Planning a trip: how to plan a trip the easy way

A 📸 strip of 3 travel 📸on yellow  paper & a sign that says 'how to plan a trip the easy a fun way'
A 📸 strip of 3 travel 📸on yellow  paper & a sign that says 'how to plan a trip the easy a fun way'

Do you want your trip planning to be fun & exciting, or stressful & expensive? If you've chosen the first option (duh;) - check out this step-by-step guide on planning a trip! You'll learn how to have a blast while planning your trip, and how to save some cash, and avoid stress to have more fun while on your adventure.

Lots of people comment on planning a trip being stressful, but planning a trip could also be a part of your vacation adventure if you know what you are doing. This post will help you learn all you need to plan your trip the easy way, and have fun while planning.

Hello, I’m Tatiana. I’m hopelessly in love with old uniquely looking buildings, and cozy urban scenes, and finding best places in Europe to go.

Check out my travel tips and reviews of the best European destinations, the results of over 20 years of travel experience. Let's connect on social media!

Why plan at all? Can I just go on a trip without planning?

You can. And you should once in a while, especially if you are a solo traveler, and you like adventure and unpredictability. It can be exciting!

Besides, some people naturally have worry-free personalities. However, you still need to buy a ticket, book some place to stay for a night, and bring some stuff with you, right? Unless you are planning to sleep on the beach? I've heard it could be fun, when on Ibiza?;)

2 women studying a map on a floor & a sign that says 'Why plan at all?'
2 women studying a map on a floor & a sign that says 'Why plan at all?'

Some travelers claim they bought the last-minute ticket, threw everything into their backpacks, went on a trip and had a great time. And many indeed had a pleasant time. They were on vacation in some place pretty, what's not to enjoy?.. besides paying way too much for their trip?

If money is of no concern at all (congrats!:) - then this last-minute packing and buying your ticket, and searching for the hotel option once already at the vacation spot, can be a viable and exciting option.

But if you need to take money into a consideration or you don't have many vacation days, like most of us in the US, then you need some preparation for your vacation.

Planning a trip saves you money!

Planning a trip in advance saves you a lot of money! How much are we talking about?

Well, just as an example, you can get a $550 (or less) air ticket price from the US to other continents, booking in advance, compared to $800+ (can easily be around $1,000 nowadays for the cheapest airfare). So, $250 per person of saving right here.

A few guys at a table planning a trip & using laptops & a sign that says 'But the rest of us need to plan our trips'
A few guys at a table planning a trip & using laptops & a sign that says 'But the rest of us need to plan our trips'

Also, you can get a big discount on accommodations, booking in advance. Like in this example. You can stay in this hotel with the ocean view swimming pool for 38, instead of paying 137 a night. Great deals happen every day; admittedly, the deals are more dramatic in SE Asia, but other places have them too: you just need to find them!

It's very hard to get a great air price, or a cheap place to stay on a short notice. Besides, if you are particular about your accommodations, you really need to book in advance!

A hotel with a deck by an ocean & a price tag of 32 euro a night down from 90, if booked in advance
A hotel with a deck by an ocean & a price tag of 32 euro a night down from 90, if booked in advance
A booking price of 38 euro of a hotel with a riverfront pool
A booking price of 38 euro of a hotel with a riverfront pool

You'll get the most out of your trip with planning.

There is nothing wrong with going somewhere (maybe Mexico) and staying in an all-inclusive resort, not really doing much, if that is what you want.

But if you would like to explore your destination closely, you will need to know your options in advance, so you can choose the best activities, places, food you desire in the limited time you have on your vacation.

Planning all those activities is, actually, fun! First, learning about them, then trying them out in your mind to see how it fits, and choosing the ones who bring you the most excitement!

And once at your destination - you will waste no time anymore: you will have a few plans to choose from depending on you will feel like doing that day.

Plan a trip yourself of hire someone

Planning a trip yourself can be a very exciting and fun experience as it allows you to tailor your itinerary to your personal preferences (fun and creative!). You have the freedom to choose your own accommodations, activities, and schedule.

Planning your own trip can save money as you can compare prices and find deals. However, it is a lot of work to prepare for the trip the right way, and even though I will explain here how to have fun doing all that, some people just don't enjoy planning at all!

Hire someone to plan your trip.

Let's see what your options for planning a trip are if you dislike planning your trip.

  • Hire a travel agent. Hiring a travel agent or tour operator can save time and provide expertise in planning and executing a trip. They can also offer insider knowledge and access to exclusive experiences. However, this option can be more expensive and may limit your flexibility in terms of itinerary and activities.

  • Hire someone to do a custom itinerary for you. The best way to plan your trip, if you dislike doing this yourself, is to hire someone to do a custom itinerary for you. This way you will have your trip planned the way you want it, customized for your presences and still save money, compared to just booking everything with little researching, or hiring a travel agent (with more rigid itinerary).

  • Join an organized tour. If you don't mind following someone's rules and spending lots of time traveling between cities and seeing only highlights of any city, you can join a tour. Many people like guided tours! Maybe it's you.

Ultimately, whether to plan your own trip or hire someone else depends on your personal preferences, budget, and travel experience.

If you choose to plan your own trip, continue reading my guide, and here are the steps involved in planning a trip yourself.

My favorite posts
A guide to Mudejar architecture for a laymanA guide to Mudejar architecture for a layman
Le Jardin Exotique or Eze GardenLe Jardin Exotique or Eze Garden
Coaches of the National Coach Museum Lisbon