Are You Ready To Plan Your Next Trip?
Traveling has become quite the trend these days.
While some of us venture far out into the world, local traveling is just as fun, exciting, and adventurous. The Philippines offers an array of different activities and landscapes that different types of travelers can enjoy — from seas to mountains and even luxurious escapes. The options are plenty.
But even for seasoned travelers, a good checklist is always helpful to make sure you cover all the necessary details for your trip.
For some people, “no plan is the best plan.” However, not everyone has the luxury or freedom to play things by ear, especially if a trip is time-constrained and especially budget-constrained. To some degree, a little itinerary planning is important. These questions are helpful when thinking of an itinerary:
❏ WHY ARE YOU GOING ON THIS TRIP?
This is first and foremost crucial question to ask because this determines a very good idea on the rest of the details of the trip. Different people have different travel goals. What is yours? Is it for a relaxing holiday? Site-seeing? A learning experience? A skill-building trip? Whatever it is, write it down.
❏ WHERE DO YOU WANT TO GO?
Now that you’ve nailed the why, it’s easier to narrow down your destination options to cater to the purpose of your travel.
❏ WHEN DO YOU PLAN TO DO THE TRIP?
Knowing when to go determines a lot of factors. This allows you to find out if your travel destination will either have special holidays or special events. You’ll also be able to find out if it will be peak or low season, which will affect both experience and budget.
❏ HOW LONG DO YOU PLAN TO GO ON THE TRIP?
More than anything, this helps you plan outside of your trip so you don’t leave your responsibilities behind. If you’re aware of the days you’ll be away, you’ll be able to manage any work that needs delegation or to inform your employers in advance of your absence. Also, personal responsibilities get taken care of.
The truth is, money is usually the biggest issue when it comes to traveling because it can get costly, but it can also be affordable. The best approach to this is to:
❏ DETERMINE HOW MUCH YOU WILL SPEND IN TOTAL
Once you set out a budget, you’re able to accommodate your wants and needs of the trip but within your means. If the destination you set out to be your goal is not feasible, there are always other options than can be cheaper but still meet your trip’s purpose.
You’ll also then be able to determine how long you can afford to make the trip for, whether it’s three days or three weeks.
❏ KEEP A RECORD OF YOUR EXPENSES
It’s very important to make sure you set out a daily budget and list down everything you’ve spent for the day to make sure you keep your budget in check. When you write things down, there is a responsibility to yourself, which encourages you to be disciplined with money spending.
❏ LIVE WITHIN YOUR MEANS
Yes, it’s a treat to yourself to go on this trip or to be on a short holiday away from responsibilities, but it’s equally a responsibility to make sure you go back to a life without money issues. There are always options for a comfortable but affordable trip within your budget.
❏ DETERMINE YOUR TOP 3 MUST-DO ACTIVITIES
One of the ways to keep your costs to a minimum is to limit your activities to about three main activities you prioritize to accomplish in the trip – whether it’s a cooking class, a diving session, or a city tour. There will always be plenty of things to do but some of them cost money and you have to remember to live within your budget. You can also consider some free activities such as free museum tours, walking tours, etc.
Now that you’ve planned everything and have everything you need booked, it’s time to pack your bags. Packing is something a lot of people struggle with. There is always the idea of “what if” and “just in case”. Frankly, a lot of luggage does bring you more stress in the trip. Aside from a heavier bag, you give room for yourself to always rethink a wardrobe for a day. Here is a list of a few things to consider to be the only things you bring with you:
❏ THREE TO SEVEN DAYS WORTH OF CLOTHES
Depending on the length of your trip, ideally no more than a week’s worth of clothes should be in your bag. So if your trip is only for three days, bring only three sets. Bring sets of clothes according to the length of your trip.
And if your trip is for over a week, there are laundry services to the rescue to help you save on luggage space. If you get clothes laundered every three days, it really helps. I’ve traveled for seven months straight and only used an average of 10 sets of clothes for the entire duration, which are mostly dresses so they’re also less bulky to pack.
❏ ONE SET OF WARM CLOTHES
Even to some warm travel destinations, there will be circumstances in which it can get either chilly or cold: transport services (especially airports and planes), nights of rain, among others. If you’re almost positive it will never be cold, at least bring one jacket just in case.
❏ ONE SET OF SWIMMING ATTIRE
I believe in being beach-ready anywhere, even when you’re not necessarily going to one. You might end up in a swimming pool, or even a lake. The point is to always come prepared with one pair of swimming attire. Besides, when layered with other clothes, you can come up with a cute outfit perfect for a night out or a festival.
For trips to the beaches specifically, packing one to three different attires should be okay as well since these are small items.
❏ MULTI-USE SARONG
Travel with a sarong that’s at least big enough to be a beach blanket, and it will serve you well. It can be used as a scarf for additional warmth when you feel cold, or you can also use it as a towel to dry yourself up in a pinch. It doesn’t dry quickly, however, but if your travel doesn’t involve fast-paced moving around, this should do just fine.
As an alternate, you can invest in a microfiber towel that rolls into a tiny ball, which is more convenient to pack and carry around.
Limit it to what you need. If you don’t need a laptop, don’t bring it. If all you need is your phone and a power bank, that’s great. It saves space in your luggage while reducing the risk of losing high value items to a minimum.
❏ LEGAL DOCUMENTS
Always bring the necessary IDs and documents you need for your travel. If you’re going to a country that provides visa-upon-arrival, check ahead what documents you need to prepare. It also helps to save digital copies of these documents in a secure cloud storage, as long as they don’t contain sensitive information.
Of course, don’t forget your credit cards or bank cards, and make sure to call your bank ahead when you’re traveling abroad so they won’t flag down your charges as suspicious.
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Mayan Benedicto is a free spirit who is conquering the world one continent at a time. Beyond checking countries off her bucket list, she immerses in her destinations and gets to know their culture, food, and especially people. Follow her adventures on www.mayanaroundtown.com, or on Facebook and Instagram at @mayanaroundtown.