There are different ways of getting ready when going to new places. Some might want to stay in one or two places and explore from there, randomly or using the tips from locals, while others might want to plan most of the trip before the arrival. We definitely prefer the latter. That’s why a few months before traveling to certain place, country, we sit down and do the research on what can be seen or done where we are traveling to.
When doing the research for interesting places to see, things to do and so on, you are getting to know the place at least a little bit, starting to understand the culture and so on. You get some idea of the most important things you should know about the place you’re going to and that’s important especially while traveling to countries that do not have the „western way of thinking“, such as the countries of middle east.
During our trip planning to Jordan we did find out, for example, that in that country holding hands for couples is unacceptable. We wouldn’t have known that, if we hadn’t checked it before our travel so it’s always good to check for some rules that apply.
But, so far planning for previous trips proved the most useful for the Australian journey. We had a lot of experience from the previous travels and we used it all to plan the trip to Australia since it was much bigger, more expensive and we had to think about many different things.
So, why did it help us?
- We did know how much we are able to drive a day. This was not our first trip, and in many other places, we were driving to get from point A to point B. One can drive only so far every day, and no one wants to stay in the car all the time and only sleep in some cool places. Thanks to that we were able to make some estimates of how long we could drive before we had to switch or take a longer break which was a big deal when travelling in Australia.
- We knew what we want to do and see. We are not that big fans of cities, and when going to some interesting countries, nature is much more interesting than the city life. At least to us (but of course, there is always an exception). So, knowing we want to see wildlife, camp and enjoy nature, we found places where we can do exactly that without spending time on figuring out what to do while being already there.
- We knew where we are headed every day. When you have things planned this way, there are never surprises. You can check several days ahead if everything is fine, if you should cancel something, change, adjust. Not to mention, you can save A LOT by planning early and getting the early bird deals.
- We knew almost exactly how much we would spend on the trip. Knowing how many kilometres you will drive, how many nights in hotels/apartments, campsites, you get a fairly accurate estimate on required expenses, so it is easier to save enough money for the trip for months in advance. And nobody wants to go travelling and finding out they don’t have enough money to do what they actually want to do!
- You save a lot by planning early. While we are all for spontaneity, we love to save whenever and wherever we can, so we can use the savings for another trip! (That’s our favorite part!) Same ticket/apartment/car rental can cost 2x as much a few days or weeks before the trip than it did several months prior. And, the added benefit is – you don’t have to pay for all of it at the same time. You buy the tickets one month, pay it off for a month or two, rent a car another month, apartments another month. The more you spread out your expenses, the easier it will be on your budget.
Hope this helped you at least a bit to see how you can get your own trip better, or improve it. I’m not saying that this is the way to do it, but it worked really well for us and we hope it will for you too!