which will ease out your before travel anxiety and you can enjoy your dream tour!!
1. THE ROUTE
If you’re going to hit the road, its best to look not only for the main highways but also the alternative route (for emergencies). In case you’re opting trains I would advise its best to look for fastest and also a comfortable one to avoid being tired in the long journey. Even if you’re traveling either domestic/international via flight, don’t consider price as the primary criteria because the cheapest ones are usually the non-refundable ones and have longer layovers. Plan a minimum of 35-45 days for an international flight and 20-30 days for a domestic one. If you’re passionate about trekking and love to go into the unknown places, then knowing the route beforehand is the most basic thing you should focus.
Have you read my Adventures en route to Paris?
2. HOTEL VS HOME-STAYS VS HOSTEL
If you are traveling solo and on a budget, the hostels or even home-stays will be good for you. If you love to explore the hotels(like me) then always consider your budget as they are definitely costlier than the rest two. Also, it advisable to opt for 3/4 star hotels if you’re traveling with your family as if you’re going below a 3* hotel, then seriously consider staying in an Airbnb. Lastly whatever it is that you’re choosing whether Airbnb or any hotel, its best to check the reviews and also go through the traveler photos & my confidante for reviews is Trip Advisor.
3. THE LOCAL TRANSPORT
Unless you’re traveling in your car/cab, it’s best to get to know a little bit about the transport system of the city. Try to look up the places to see in the city you’re visiting and its respective distance from your hotel/home-stays. *Travel like a local* – use bus, metro, tram or simply walk – I can assure you, you will get a lifetime of memories and the place will stay as fresh as a morning walk in your mind.
4. SHORTLIST RESTAURANTS
How do you like to eat out when you’re in the different city – do you prefer food from your hometown or would you like to try out the authentic delicacies from the city you’re heading to? If you always crave for your home like food, its best to do a good search for the restaurants serving those. Even for authentic dishes, it is nice to know a few restaurants beforehand which serve the authentic food. If you’re vegetarian and not traveling to/in India, you will have difficulties finding vegan food so I would suggest that you line-up some food-joints for your preferred food choice.
5. SHOPPING MALL VS FLEE MARKETS
Do you like to get souvenirs for your loved ones back home or just for yourself? If yes, then it is best to look up what the city has to offer and search what would be the best & cheap places to shop. You might save a few bucks as every place has the same thing to offer at a cheaper rate. In case you like to pamper yourself and buy exquisite things, then every city has some designer showrooms, it would be amazing to get to know more about them before even landing there!!
Heading to Paris? – Read things you should know before your first visit to Paris.
6. DAY TRIPS
One-day tours usually take you out of the city to a place where you might not even have spent a night and yet cover all the attractions there. Trip advisor always lists some of the best one-day tours but I would suggest not to book it online and rather treat it as another and follow steps 1 to 5 mentioned above. It will save you a whole lot of money if you plan it yourself. Though if you don’t like to plan things on your own and just want to enjoy the trip, then booking them online yet in advance is the best way to do!!
Have you been to an unfamiliar place? Do share your experience with me!!
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– The Wanderer