Travelling: 5 Stages



Travelling really makes me happy. Not only it's a getaway from your normal and exciting life, but it's an opportunity to learn, experience and share the culture, food and heritage. You relax, enjoy and calm yourself down. But before even starting any trip you have to go through '5 stages of travelling'. These stages help you prepare for the trip and give you an advantage over any gawky episode. I know there are already a lot of video tutorials and information available on the internet to guide you through the exciting yet tedious process. But, let's hear it from me as well.

There are two types of people when you travel, One who wants to cover everything and explore everything in the limited amount of time they have. The other one, who loves to relax, chill and enjoy and don't want to hurry in just covering everything. Ashish and I are the later ones. Our motto is that going on holiday should not make you tired enough to take another holiday or days off to recover from it.

It's always fun to plan everything together and decide on the activities you want to do together and the places you want to visit. We know about each other's preferences while travelling which always helps us sort out the plan. We have kind of developed a routine when it comes to planning travel. So, I decided to share these basic steps with you!



Finalising The Location

The first step is to finalise where you want to go. Basically, if we are travelling for a longer period of time we plan our trips at least 2-3 months before. If we are going out just for a weekend or short trip, we plan it instantly in a week or so. It's always best to plan it before. Why? Because the flights will be cheaper, you will get better hotel deals at the same price, you get enough time to research about the place. And believe me, you don't want to end up paying more on accommodations and flights.

While finalising the location we do consider certain points like the weather, cities, the connection between them and how much time we need to devote to experience the places. Well, the weather is one of the crucial factors in deciding any location. Because being at a place in the wrong season can totally ruin your experience.

Once a plan is made narrow down the locations you want to cover or any specific area you want to experience. We do leave certain places if they are out of our reach or require more time than we have.

Setting The Budget

Now, this is most important as "Paise Ped Par Nhi Ugte Hain". We try to save a little amount every month for our travelling. It's important to set a realistic budget and not spend over the top when you are going on board. This will help you plan your travel more productively.

We have realised over time while travelling we like to have a comfortable ride which doesn't include much layovers or extra internal travel. Sometimes that's why we often prefer to have our own vehicle for our ease and comfort. Which is always cheaper than booking separate tickets for four people to and fro by train or flight. In the case of flights, if you book it on time you will always get a cheaper deal.

When it comes to booking a hotel if it's a short duration trip we often go for hostels which are always inexpensive. They are quite well maintained and provide all the facilities well. But if we have a longer trip and go to exotic destinations, we always spend money on resorts or hotels for the most comfortable stay.

Having a good knowledge about your budget and expenses will allow you to set a limited amount to travel, accommodations, internal travel, visa, food and miscellaneous activities. This will effectively help you stay within the budget. You can always go little over the top, but at least you will have a fair idea about your expenses.

Bookings

We first book flights and then the hotel. While booking any accommodations you must always make sure that you have one internal city travel station just down the road. As you don't want to walk a lot or hire a cab to get to the station. It would be a lot easier if a tram stop or a metro station is nearby. This will save you time and energy.

For us eating on time is a primary focus. Mostly in the mornings while travelling we have to be on the run. So we make sure that we have a cafe or brunch stop close to us for the quick bites. I suggest you read the reviews and check the locations of the hotel/hostel on the map. This will give you a fair idea about the whereabouts.

Always book in advance to have a better deal. You will have time to find better-looking hostels, a better rate at Airbnb and availability of the best hotels at less price. Remember research is the key.


Visa, Packing & Forex

After Bookings, it will easier to produce documents and dates of your travelling for the visa. Most countries offer visa at arrival and just need to see the bookings. Start the process at least a month before and research about the grant time the particular embassy takes. For us, it's easier as we live in Europe so most of the time Visa is not required. Make sure you get the appointments on time and get the visa before your travel dates.

Packing is an art. Some can pack in one bag and some need to pack everything. You can only master it by time. But you must not exceed the baggage limit and always follow all the luggage constraints. You don't want to carry around extra luggage or get stopped by customs or security for any reason. And never pay extra if you have a few more kgs with you. Try to get rid of the non-essentials at that point in time. Remember: you can buy those things once again than paying in excess.

For currency, I suggest you carry a multi-currency card or forex card. You can easily get cash with it, swipe it anywhere you want. You don't want to be stranded with cards that fail to work on an international journey.


After Bookings, it will easier to produce documents and dates of your travelling for the visa. Most countries offer visa at arrival and just need to see the bookings. Start the process at least a month before and research about the grant time the particular embassy takes. For us, it's easier as we live in Europe so most of the time Visa is not required. Make sure you get the appointments on time and get the visa before your travel dates.

Packing is an art. Some can pack in one bag and some need to pack everything. You can only master it by time. But you must not exceed the baggage limit and always follow all the luggage constraints. You don't want to carry around extra luggage or get stopped by customs or security for any reason. And never pay extra if you have a few more kgs with you. Try to get rid of the non-essentials at that point in time. Remember: you can buy those things once again than paying in excess.

For currency, I suggest you carry a multi-currency card or forex card. You can easily get cash with it, swipe it anywhere you want. You don't want to be stranded with cards that fail to work on an international journey.

Travel Essentials & Cross-Checking

Travel essentials will set your ride smooth. What are your travel essentials depends on where are you travelling and what do you always need. I will just tell you about some of the essentials I like to carry on-the-go: power banks, medicines, travel documents, book, headphones, adapters, tea, facial sprays, laundry bags, wet wipes etc. These small details will help you and you don't have to run to a supermarket for every basic necessity when you are travelling. But don't get overboard with the size, make sure it occupies less space. Shop for travel size.

Once you are done with everything, It's time to cross-check all the details and hop on board.

This all may sound monotonous process but trust me you will have more fun on the trip once all this is sorted. You will have a more fulfilling experience and will save a lot for your next adventure. Get that travel blogger spirit and share your experiences with me. That's all from my side. If you have any interesting tips, please let me know in the comment below.


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