A Perfectionist's Guide to Travel Planning

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Planning can be stressful for some humans, but for me, it takes the stress out of traveling. I can let loose and have fun on my trips because I know I’ve thought of everything.

 

Here's a chronological (what else would you expect?) run down of what I like to plan in the weeks and months before my trips.

6 MONTHS

  • Do cursory research of your destination to find out if there are any tours or places you want to stay that require advanced booking e.g. Incan Trail.
  • Check seasonal weather, high season pricing, and regional holidays/festivals in order to pick your dates.

3 MONTHS

  • Buy flights.
  • Apply for visas if necessary.

2 MONTHS

  • Book hotel/hostels. I highly recommend Booking.com for their free cancellations and no deposits.
  • Check the CDC website to see if you need any vaccinations; if so, make doctor’s appointment to get them.

 

1 MONTH

  • Make reservations with any fancy restaurants you want to try.
  • Book any tours or excursions you’d like to take.

 

3 WEEKS

  • Prepack and make a list of the items you are missing (see my packing guides).
  • Purchase those items in store or online.
  • Fill your travel toiletries at home instead of buying new ones.

 

 

2 WEEKS

  • Start your travel binder! (or wherever you keep your important documents when you travel)
  • Print reservation confirmations, maps, directions, etc. Stay organized!

1 WEEK

  • Pack! You know that feeling when you are at the airport and you remember something you forgot to pack? If you back a week before, that feeling will hit you in your living room! Crisis averted.
  • Download any movies or TV shows for your long flight (get free downloads of movies and shows with Amazon Prime Video)
  • Download any travel apps you might need e.g. your airline’s app, maps.me etc (See my tech guide.)

24 HOURS

  • Check into your flight and print your boarding pass, add it to your binder.
  • If you don't have automatic check-in on your return flight, set a reminder on your phone to check in 24 hours before your flight home. You'll be having too much fun to remember!
  • Open your luggage and take a good hard look at what you’ve packed–and take out that thing you know you’ll never wear!
  • Charge your devices and don’t forget to pack the chargers!  (Or just keep an all-in-one travel charger in your bag so you are never without the right cord.)
  • Lay out your travel clothes if you are leaving early in the morning, sleepy you will thank you.

If you follow this planning calendar, you’ll never be ill-prepared again. Planning can be stressful for some humans, but for me, it takes the stress out of traveling. I can let loose and have fun on my trips because I know I’ve thought of everything.

Are you a planner or do you prefer to figure it out when you get there?

Let me know in the comments.

 

Go confidently travelers!

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