I love trip planning almost as much as actual traveling. I get really excited at all the possibilities that lie ahead when planning a trip. Just now I’m planning our summer vacation trip. We will travel to Gotland in Sweden where we will spend four nights after which we will spend three nights in Stockholm before heading home. We booked our ferry transfers (from Turku to Stockholm and back and from Nynäshamn to Visby and back) over the weekend and now I am looking at accommodation options. This got me thinking about travel planning in general so I decided to write a small post on the subject.
Our travel plans start with picking a destination, how we go about this varies depending on factors like how much time we have available to spend traveling. If we have less than a week we opt for something that is relatively close by and generally start looking within Europe but if we have a longer vacation we look further afield. After we have picked a few possible destinations we start looking at flight prices and if we find a good deal we book the flights. If nothing jumps out as being especially affordable we look at other details of the flights to make a final decision or opt for the destination that has seemed most interesting. After securing the flights (or in some cases other forms of transport) we start looking at accommodation options. My favorite options for looking for accommodation are Airbnb and booking.com. I prefer booking.com over other sites providing accommodation options because I get cashback through Bonusway if I book my accommodation through booking.com and unlike some other sites it often offers the option to pay when you actually stay at the accommodation and not in advance. With accommodation we look at things like location, amenities, bed options, room size, hotel ratings, etc.
I tend to explore blogs and tourist information sites before picking a destination and once we have booked our trip I spend a lot of time exploring destination information. A favorite tool for doing this is Pinterest because it helps me return to interesting information about the destination later on and during the actual trip if necessary. We tend to make rough day plans for when we are traveling but are not keen on minute-to-minute schedules because there has to be room for extempore exploration, etc. We often make some table reservations for dinners ahead of time but like with the day plans we want to leave room for chance. Quite often we also book some activity in advance, especially if the trip lasts at least a week.