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15 Essential Steps For Planning A Trip In 2020

Planning a trip can be difficult and confusing.

When I first started to travel, I had no clue on what I was suppose to do. My first few trips that I have ever done was just me picking out a location that I wanted to go, then flying there to have some fun. It went okay at first, but eventually I became lost and confused as to what else I should be doing. I ran into problems that took awhile to figure out as well as wasting thousands of dollars on things where I could have saved.

It was due to my poor planning that resulted in these things.

And I get it. Travel planning can be difficult for many.

I mean, where do you even start? What are you suppose to do? What do you need to research? It can get overwhelming and confusing very fast especially if you are new to this whole thing.

Fortunately for you, that is why I am making this post.

You have no idea how many times I have heard people say “How do I plan for my trip? What Items should I bring? What do I do next?”

Over the years, I have traveled to many different places and learned many different things. All of these experiences that I been through have helped me figure out exactly what to do during my planning stages. I have made an easy to understand 15 step guide on how to plan for a trip checklist. This list has helped me ensure that I am able to do everything I can possible to make this trip a success. Whether it is researching where to go or what items to bring, this list covers it all.

This 15 step guide list is your one stop area for learning exactly what you should do before you go on a trip. It is tailored as a general guideline so you are free to make any changes or substitutes that you desire.

So as long as you follow this guide list, you will be able to have a much better experience traveling around.

15 Step Guide To Planning A Trip

Pre-Step: Are You Going To Go With Anybody?

Girl, Sea, Beach, Young, Summer, People, Lifestyle

Now before you even decide about where you want to go travel to or anything else, you need to decide first on what kind of trip is this going to be.

Is this going to be a solo trip? Couple trip? Maybe even a family vacation?

Depending on your answer, your trip can become very different.

If you are going solo then great, everything will be up to you. So go ahead and jump to step 1 down below.

If you are going with others than it’ll be a little bit different. You can’t let only one person make all the decisions. Since this is a group trip, everybody should take turns putting in suggestions as to where they want to go or what they want to do.

For instance, if you have kids than maybe you want to go on a family trip to Disneyland or Disneyworld etc. If the whole family just wants some beach time fun, how about Hawaii or Bali? Fancy gambling? Then maybe you want to go to Vegas.

To get the best experience out of this vacation trip, you have to factor in everybody’s interests.

Step 1: Choose Where You Want To Go

Your first step for planning any travel vacation is basically where do you want to go? You want to choose a destination that is within your budget as well having things that you’ll be interested in.

It could be traveling to a foreign country or even a local road trip. All of which are entertaining and fun for everyone to enjoy.

Step 2: Length Of Your Trip

After picking out what destination you are wanting to go to, you need to decide how long you are going to be traveling for. For instance, if you can only go on vacation for 2 weeks then you might want to plan a vacation around the 1 week or 1 week and a half period. You don’t want to use the entire 2 weeks to go on vacation as you need time to get back to your normal self. You want to plan your trip accordingly to your schedule.

Step 3: Book Your Flights

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Once you have decided on where to go, it is time to book your flights. Now flight tickets can be expensive depending on what destination you are wanting to go to, so be sure to learn about how to find cheap flights which can help you save a bit of money.

Now searching for these awesome flight tickets may take some time. One of the best sites we recommend you to use is one called Skyscanner. It’s one of the most popular sites around used by travelers to find cheap tickets.

Other sites you can use include:

Pro Tip: Once you have searched on these sites for your flight ticket from a certain airline, it is recommended for you to go to the airlines own website to see if you can get the ticket for cheaper. The reason for this is because often times airlines will have lower prices only available from their own site.

Step 4: Buy Travel Insurance

After you have booked your flights, it might be time for you to buy travel insurance. Now depending on where you go, this may or may not be needed.

For instance if you are traveling someplace local or in your country like a roadtrip, than travel insurance probably won’t be needed.

However if you are traveling someplace new like a foreign country, then it is highly recommended for you to get travel insurance.

The reason I suggest this is because travel insurance can protect you from so many things. Things like canceled trips, injury, lost/stolen items, and other events can happen during a trip. And if you have travel insurance than you will be protected from all of this.

