Knowing how to plan a trip may seem like one of those life skills you're either born with or not. Well we’re here to banish those thoughts and guide you through the early stages of organising your own adventure, because travelling should be for everyone, not the fortunate few. In just 5 simple steps, you’ll be on your way to securing the holiday you’ve always dreamed of. Whether a short city break, a week-long excursion in the Scottish Highlands, or a relaxing all-inclusive beach holiday, these tips will help you get started in planning your trip.
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We can all agree that the time it takes to plan a trip can be extensive, but breaking the process down into manageable chunks can help keep you organised. If organisation really isn’t your strong point and you're looking for further help, why not explore our range of small-group tours? With an itinerary already planned for you, all you have to decide is what time of year you want to visit, then book your flights. Simple.
If you want to give planning your own trip a go, discover our 5 easy steps.
The first thing you will need to decide upon, when planning your trip, is what destination do you want to visit? A European tour where it's hot with lots of culture, or maybe a cooler climate where you may be on the hunt for your heritage, like on a Scottish tour, either sounds like lots of fun to us.
If you’re unsure of a destination, or maybe you have too many to choose from, a good way to help narrow down your list is to consider the time of year you’re planning on visiting the location.
Worldwide, peak travel times are often during the summer months (May - September). The sun is hotter, the sea is warmer, and if travelling as a family, the kids have an extended summer vacation period. However, depending on your chosen location, a fall tour or even a winter trip may prove to be popular for the masses. Less crowds, autumnal colours painting the landscape, and an excuse to wrap up warm in front of an open log fire at the local pub… the choice is really yours to make. One thing you may have to take into consideration if deciding on out of peak travel times, is that you may find certain excursions or attractions closed, so always best to check before you go.
You have the location secured, your next step is to plan how long your trip is going to be. If you’re solo travelling, you may be lucky to have an extended period of time to explore all of the hidden paths your destination has to offer. For those with a shorter time frame, there’s still plenty a destination can offer, you just need to know how to plan your time to fit everything in. With our selection of UK and Ireland tours, we have a length of stay to suit all travellers. This flexibility means you can tour England for a weekend, followed by a week-long trip around Spain and Portugal, seeing a multitude of cultures along the way.
Destination, check. Length of stay decided, check. Let's start thinking about how you're going to get to your chosen location and your travel accommodation. Flights, ferries, car, bus, or taxi, travelling has never been an easier commute. Depending on where your starting point is, more often than not, a flight may be the first logical step when planning your trip.
With many sources telling you tips and tricks to booking a cheap flight, such as “only book on a Tuesday in a private browser mode”, “look to book exactly 60 days before the day you want to fly” etc, it can be conflicting in what they suggest. Our advice is to be prepared. From our experience, the cost of flights only increases as we get close to our chosen date of flying. With that in mind, we have several guides to help if looking for direct flights from the US:
Travel accommodation can vary from location to location. From a 5* hotel, to a cute remote cottage or even a shared hostel, depending on what type of traveller you are, there will always be something to suit.
Now you have planned the foundations of your trip, you can begin to get excited at all the attractions and local activities you may get to experience. After all, there must have been something that caught your eye for you to want to visit your chosen destination in the first place?
Maybe a festive Christmas market if you’ve booked a tour of Switzerland? Or how about dressing head to toe in green to celebrate St Patrick’s Day in Ireland? We encourage you to step outside your comfort zone and embrace all the wild and exciting festivals and holidays there are to see.
Planning to take things easy on this planned holiday? Say no more. Discover local walking trails in your location and see how many wild animals you can spot. Who knows, a rugged Highland coo may be waiting to say hello. But our first rule of wanting to see a coo, do not talk about wanting to see a coo…
We advise not to have every single day of your holiday planned prior to travelling. Allow for some flexibility because you never know who you might meet, or any local advice you may encounter once you're there.
Who said planning a trip was hard? With your destination chosen, the length of stay secured, flights booked, travel accommodation thought about, and being inspired by local activities, all that's left to do is pack.
When packing, the key thing to remember is your weight allowance when flying. Most domestic airlines are quite generous with a 22 kg - 25 kg allowance, but you will have to check with your airline when booking. Its very easy to overpack, but from our time travelling the most important items to take, which may get overlooked, are:
Take the pressure off planning the perfect trip by gaining the help of an award-winning travel organisation. With our expert driver-guides on hand to take you beyond the beaten track, you're sure to experience hidden treasures you didn’t know existed. If you want to make your trip more personal, why not explore our private tour options? Catering to all types of travellers, you can journey through the UK and Europe on your brown bespoke itinerary. On this tour, you're the leader and we can’t wait to come along for the adventure.