Step-By-Step Guide to Your Perfect Holiday

RachTravels @explorernationsSeptember 2018 · 9 min read

Traveling could be a heck lot to do, especially if it's your first time going abroad. Not knowing what to pack or how to plan is the worst nightmare that anyone could get. Since my sister asked for some planning tips for an abroad holiday in the coming month, it thought it might be a good idea to share it here too. Knowing that it might be helpful for your future trip.

Here's what you need to know. Get your pen and paper ready!

  • Step 1: Decide a Destination

Depending on what is your goal, you have to decide on a destination that suits all of your criteria. Give yourself some time to think and list down all of the possible travel destinations that come to your mind. Create a sub-list that can influence your decisions.
- What is your budget?
Choose a destination that suits your budget. For example, if your budget is high, you might want to consider traveling to a more expensive city for a luxury travel experience. Alternatively, visit a country that has a lower budget but equally exciting and is able to fulfill your travel desire.
- How long you plan to travel?
Your travel destination is very much depending on how much time you have for travels and whether you're willing to travel further away or nearer to your residing country. If you're taking two weeks off from work, try to consider a destination which is further away from your country. Perhaps, go on a road trip to countries like Australia, New Zealand or any European country that suits your preference.
- Who do you travel with?
When you're planning for your holiday, try looking into who you're traveling with. Whether or not you're traveling alone, with your family or as in a couple, you'll find this factor extremely important as it affects very much on everything. Try to sit down and discuss, don't be shy to voice out your opinion. However, if you're traveling in a family, try looking into a bigger picture by considering the landscape, the activities, transportation and etc. It's better to discuss and plan ahead first before it's too late.
- When to go?
You know yourself the best. If you don't like traveling in a rainy season, try to do some research regarding the season of your dream destination. Alternatively, look for a place to travel during the low season to avoid the crowd if you're looking for a more relaxing holiday.
  • Step 2: Booking Your Flight

After the long consideration and the final confirmation of the destination, here comes the most important step. Booking a flight to your dream destination. As we all knew that flight is one of the most significant factors that contribute to your budget chart. Getting a cheap flight is a lifesaver to your pocket and possibly the overall experience for your holiday too.

- Flight comparison
Head down to Google flight comparison or Skyscanner to for a cheaper fare price. These flight comparison website helps you to compare different airlines and flight time with just a few clicks. Now you don't have to spend hours in front of the computer, researching for an airline that suits your budget.
  • Step 3: Travel Requirements

Find out what are the requirements for you to travel. For example, ask your friends and family or simply Google online, whether you need a visa to travel, where to get a travel insurance and etc.

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- Visa check

Most of the time, if you're traveling to China, you're required to get a visa before entering the country. However, if you're unsure if you needed a visa to enter the country, check out the requirements at your embassy website. It is always a good idea to research ahead as it's not always the same case where you can apply for a visa on arrival. Some countries require a visa before you travel.
- Passport check

It is the worst nightmare if you realize that the validity of your passport is due a few days before your departure. Always check your passport before making a booking for a flight. This way you'll know when you can travel and know when to renew your passport if necessary.

  • Step 4: Book Your Accommodation Right

After knowing how many people you're traveling with, here the next crucial step. Booking your accommodation right is the key to an amazing holiday. I am pretty sure everybody wants to have a relaxing stay after a tiring day exploring the city.

- Search for deals

Instead of booking directly with a hotel, why not try to search for deals online at a third-party website. My favorite accommodation search website it as they are easy to use and it has a very wide choice of accommodation to choose from. Depending on your preferences like late check-in feature, beachside hotel, free cancellation and etc, you'll easily filter it on
- Breakfast and bed

Besides the hotel, Airbnb is possibly the best option for you. If you're traveling in a family, having the whole property to yourself seems to be a better choice. You get to have more space, privacy, and the best part is just so much cheaper than a family room in a hotel.

  • Step 5: Things to do, to eat

There are always to-do-list or to-visit-list when it comes to travel. Knowing what to do, where to visit and check yourself in at a must-see attraction is the best reward you can get for a trip. As much as I love the idea of spontaneity, I do like to have a general idea of what the places that we are visiting have to offer.

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- Create a to-do-list

Find out what are the attractions, pre-book your tickets if possible to avoid the queue and to save some cash for an emergency. If you're into sight-seeing, try to check out the free activities that you can do in the city or find out the specific dates that the activities are held during your visit. If you're unsure what to do or where to get those tickets, try to visit attraction websites like Klook or Viator.
- Restaurant list

I am not kidding when I say I always have a list of restaurant that serves good food on my travel list. This way I don't need to worry about where to go for lunch or dinner, having to worry about getting bad food and always ended up with a big smile on my face. Also, ask around what are the must-try food at the place you're visiting so that you don't miss the chance of expanding your palate. For example, if you're in Japan, you have to try out their sushi or ramen instead of sticking yourself up with just burgers and fries.

  • Step 6: Back up important documents

I can never imagine myself traveling without any important documents printed out in a hard copy and also a soft copy on my electronic devices. For example, the last time I was able to go through a theme park check with my electronic identification card with me without having to bring the hard copy with me while I was traveling. It's convenient and easy.

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- Hard copy printings

Always have your flight documents, hotel bookings, attraction bookings and etc printed out, just in case of an emergency. Whether or not you like it, this is a safety measure that no one can avoid. It gives you a security and most importantly, you don't have to risk having being denied on check-in with a solid evidence on your hand.
- Back up on icloud, google documents

If you think a hard copy is sufficient, it is not! I repeat it is not! Always back up with extra copies online so that you can access anytime anywhere in the world. The best app that I use is google documents, Evernote, icloud and also my email. This way, even though you lost your hard copy, you still have a back up to prove.

  • Step 7: Transportation

After everything is done, it's time to decide how you should get around in the city that you're traveling to. For example, if you're visiting a modern city like in Singapore, instead of renting a car, try to use to local transportation like MRT, or just take a cab because it's cheap and convenient. However, if you're visiting a European country, travel with local transport or by bike definitely more economical than taking a cab due to the price difference.

  • Step 8: Money, banks, and currencies

No one can travel without money in their pocket. When we are in a foreign country, having different currencies in our pocket is more important than anything. However, it comes the time when you hesitate whether it's a good idea to exchange your money in advance or do it on the spot when you arrived at your destination. Although both ideas have its own benefits, I find it it's way more convenient, secure and money saving to exchange your currency from the atm than going to a money changer.

Here's the article that helps you to understand currency exchange and teaches you how to avoid money loss when exchanging different currencies.

  • Step 9: Travel Insurance

No one should ever travel without any travel insurance. Imagine if you are the unlucky one that bumps into an accident, a medical bill can cost a hella lot. Instead of risking your life to travel somewhere, why not spend a little money to invest in your safety. After all, we really can't predict the future nor to know what's going to happen next.

Here's an article that is perfect to expose you with all you need to know about travels. Eg, what kind of travel insurance to get, how to get, how much you should pay and etc.

  • Step 10: Enjoy your holiday

It's called a holiday because you won't need to frustrate and worry about work. This holiday because it's the perfect time for you to take a step back from work, focus on what you've missed from immersing yourself into the virtual world. Take your stresses off to enjoy the time with your family and friends before you ride on the next waves again.

Overall, I hope you enjoy reading this article and hopefully, it helps to plan your perfect holiday. Always remember, prevention is always better than cure. So, look at every detail before making any decision and most importantly, always enjoy every moment and every time during your vacation. It's something that you're going to remember it for life. So, why not make it a perfect holiday and let the happy moment stays forever in your memory.

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