How to plan a trip on your own from A to Z?

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This post will be divided into various sections and will help you answer the question:

Will I be able to plan a trip in complete autonomy?

We believe everybody to be capable of organizing their own journey from A to Z without any help from a travel agency.

How many times have we been asked: “Did you arrange this on your own?” or we’ve heard friends saying: “Nah, this is not my cup of tea – I wouldn’t even know where to start from.” And our reply as always been the same: “Yes, we did it by ourselves and that’s not difficult at all… You just need…”

Right…what do we need?

Easy peasy! We need the proper information, patience and a dose of goodwill. No excuses accepted, especially in the technological age of the Internet which has made things much easier and people less likely to turn to a travel agency.

This post arises from what we think is a lack of a proper travel culture among travelers and tourists. Feeling unsure and incapable of organizing a trip on their own, people find it easier to book an all inclusive package.

With this section I want to guide those travellers towards a more fulfilling form of tourism, help them grow in self/confidence, and teach them how to overcome any obstacle that they might encounter.

Which steps to plan you trip?

I recommend a step-by-step approach to the organization of your own trip. Every step will be in a precise sequence that will have to be followed (just click right on each step if you wish to read a more detailed explanation of them).

1 – How to plan a trip: where and how to travel

The first and most important of all the steps is being conscious of our skills as travelers and trusting our abilities to face the complications that could arise while travelling. We also need to be aware that all the steps mentioned below will be the same for everybody, but we must be careful not to bite off more than we can chew.

Let us explain. If you have been to a travel agency recently, you understand how much preparation is required to take an all inclusive trip to wherever it is that you want to go. For this reason, we would like you to be cautious before diving into the organization of your own trip head first; you would probably miss out some key stages of the trip organization that wouldn’t be omitted if you had some previous experience.

We’d like to call this first phase: the dream.

The phase where you’re randomly reading a magazine and you stumble upon an article on a particular country and you start dreaming of lying on the warm sand of that caribbean beach you’re reading about.
It is from the combination of need and desire that the idea of a trip develops. Need, desire and determination in undertaking the stress involved while organizing your journey will make your trip exciting.

Start with your proposal. Write down your ideas and suggestions, share them with whoever your travel companion/s will be and compare them to the budget, time, and days at your disposal. It will certainly be impossible to fully envision a trip from scratch, but it will help you realize obvious things such as the difference in the costing of a 2-week trip instead of a 4-week one.

We will shortly talk more in depth about the key factors involved in organizing a trip. One of them is the crucial comparison between the budget you’ve set for yourselves versus the strength of the currency of the country you’ll travel to (if going abroad, of course).

2 – How to plan a trip, information research and preliminary draft

Once the holiday destination has been decided, the most time consuming task comes along: we need to start constructing the trip’s framework, just like a building.
The process of organizing your own trip that you can find also inside the post about how to make a travel itinerary by your own should take into account:

  • Personal Interests: What you absolutely want to visit and the emotions you want to experience from it.
  • Transportation: What means of transport to use to reach your destination and then how to get around once there.
  • Itinerary: which must include the means of transport and their timetables
  • Accommodation: the decision of where to stay, whether in a hotel, guest house, tent, etc…
  • The weather: if you’re going to take holiday at a specific time of year and you cannot change the dates, you must be aware that in other countries the season might be a different one. For this reason you must take the weather into account and organize your trip accordingly.

Each one of these factors must always relate to the budget you have set for yourselves

This is the main phase in which gathering as much information as possible becomes fundamental. To this purpose, you should visit forums, blogs and websites where many travellers have left precious memories of their trips from which you can steal some ideas.

If we have to be honest, this might be the part of the trip organization where everybody gets a little bit discouraged. You This in fact, is also the stage that will give you the most satisfaction as while  connecting the dots you will realize that your trip has finally started to take shape.

