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How long do you take putting your travel plans in place?

Updated: Jul 3, 2021

That feeling of waking up and packing your bags for an unknown destination. I've not done it yet but can't get over the idea either. I believe in slowing down while traveling - but I don't particularly enjoy spending too much time in planning ahead of time.

For as long as I can go back in time, I only remember making instant travel plans. One minute I am contemplating whether to travel or not and the very next minute I figure out my travel destination. That's how quickly I can turn things around when it comes to traveling.

What's a good starting point? You may wonder. There's never going to be an easy recipe to figure it out. But I can surely tell you how things almost always play out in my favor. Call me impulsive if you want. First, I lock the destination in mind based on the number of days I can make myself available to explore a particular place. Second, as soon as I have the time slot ready on the calendar, I go ahead and book my flights. This almost immediately gives me a sense of reality that my trip is happening. It also pushes me to stick to those dates and come up with a reasonable itinerary (keeping the budget in place). Third, I narrow down my entire travel into smaller and easy-to-modify patterns - upon which I go ahead and start looking for my accommodation. Is this a great way to manage your travel itinerary? I'd say, it depends on the kind of traveler that you are.

For me, it works brilliantly when I don't sit on the 'idea' of traveling but go ahead and book myself up for one destination. Sitting back and mulling over the idea of being at a certain place during a certain time of the year only kills my mood - and often I find myself in a state of dilemma whether I should go ahead with my plan at all. The moral of the story being - if you want to travel or explore and you've got the right amount of time off your work, just go ahead and sign up for one. Let your planning come later.

Identifying what you want to explore

Now, you may be well-versed in selecting those popular tourist spots to visit once you arrive at your destination but it's super important to keep a few things in mind while mapping your day-to-day itinerary. If you're one of those who prefer taking public transportation while traveling, pay closer attention to how well you can navigate around that location and reach those places you've noted down.

Let me share how I usually go about doing this during my travel days. While I may not be aware of all the fun places to visit, reading up about those places on social media or talking to avid travelers who've been to those places before - gives me a different high altogether. With information just a click away, we often tend to overlook the finer details before finalizing what we want to explore. We're consumed with excess information, which almost makes us feel clueless and lost (at least in my case). So, if I cannot reach a place as it's completely cut off from other attractions or hard to reach using public transport, I'd mostly strike it off my list. I believe in making the most of my time exploring things that are within easy reach, rather than going around and figuring how to be somewhere that's 100 odd kilometers away. I tell myself that everything I encounter during my travel is new to me - there's nothing that I've seen before from that place. So, I choose to stick to fewer locations and go hard in exploring those places alone.

Budgeting is key. I don't want to go over this aspect cause it's been told over and over again. But I can't stress enough on one point though - and that is - even if you're traveling on a tight budget, you can still treat yourself that nice evening meal at some rooftop diner, or spend a night or two in a hotel of your choice. It all comes down to be selective and mindful when you travel.

  • Local transport

  • Self-guided tours

  • Homestays (wherever possible)

There are more ways than these to make sure you don't go overboard with your expenses, and still be able to have a comfortable experience. Needless to say - a lot of these variables keep changing based on where you're traveling to. I'll be sharing my personal travel experience in the upcoming posts. Stay tuned!

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