How to plan a trip in 12 steps

It's important to know how to plan a outdoor trip. This may seem like a tedious task, but in the end you will be glad you did. Only then will you be able to better organize and prepare the trip of your dreams, regardless of destination, duration, whether you are going alone or accompanied.

Logistics and prior preparation presuppose a dedication that will bear fruit at the time of departure, in which everything will be oriented to be able to enjoy your travel time to the fullest. Read on to learn how to plan a trip in 12 easy steps.

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Do You Know How To Plan An Outdoor Trip?

The answer may seem obvious, because in the course of your life you have likely undertaken several trips, some shorter, some longer, some for leisure, others for work. But for active travel or outdoor adventure trips, the organization is different and will require more planning to ensure a great experience. So, learn how to plan a trip in 12 steps and avoid some common mistakes.

1. Decide where you want to go and how you want to travel

​Defining where and how to travel will influence all stages of how to plan a trip, so choosing a destination is immensely important as it gives you a definite goal.

If you already have a destination in mind, do a search to find out how it is at the security level. You can access a wide variety of information about the country you want to visit, from the climate, local currency, security conditions, transport, health system, among others.

2. Decide the duration of the trip

Traveling for a long weekend, 10 days or for 2 months involves quite different logistical and financial management. Not just in terms of the travel planning but also all the logistics envolved in making sure things are kept under control at home or at work while you are away.

3. Research on the cost of living

Knowing the cost of living at the location (or locations) of your choice will help you understand if your plan is feasible for your budget or if you will have to make some financial concessions to embark on your adventure. Ideally you will be able to set a target daily budget and keep to it. Nothing is more disapointing than being far from home in an amazing location and finding yourself finacially constrained because of weak budget planning, so give it a little thought before you leave!

4. Start saving money

Following on the point above, even if it is an affordable destination or a short trip, it is always good to have a little extra money set for any eventuality or extravagance you want to commit. A great idea used by many seasoned world travelers is to setup a separate mini savings account into which they deposit a daily, weekly or monthly amount of trip money that they don't touch until it's time to travel. Ideally you should set up an automatic schedule so you don't even have to think of it, until you find a nice little travel savings account, ready to invest on your trip! Several banks and financial apps allow you setup such an automatic savings account in no time at all.

5. Do your research

Research about your destination and gather as much information as possible about the places you would like to visit, what to see, where to stay, how the transport system works, cultural and religious rules you must comply with. You can find most of the information you need within a couple of taps on your phone screen or mouse clicks. Don't forget to search specifically for your preferred form of travel, for example, some places may be great to explore by car and awful to bike tour, or quite the oposite. Also make sure you have a good understanding of your top points of interest, it's a real shame to find you were only 20 minutes away from the most amazing waterfalls in the country, when you're on your way home. Yes it can happen.

6. Stay tuned for promotions

Don't book the first hotel you find, or buy the plane ticket right away. Wait a few days and search in different portals, in order to understand if you will find any advantageous promotion that will save you money. If traveling for a long period of time, it is recommended that you book only the first few days as your plans may change unexpectedly, and although you may be able to change and get refunds, it will still imply a lot of extra work for you.

7. Plan your activities

Outline the principal and most expensive additional activities you want to enjoy - and how much they cost. This will also help you to understand if you need to budget for extra travel money and if you need to make reservations in advance. Imagine the disappointment of trying to book your bungee jump for the next day, only to find you have a 2 week waiting list ahead of you!

8. Opt for direct debits

If you travel for a long period of time, activate the direct debit process on all your accounts, so you don't have any unpleasant surprises when you return home.

9. Inform your bank account manager

Movements made abroad can be considered suspicious at your bank, so it is recommended to inform them of the places where you intend to travel and, consequently, where you can use your card, in order to let it never be blocked. Take it from me - this can still happen!

10. Take out travel insurance

Although many people think, “I'm healthy, I don't need travel insurance”, you should know that this item is much more comprehensive than that. Depending on the type of insurance you decide to take, it can cover a whole range of events: the camera that broke, the suitcase that was sent to another airport, last minute travel change. This is really a make or break point in all travel plans. If you end up needing travel insurance coverage and you don't have it, you will never forgive yourself. If you end up not needing the insurance - great! You invested some money to buy you peice of mind.

To Plan An Outdoor Trip use a checklist

11. List of what to take

Taking into account destination, duration and type of travel, make a checklist of all the items you really need to take and strictly adhere to it, so you don't forget anything you can't be without, but don't haul around useless dead weight! This will save you time packing and unpacking, money in transport and storage fees and buy you piece of mind as you have less stuff to worry about as you move around.

12. Enjoy the trip!

Now it's time to leave and make the most of it. It was a long and exhausting preparation and now go and reap the rewards of your work. PS: don't forget your passport!

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