Organize a do-it-yourself trip or rely on a travel agency? It depends on you and what kind of experience you would like to have.
While organizing a trip on your own allows you to save something, by relying on an expert such as an agent or a tour operator you are sure to have a direct contact person to contact 24 hours a day if something goes wrong. This is right that you know and I do not like that you demonize such an important professional figure. For example, when in the first phase of the Covid-19 pandemic in which many countries suddenly began to close their borders and many airlines canceled flights leaving passengers on the ground, the figure of the travel agent proved to be fundamental by helping to its customers to find alternative solutions and to return home with the least possible inconvenience.
For do-it-yourself holidays you need to have a minimum of resourcefulness, a spirit of adaptation and the ability to clearly resolve any problems or inconveniences that may occur before and during. The travel agent is also important for those who, for personal, work or family reasons, do not have time to organize their holiday independently, because let’s face it, it takes time to plan a trip. It is necessary to inquire, monitor, book and create a program. In short, one must have holy patience!
Having ascertained this fundamental point that I particularly care about, I can still tell you that if you are a bit familiar with the web you will not have big problems planning your weekend or vacation.
HOW TO ORGANIZE A TRIP:
Choice of destination and type of trip or vacation
You just saw a beautiful photo on Instagram posted by a travel influencer and immediately exclaimed: “I want to go there!”.
The first thing you need to do is figure out if that type of trip is suitable for your needs, your physical condition, your finances and the time you would like or could go there.
The tour of Holland by bicycle is not recommended for those who have not practiced sports for several years, but neither is the trekking in the Himalayas for those who do not have a minimum of athletic training. You can’t also go to the Antilles in August because you risk being in the middle of a hurricane, or you can’t go to Japan for ten days if you have $ 1,000 for your vacation.
You must therefore:
- define the maximum budget you are willing to spend
- obtain information on the destination starting from Viaggiare Sicuri della Farnesina, where you will find
- valuable updates on which documents are necessary for entry (identity card for expatriation, passport, any visa and international driving license), on the health situation, on that policy, on ascent and required travel
- understand the best time to go there
- read the experiences of travel bloggers, travel journalists and other travelers who write on the forums on the
- web in order to understand the actual feasibility on your part
- share research with other travel participants.
Once you have chosen your destination, you can move on to the planning phase which will be simpler in the case of a trip that will only touch one location, or a little more complicated in the case, for example, of a road trip by car with overnight stays in various places.
You must book the means of transport (plane, train, bus or car rental), accommodation (hotel, apartment, b & b, guesthouse, camping or glamping) and any activities to do on site (excursions or tours).
In this regard, read my guides:
- When to book a flight
- How to travel low cost.
- Especially for Australian trips where it is not possible to take advantage of medical services using the Health Card, I strongly recommend that you also take out travel insurance.
Realization of the itinerary:
Once you have booked your means of transport and accommodation, you have not finished organizing the trip. Now comes the funniest stage, the creation of the itinerary. It is nice to “get lost” on the road but in my opinion it is essential to start with a well-organized timetable that will allow you not to waste precious time and to optimize what is available to you.
The creation of the itinerary cannot be separated from:
- your and other participants’ tastes and interests
a careful research of what to do and what to see in the destinations on blogs, magazines, guides, forums and
- websites of tourism organizations. For example, I find travel diaries very useful
the distance from one attraction to another and between the various locations to be reached. In this case you
- can get help from Google Maps which also indicates the timing for moving by public transport. As for museums and attractions you must also check the opening hours
- stops for lunches, dinners and snacks
- useful and emergency numbers (including those of the embassy or consulate)
- exact address of each hotel, restaurant and attraction so you don’t waste time looking for it on the web when you’re on the move.
- Write everything on a word sheet or on an excel table and share it with the other participants. Ask them to check it and report any changes to be made. When traveling with other people it is always better to agree in advance rather than find yourself bickering during the trip.
When you have the official version of the itinerary, send it to your smartphone so that it is always at hand. for Visa related issues contact here
There you are, it is just a short distance away It’s time to double check everything, to proceed with the check-in and to pack.
In this final step remember to:
- Double check the itinerary and make any changes
- Check-in, print boarding passes and various reservations. In order not to waste paper and protect the environment, send everything to your smartphone and send everything to the other participants as well
- Download the travel apps you think will make your stay easier
- Call your bank and inform you that you will probably use your credit card in that particular country from day x to day y, asking them to raise the ceiling as well. This is an important thing to do because otherwise you risk not completing the payment for the anti-fraud blockade, it happened to me once in Los Angeles while I was paying for purchases made in a department store