It’s better to be safe than sorry.

So if you are planning a trip far away, I definitely recommend you get travels insurance.

There are many different travel insurance companies out there and one I highly recommend is World Nomad. It is owned by a former traveling nomad, so he knows everything there is to about traveling.

Other travel insurance companies I recommend are:

Step 5: Book Accomadations


Picking out where you are going to be sleeping is essential to having a good trip. However sometimes accommodations can be expensive so you want to pick one that is within your price range.

You want to make sure the place you pick will be good for everyone you are traveling with. For instance, if you are traveling with kids. I suggest you book a place where there are multiple bedrooms. This way kids can sleep in their own room and you sleep in yours. It’ll give everyone a better nights rest. If you are traveling by yourself, then how about staying in a hostel? It’ll save you money plus you get to meet other travelers.

Finding these types of places isn’t hard either. With the internet being filled with so much information, one google search will land you plenty of results.

Some sites I recommend you to use:

Step 6: Transportation

One thing you need to factor in when you are planning a trip is the transportation. How are you going to get around when you are visiting another place.

You want to do some research and see what are the popular forms of transportation in that area. Will you need to rent a car? Maybe take a train? Do they have a bus service? Or maybe you can walk everywhere ?

There are many forms of transportation so you need to pick the one right for you.

Step 7: Research

The step is the research step. You are going to research everything you are going to be doing at that location. For instance, this is the time you are going to research where you are going to be eating, what things you are going to be doing, places to go visit, etc. They all fall in this stage.

What You Are Going To See And Do

Anytime you are going to plan a trip, it is always a good idea to know what things there are to see and do at that location. A good reason for this is because sometimes popular attractions will have tons of people wanting to go there. Which can mean that the tickets might be all booked up by the time you show up, or you might have to wait in line to get tickets for hours. So it’s better to find out where you want to go in advance and book early so that you can have a spot.

Some things you want to do before hand is to make a list of :

  • Free things to do
  • Paid things to do
  • Any Attractions or parks you want to go to
  • City tours
  • Scenic walks or hikes
  • Boat rides
  • and much more.

Places To Eat And Drink

Aside from just researching what places you want to go see and do, you also need to plan out what places you want to eat and drink at. Lets be honest. Nobody wants to travel to a new country and eat the same old foods they did back at home. When you are at someplace new, you want to try new foods, eat what the locals eat. It’s an amazing experience.

Every time I plan my trips, I always love to look for awesome new foods I never tasted before, unique cafes or restaurants, and amazing bars.

Somethings you can look for are:

  • What the local foods are
  • Restaurants
  • Coffee shops
  • Street food
  • Bars

To get some good ideas on what to do at your destination, I highly recommend using Pinterest and searching around. It is filled with many topics about destinations and you will learn so much from it.

Step 8: Check Your Passport

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If you are a first time traveler then this step is important. A passport is needed if you are ever going to go to a different country. So if you do not have one, try to get yourself one before the trip. You need to give yourself enough time to do so, probably 5-7 weeks before your trip should be enough time.

Also if you do already have a passport, you want to check your expiration date. The reason for this is because most countries will require that your passport be valid for at least six month from the date that you are going to be visiting. So if you are cutting it close, I suggest you just get a new passport.

Step 9: Check If the Country Has A Visa Requirement

Not all countries will allow you in with just a passport. Some countries will require you to have a certain visa to get in.

So before you travel out on your trip, you want to do some research and see if the country you are going to will have some sort of visa requirement. If they do then go along the process of filling out some things and get your visa approved. Make sure to give yourself ample amount of time to do this as it can take a few weeks.

Step 10: Make Copies Of Your Important Documents

You never know what might happen during your trip. You might lose your documents, misplace them, have them get stolen etc. All of which can ruin your trip.

So a good safety net is to make copies of all your important documents so that you have multiple of them. This way if you ever lose them, you will have a back up ready to go.

