How to plan a trip in about 8 steps || Travel Tips

I thought about this the other day when I started thinking about my upcoming trip to Vietnam in October.

How do I plan this trip?”


Gary & I in Australia

So I thought I’d pull it apart and let you in on what I do for my personal trips… 🙂

  1. Choose your destination.
  2. Decide how long your trip will be.
  3. Establish your budget.
  4. Book your flight.
  5. Reserve your accommodations.
  6. Plan some fun.
  7. Pack your stuff.
  8. Have a blast!


So let’s break this down…and note, these can totally be changed re order of doing it…sometimes that happens!


At a lake in Central Turkey


We all have places on our “list” we want to go. So how did I choose Vietnam? Well, it’s close for one, and also on my “list” for two. That was easy enough.

Sometimes it will depend on your length of your trip (see the next point below) or what is near to you. Weigh it all in.


Climbing a hill in New Zealand


Let me back up a bit. I have a airfare voucher that I need to use before the end of the year and I decided October was the best month to go cuz of my already booked schedule. And my husband and daughter will be going to another place in Asia for 5 days, so I decided that’s how I would do it – Go away the same times as they will be away. I won’t be left at home alone and they won’t be at home without me. Win, win. 😉

So 5 days. And I actually had to book my flight before 1, 2 or 3. The availability for flights, etc, for this voucher. Luckily for me, the dates worked great with availability and so I went ahead to number 3.


Catching some rays in Boracay


When I travel solo, I usually travel budget, but not “poor” budget, so to speak. I like to avail of free activities, and museums and outings, I like to find cheap but awesomely reviewed accommodations, and I like to walk lots. So this being said, I established my budget for LOW.

There are other places, however, that I have been and I simply MUST do certain things that will cost money so I have to budget that in.


Holding tree-climbing goats in Morocco


Like I mentioned, I booked my flight first. 🙂 But whenever you do it, remember to look to Travel Pirates or Google Flights for the best flights.

And if you are on a budget, these indeed will help with that. Just always double and triple check dates and flight layovers. Sometimes, saving $20 is not worth a 10 hr layover in a boring location. 🙂

I have a blog post about the nitty gritty on booking flights HERE.


With the legend Whang-Od in Buscalan, Philippines


After I am done with the flight booking, the budget making, how long I will be in my destination, I turn to my very favorite, Airbnb, to find me a place. I have gloated about how much I LOVE Airbnb HERE.

And for my Vietnam trip, I totally SCORED and lucked out. The place I found is “usually booked” and I fell in love with the write up she had put about her and her family as well as the raving reviews.

My house is in a small & quiet road.
There is a nice cafe and some traditional restaurants around. Food is quite cheap.
I have a big public terrace for relaxing, reading book or drinking.
It takes 10 mins to go to the centre of Dist 1 by bike.

★ If you are a traveller looking to explore a typical Vietnamese neighborhood, learning about the culture and people, and not just checking out the tourist attractions, then this is the perfect place for you! ★

Right?! I cannot WAIT. 🙂 and for $12 a night? Hello….SCORE! 🙂


Goofing around in Italy


Probably my favorite part and this is the part I usually take the most time researching and working on, up until I leave. That being said, I’m STILL in this part.

I find websites, blogs, everything about where I will be. (I will be based in Ho Chi Minh City for 5 nights).

I want to experience local life as much as I can…I want to wander markets, have coffee in the local shops, eat where the locals eat, take a cooking lesson by a local, ride a bike places, do a day trip or two.

When you google about your location, do a thorough search. “things to do in xxxxx” or “day trips from xxxxx” or “free things to do in xxxxx” or whatever you google…you will have a zillion websites to choose from to look over.

I also look to some of my favorite travel bloggers to see if they have recommendations. I actually just got a reply back from Jodi of Legal Nomads yesterday with a link to hers on her blog. I can’t wait to dive in and see what she says.


Wandering Assos, Turkey


As some of you know I only use a carry-on when I travel. So this is usually done, seriously…the day before I go. Hahahahaha. It stresses out my family that I wait til the last minute, but I figure I need to know what all my clean clothes options are and then decide. 🙂

You can see my carry-on checklist HERE,  how I pack my carry-on HERE. And for my personal hand-carry, HERE.


Finding the backstreets of Assisi


After all the planning and work you have put into your trip, keep this at the front – HAVE FUN!! 🙂


PS – Here’s a bunch more of my Travel Tips posts for you to check out.


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