Importance of Planning and Research before Traveling
Sometimes Traveling is not just about the destination but the journey as well. A journey of a thousand miles starts with a first step, they say, if you plan on getting lost, a lot, a journey starts well before you even begin to take your first step and this page is dedicated to helping you plan and make your first trip as well as avoid simple and avoidable mistakes.
It takes a lot of planning and research before we decide on our next trip, there are several factors we take into account, especially if we are on a budget, like the cost of the airfare, cost of living, accommodation, travel insurance, and more.
Our Travel Planning Guide
There are several ways to plan your trip, either you shape your trip according to your budget or plan your trip so you can visit specific places or experience the culture and think about the budget later. For me, I usually start with the budget first and then match the bits and pieces like airfare, accommodation, and other costs to fit the budget.
Here is a rough guide of how much you need for traveling from the Philippines to specific locations:
Table 1: Budget Estimates when traveling from the Philippines (Estimates for 2022)
|Destination||Included in the Trip||Estimated Budget|
We usually save up for our trip 6 months before our travel date. One of the best ways to start a budget is to set up a travel fund in a bank account that is separate from your expense or saving accounts.
A Budget Friendly Travel Guide
Step 1: Planning Your Budget
The first step in planning your budget is knowing the associated costs that come with traveling. Here is a breakdown of the expenses that goes hand in hand when you travel. The values here are just very rough estimates to help you get an idea of the total costs.
|Expense Name||Description||Percentage of Budget|
|Visa and Travel Document Processing|
|Taxes and Airpot Fees|
|Local Transportation Fee|
Step 2: Figuring out the Purpose or Highlight of your Travel
Just like the familiar question when you go through immigration, you need to figure out the purpose or highlight of your travel, for some, it’s about visiting a specific place, tasting a specific local delicacy, or for others, just a peaceful spot on the beach.
Knowing the purpose or highlight of your travel allows you to prioritize the expenses, for example, if your goal is to check in to a luxury spa beach resort and stay there until your return flight, then setting aside a budget for local transportation or food is not as important as someone who wants to visit an exotic place just to experience the native cuisine.
For me, it’s usually to visit new places in general, so accommodation and food expenses are not a priority, since I can choose to stay in a budget hotel or Airbnb and eat in fast food restaurants.
Step 3: Choosing the Destination
If you’re not planning to visit a specific place, then your budget can be one of the biggest factors when choosing the destination. Depending on your passport, you may need to apply for a visa that requires a credit check and money in the bank before your tourist visa gets approved.
Step 4: Preparing the Travel Documents
One of the top travel documents you need, especially when traveling abroad is your passport and visa. Post COVID-19 has made it a little bit complicated since each country has it’s own type of paperwork and in some cases, each city also has additional requirements on top.
An important thing to look out for is the expiration date of your passport, typically, immigration may deny you entry if your passport is expiring within 6 months of your travel date.
Step 5: Choosing Your Flights
The internet has a plethora of online booking platforms and search engines when it comes to choosing the cheapest airplane fare, the trick is finding the right one for your needs. There are a number of reasons why flights fare vary per airline or even on schedules on specific airlines.
From our experience, flights are usually cheaper on the weekdays and on days that don’t have local holidays. One perk of avoiding weekends is that the tourist spots are a lot less crowded compared to weekends.
Step 6: Booking a Hotel or Choosing Accommodations
In recent years, hotels have become more and more competitive and sometimes hotel rates can match rates you can find on Airbnb or other homestay platforms, that is why it is important to do diligent research before booking accommodation.
Here is a list of booking platforms that we frequently use: