As of recently, I’ve been approached by a few people looking to plan trips and I’m totally flattered! I’ve also been asked how hard it is and how much detail goes into travel planning. I think the planning itself, in some ways, can be just as fun as actually going somewhere. If it wasn’t apparent by now, I love to do research before I go anywhere (and if you’re one of the lucky ones who got to see my binder before France, you know exactly how much work went into that). I think even if you’re planning to improvise your entire trip like I did, it’s important to know places of interest nearby! That being said, trip planning is exactly as easy or as hard as you make it.
For people who don’t like the pressure of deciding on cities, hotels, and places of interest, there are a ton of options where most (or even sometimes all) of the trip is planned for you. EF Ultimate Break is one of the best options for students and young adults under 29. The locations, hotels, and flights are planned for you but allow you the freedom to choose your activities in the cities where you are staying. They also have monthly payment options which make it easier to pay for! I have a handful of friends who have traveled with EF and have had amazing trips. Cruises are another great choice though you will spend less time getting to explore because more time is spent on the ship. Then there’s the option to hire someone (like me!) to help plan a trip for you which probably allows you the most amount of control over how much is planned for you, and how much freedom you have to do what you would like.
For people who enjoy a moderate amount of research and planning, there are tons of options on a local level! Almost any country or major city you stay in has guided tours which can be found and booked either online or in person via the office of tourism. This gives you the option of choosing the country, city, and hotels you are staying in and for how long, but also lets a knowledgeable tour guide show you the best spots in the area! There are even some guided tours that last a whole day (or more) and take you around a section of the country. Iceland, for example, has bus tours around the Golden Circle which last for anything from half a day through a couple of days and anything in between. Scotland has one called the “Hairy Coo” that show you the best parts of the country! These guided tours are also nice because in a lot of places they have tour guides that speak whichever language you feel most comfortable in. This kind of tour would give you the chance to have as many days and hours as you wanted to roam freely and a scheduled portion with guides who may show you things you never would have seen on your own.
For those of you, like myself, who like to have a hand in every aspect of their trip, we have the work cut out for ourselves, though again, it’s as easy or as hard as you personally make it. For my trip to France, I was researching things down to the detail. I had a binder full of information and maps on castles, cathedrals, museums, and UNESCO World Heritage Sites as well as their opening hours and prices. Obviously, this isn’t a requirement if you’re planning your own trip. You could really just plan up to the cities you’ll stay in and the time of year you are going and improvise as you go (though I recommend having at least some ideas first). Depending on the time of year, it isn’t hard to find hotel reservations the day of though this obviously limits your choices and is much more expensive usually.
I’ve already started planning my trips for the upcoming year and I’m excited for what’s in store! I actually just booked a trip to Montreal and Quebec City for under $450 per person for six nights! I’ve found I’m talented at finding deals on hotels and flights for myself and others. I’m also pretty good at finding places and things of interest and staying on budget. in the near future, I’ll be posting more detailed information about the planning that went into my trip to France as well as pictures from my research binder. This is why I’ve decided to start offering my skills and abilities with research and planning to help other people decide on and plan their trips. If you would like to know more or are interested in having me help you plan a trip, head over to the Contact/Work With Me page to get in touch, or just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org! Though I may not have been to the places you might be interested in, my research ability has shown itself invaluable on the trips I’ve already taken!