Planning ahead is the key to a successful trip. While it might seem seem a little annoying and time consuming to put together a plan, it’s definitely worth it to avoid unexpected problems. Here are some tips to help you plan a trip like a pro.
1. Research your destination
A rave review from a friend is not enough; always do your own research and check out your destination’s website. They will normally provide you with a ton of useful information like directions, available facilities, hours of operation, places to go, and anything else you might need to know to give you a general idea of where you are going and what you can do. Sometimes a website will even have a suggested travel plan which will save you a whole lot of time.
Another great option for researching travel destinations are travel websites like TripAdvisor. People who have gone where you are planning to be share their personal experiences and comment on attractions.
2. Set up a budget
Make sure you can afford everything you want to do before you leave. Take a look at your bank account, check your bills, and start planning how much money you need to set aside for your trip. Refer back to your research (see above) to help you budget out things like hotels, transportation, and food. Make sure to factor in some extra spending money for souvenirs.
3. Check the weather
Don’t be the one wearing shorts in 23 degree weather; check the weather. It’s risky to pack clothes according to your local weather or just a guess. Don’t assume summer for you is summer where you want to go, some places like the Rocky Mountains can get cold and even have snow during the summer so make you pay attention.
4. Have a checklist and pack ahead
Write down everything you will need. How many times have you heard someone say, “I can’t believe I forgot [insert forgotten item here]! I thought I had it last night?” Do not be that person. There is a lot to pack and you
cannot will not remember everything you need without a list. Plus lists are fun! Write down what you need and check it off as you pack.
On that note, avoid scrambling to pack 15 minutes before your flight and pack ahead of time. Do not rush to the store right before your trip because you remembered something you need. You might not have enough time and it is easier to forget something when you are in rush. Pack several days ahead of time and you will be all set the night before your trip.
5. International Travel
If you are traveling internationally, make sure you have your hotel address in written down on a piece of paper in the local language of the country before you leave.
Research the voltage coming out of the wall outlet of the country you will be staying at. Some countries have a different voltage coming out of the outlet than the United States does so before you fry your computer by plugging in a 110 volt charger into a 220 volt outlet, get a wall adaptor.
Siyuan (Sharry) Tong is a senior from Hangzhou, China, a beautiful city close to Shanghai. She is majoring in journalism and has minors in political science, philosophy and economics. She is passionate about life and loves traveling, but writing and designing are her main interests. She would like to work in a media related field and continue to write and design after graduation.
words_ siyuan tong. photo_thalia garcia.