3 – How to plan a trip: the first bookings

This stage might be quite tricky. You might be wondering “What’s so difficult in making a booking?!”

Nothing special to worry about…You’ll just have to deal with the hassle of making “a couple” of card payments. What many people don’t know though, is that a booking is not always required.

In some all inclusive trips, where  the itinerary has already been planned, the accommodation and means of transport are, on the contrary, left out and must be booked once there (a kind of practice used by more experienced traveler s

In addition to this, the booking depends on the season. If we travel to a destination during the peak season, then the reservation becomes highly recommended to avoid bitter disappointments. On the other hand, if we decide to set off on our journey on a low season period, the accommodation will be much easier to be found, even without a booking made well in advance

Attention: Not only do we need to take into account the seasonal aspect in the place we will travel to, but we also need to be aware of the touristic season of where we are leaving from

Let us explain. Imagine you were only allowed to take holiday in August and you’d like to go to Thailand, where monsoons and non stop-rains might be drenching the country. You shouldn’t expect lower prices though, as August is still considered a peak season month despite the variable weather of that particular time of the year.

At this stage, you should make provisional bookings with hotels that allow you to cancel without having to pay a cancellation fee (we’ll focus on hotel and flight bookings shortly).

I suggest you to use site as per le prenotazioni alberghiere.


Oltre alle classiche prenotazioni alberghiere, sta diventando sempre più importante trovare un modo per raggiungere l’eventuale aeroporto di partenza evitando di dover sostenere costi aggiuntivi per il parcheggio. Da qualche anno è attivo un servizio molto efficiente che vi permette di “dimenticarvi della vostra macchina”.

Questo servizio si chiama GoOpti; vi vengono a prendere direttamente sull’uscio di casa e vi trasportano fino a destinazione. Il bello di questo servizio è che siete tutelati e coperti qualora il minivan non riesca a portarvi in aeroporto in tempo utile per la partenza. Ho avuto modo di provare l’efficienza di GoOpti e sono rimasto davvero stupito dalla comodità di un servizio del genere, quindi prendetelo in considerazione per i vostri prossimi viaggi perché è conveniente ed estremamente utile.

4 – How to plan a trip: the Further information research

The organization of a trip is not complete until you step out of the front door and it often continues even once you’ve left. Here we are, then – step four: the destination has been chosen and the core details (itinerary, means of transport, accommodation, budget…) of the trip have been laid out.

By this time, you’d have already spent many hours staring at a computer screen. What we do recommend for our eyes and brain’s sake, is a little rest and to put the paperwork aside.  Too much data might in fact result in an information overload with the risk of getting confused and messing everything up.

Time flies though and you got to get back to business, back to searching for further information and start defining your plans.

Travelers who choose to book a hotel room should know that it to find accommodation with a better price/quality ratio and possibly even a better location as well. Later on, we will explain what to do to achieve this.

5 – How to plan a trip: Ironin out the creases

Well, not too much to say here…So grab your credit card and start making all the necessary payments. I know is not a good step about plan a trip but it’s so. If you have already worked all the details out and chosen the online booking option, your trip will be perfectly arranged. You will then know exactly what you have to do each day, how much you’ll have to pay for the transport to go from one place to another, etc etc

So get everything ready and start the countdown!

What do we mean by checking?

Imagine how easy it is to miss some little but important detail while being swamped under the paperwork. Months spent searching, planning, printing and then… “Damn it, when does the flight check in open?”

This is one of our fellow travelers’ main concerns while organizing their trip. We believe that revising everything and going through all the previous steps once more to be fundamental so as to not miss anything and ensure everything goes as planned.

6 – Finish: Travel!

Obviously the best and most satisfying step of this article on how to plan a trip…and it’s traveling.

Grab the folder filled with flight tickets, booking confirmation, information about the places you’ll visit and all the other details gathered while organizing your trip, pack your backpack and enjoy the journey.  A journey that, in some ways, has already begun.


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