For me, the hardest part of planning my next travel destination is deciding where I would like to go. Now, this is an issue for me mainly because I would like to go EVERYWHERE! I also have this goal to step foot on to every continent before I turn 30, so narrowing it down to one place takes some serious thought. My first step to picking a place is to look back at where I have already been, each continent that I have already traveled to, and scratch them off the list, one by one. Europe- check. Africa- done! North America- uhhh, I live there! Oceania- finito. So that leaves me with a choice between Asia or South America.
… Both of which have some pretty amazing stops that I must make in my lifetime. For my next travel experience, though, I want a major culture shock, and I mean more so than any other culture shock I’ve ever had before. So, which should come first? The breathtaking views of Machu Picchu, perhaps? But The Great Wall of China would be unreal! Hmm, or what about Japan? I’m intrigued… the landscape is a photographer’s dream, from the mountains and volcanoes to the ocean, lakes, and gardens… I should have no issue capturing the beauty that Japan holds. And the Buddhist way of life would surely be eye-opening. Oh, and the food! Can we just stop and think about the food for a moment!? OK, Japan it is! That wasn’t so bad, and I am already gleaming with excitement to go! Now that the location has been picked, the planning begins.
The first question I have to ask myself is, when? And then, for how long? Usually, that is an easy answer: September. I have this thing where I need to be in a different country every year on my birthday, so September is always a travel month for me. No complaints there. As for how long, I would like at least two full weeks in Japan, so I’ll start to look for flights to Tokyo. I always book my flights through flighthub.com and absolutely love their services. Once I see a flight that I like, I usually book it sooner rather than later, as prices tend to go up the closer you get to your departure date. I like doing this because then I know it’s officially happening and then I can start to plan for it. After booking the flight, I take a few weeks to a month to research different destinations and things to do, so that I can narrow down exactly what locations I would like to explore, and get a rough estimate of how long in each place. Once I make my final decisions on where I would like to go, I look for accommodations. For hotels, I do most of my bookings through hotels.ca. I love their reward system: for every 10 nights stayed in one of the hotels on their website, you get a free night’s stay- pretty awesome if you are a frequent traveller such as myself!
…Yay, the rooms are finally booked and now that all the hard planning is over with, I can just sit back and count the days till I leave! During the time leading up to the trip, I will do lots of research and take notes on different restaurants I want to try, what to pack for the season’s weather, must-see places that are great for photography, and any other things that I may need to know before heading overseas. The entire process should be fun and exciting. For me, the planning is just another part of the adventure, and you will make mistakes and you will learn from those mistakes on your next trip. I mean, wouldn’t it kind of take the fun out of it if everything was already laid out, telling you exactly what to do, step-by-step? No thanks, I want to create my own journey right from the very beginning! I know when you first start to plan your travels it can be overwhelming at times- there are so many things to do and consider, and you may think to yourself, how will I ever be able to make concrete decisions? My advice to you is to take it slow, and give yourself months in advance to plan your ideal trip. Pick a destination, then book a flight, and so on and so forth. It does not have to be all booked and planned in a week’s time. Don’t rob yourself of the excitement the planning can bring you. Enjoy the journey every step of the way, as you will surely be a different person by the time you get back home. Follow my photography and travels on Instagram @kbsguidetotheworld.
Site powered by Weebly. Managed by SiteGround