Some documents you should make copies of are:

  • Passports
  • Visas
  • Flight tickets
  • Drivers licence
  • Credit Cards
  • Anything else you have booked for like car rentals, hotel reservations etc.

A good way to do things is to have both hard copies of these items as well as having them scanned to your online cloud storage. This way if you lose the hard copies, you can just access the internet and get your copies.

Step 11: Tell Your Card Companies You Are Traveling

credit card

This is essential as you never know how much money you might need when you are traveling. It’s always good to let your credit card company know that you will be traveling somewhere. This way if you end up using your card, any transactions you make won’t be flagged as fraud and your card will not be blocked.

Having your card blocked when you are in a different country is devastating as it can ruin your entire trip. You’ll no longer have access to money which means you will no longer be able to buy anything. So if you are going to be going on a trip soon, let your credit card companies know so that you’ll be safe.

Step 12: Get Phone/Internet Access

Whenever you are out traveling regardless of location, having access to the internet and phone calling is important. It allows you to access the web and find important information anytime you need. Not only that but you can make phone calls in case you need contact somebody.

However your regular sim card might not be practical as it might not work in other countries or the roaming fees will be crazy expensive to use.

Which is why you need to get a sim card or portable wifi that works at your destination. There are many places where you can get these things at reasonable prices, and you can also order it before you go on your trip. If you can’t get it before you go on your trip, then you can simply get it at the airport and they’ll help install it for you.

Step 13: Start Saving Money

Traveling can be expensive some times. This is especially true depending on which destination you choose to go to. With some being way more expensive than others. Which is why it is a good idea for you to sit down and research everything you are planning to do and how much it will cost you. That new sushi restaurant that opened up? Ya that might set you back $30 dollars. The fancy coffee shop that you want to go visit? That might be another $4 dollars.

These things add up.

So try to estimate exactly how much you are going to be spending and start saving up for them before your trip. This way you won’t really have much money problems if any and your trip will go smoothly.

Step 14: Start Packing

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Packing for your trip can be one of the most confusing and hassling things to do. However it is a very important part of your trip. This is the part where you are about to go on your trip. Usually a day or two before is enough time for you to pack. Now depending on where you are going and how the weather is over there, that will tell you exactly what items you should bring.

If you are unsure about what to pack, I have a handy little packing list for you to use.

Step 15: Confirm Everything

You made it!

You are on the last step of the journey before you go on your fun and amazing trip.

So what do you do now? Well you are going to confirm that everything is correct and ready for you to go on your trip. Make sure your flight tickets are correct, your hotel reservation, car reservation, etc. Make sure all your info is correct and up to date.

This way once you get there, you will have a smooth and easy trip.


Over all, planning for a trip doesn’t have to be hard or confusing.

This 15 step guide I made will ensure that you are well planned and ready for your trip. Just go through the list step by step and make sure you have done everything you need to do.

This guide list is made to be flexible and interchangeable. You do not have to follow everything listed on here as you can change certain things when needed. However it is a basic guideline that will ensure you to have everything ready before your trip.

So hopefully this was able to help some of you all have a better trip.

Also if you are interested in reading some of my other posts about traveling, you can do so by clicking these links:

Or you can check out all my blog posts by clicking this link.

Enjoy Your Travels!

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above may be affiliate links, and are at no additional cost to you, I earn a commission if you make a purchase. I only recommend products and companies that I have personally used and all the income that I generate from this will be used to help maintain the site and make it a much better place.

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Planning on booking your flight? Use Google Flights to find the cheapest and best deals available for your next flight. This is our favorite website to use in order to save a lot of money as well as finding the best deals available.

🛏️Save On Your Next Accommodation

If you’re looking for the best deals on hotels to stay at, one best site to use is Booking.com. We highly recommend them to any and all travelers as they are able to find deals all across the world.

If you’re looking for something other than hotels, like a hostel for example, then one of the best places to look for cheap hostels is Hostel World.

💵Get Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance is one of the most important things you’ll need to get if you are ever traveling around to a new place. Do not forget it! One of the best travel insurance companies around that we recommend is World Nomads. They are simply fantastic, easy to work with, and amazingly helpful.