Travel planning can be a time consuming and daunting task. Sometimes it is hard to find a place to start and finish. Travel planning should be done in conjunction with costing of the holiday as both will have an impact on the other.
HOW TO PLAN:
For me the easiest way to start planning a holiday is to come up with the initial budget as outlined in the Travel Costing page and work from their. Once the initial budget is established using the same spread sheet created for the Travel Costing you should enter your destinations as per the below, with the best way to do this is to work your holiday in a circular direction. By using a circular method for planning you can minimise back tracking and potentially add more to your holiday. The below example shows this method in action.
It is worth noting that this may not be the final order of your holiday but will provide a good starting point.
The above sample shows the information that I use to plan a holiday, this includes the Travel Costing information as well. Once this stage has been completed researching your connections from city to city or country to country should be your next step. This will both have a bearing on cost and time, as connections may only occur on particular days or transport may be extremely expensive in certain directions.
Once you have selected a starting point and applied the circle method to your following destinations you can now look at transport options, depending on your time, location and cost restraints different methods will prove more desirable for your trip. Transport options include; Plane, car, boat, bus and train just to name a few and all will have pros and cons. Some other points to consider when selecting your transport include, what you will see from your travel route, what you want to see and phobias. But ultimately it will be your budget and time constraints that will dictate your method.
Once you have reviewed your connection options and come to the best sequence to maximise your time or minimise your cost depending on your preference you should now have a reasonably accurate itinerary and budget. It is likely that by completing this step your initial budget will have moved either up or down and this provides the perfect opportunity to review your preferences.
These preferences will come down to what you want to see in a particular city or country and again more research will be required to understand exactly what you want to see. This process will go hand in hand with the travel costing and you will start to get into the nitty gritty of your holiday costs and plans. At this stage it will become apparent how much time you can actually spend on your holiday.
Another couple of items to consider when selecting your transport method is connections to and from, food requirements as generally prices are hiked up at places where people have no other options.
Once you have completed your itinerary and are happy with your budget and destinations its time to start booking and getting excited.