Travel Easy - Simple Planning for your Destination
——— Where to go, what to do, last-minute deals, and itineraries ———
To start planning for your adventure, we recommend opening up a new Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel document to help keep all of the vital information that you collect organized and in one place - similar to the 90-Day Travel Itinerary that we provide in our Free Nomad Guide. In your case it will not have to be as elaborate as the one we provide. Additionally, if you add the costs for your flights, hotels, activities into the Sheets or Excel documents, they can automatically calculate the total costs for you! We also recommend using one specific email address for all of your travel reservations and communications to keep everything organized.
How to look for a destination that you can afford and enjoy:
Perhaps you saw a photo on Instagram or read a travel article somewhere and decided that you want to go to that specific destination. But how do you know if that destination that meets your particular interests and travel budget? Many travelers have found that once they arrived there was plenty to do, but nothing that really interested them or that it ended up costing much more than they expected. Turning a “good” trip into an “amazing” trip is the difference between knowing what you want to do and making sure that your destination will be suitable for your desires. There are great trips that could meet your interests for just about any budget, if you are open to considering a few places that you may never have heard about.
We can either start by looking at a particular destination and checking to see if the activities you enjoy doing are at that location, or we can search for a destination based on what you enjoy doing.
What do you like to do when you travel?
Are you traveling with other people? If so, consider what types of things all of you enjoy doing.
Decide on what your style of travel is and at what pace you feel comfortable traveling at. There are a number of different travel types, such as adventure, solo, tropical, historical, cultural, ethnic food, art, and more. If you aren’t sure, we recommend taking a look at Journy to help you think through that a little bit. Journy creates customized itineraries for people - but as a part of their free information gathering section, they ask a number of questions to decide how to build your custom itinerary to best suit your travel style. Around step 8 you will start being asked specific questions regarding what you enjoy doing. Don’t just answer these questions, take notes on what answers you choose! You can use this information to search for things by yourself - in the location you believe you want to travel to - or you can let Journy create the customized itineraries for you at a cost of $25 per day of your trip. If you are on a budget - and $25 per day for an itinerary sounds like a lot - you could choose to have them create a shorter itinerary for you (say for only a day or two of your trip) and then craft the rest yourself. You could also check out Condé Nast Traveler’s page “What Kind of Traveller are You?” for additional assistance.
If money is a concern - Select an appropriate destination!
If you are a serious budget traveler, consider one of the many choices below for your travels.
EUROPE: Ukraine, Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova, Poland, Hungary, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, Albania
AFRICA: Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Egypt
EURASIA/MIDDLE EAST: Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia
ASIA: Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, Philippines, South Korea, China (small cities)
OCEANIA: Bali (Indonesia), Malaysia
CENTRAL AMERICA: El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Haiti, The Caribbean
SOUTH AMERICA: Argentina
NORTH AMERICA: Mexico
If money matters a little bit, but you are not on a tight budget, you could consider some of these fairly cheap to mid-range countries as well.
EUROPE: Slovenia, Slovakia, Croatia, Portugal, Greece, Czechia, Spain, Iceland, Denmark, France (Saint-Chinian)
AFRICA: Morocco, Senegal, Namibia, South Africa, Mozambique
EURASIA/MIDDLE EAST: Uzbekistan, Turkey, Lebanon, Israel, Russia
ASIA: Taiwan, China (bigger cities)
OCEANIA: Fiji, Mo’orea, New Zealand, Australia
CENTRAL AMERICA: Dominican Republic, Cuba, Belize, Panama, Costa Rica, Curaçao
SOUTH AMERICA: Colombia, Bolivia, Ecuador, Uruguay, Paraguay, Venezuela, Peru, Chile
NORTH AMERICA: Canada (Vancouver and Montreal), USA (Moab: Utah, San Antonio: Texas, Kansas City: Missouri)
If money is not really a concern, feel free to visit any country - even if we haven’t mentioned it!
How long is this trip going to be?
How much your trip costs depends greatly on how long the trip is going to be. “How much does it cost to go to Bangkok for 14 days” is a question that we can work with.
The longer that you want your trip to be, the farther you can travel and the more expensive it is going to become. Thus, if your budget is an issue, you might want to stick with shorter trips that are closer to where you currently live. Alternatively, you could stretch your value by staying for an exceptionally long time in a particular spot because a single 4-week trip to anywhere is ultimately cheaper than four 1-week trips to the same place, simply because you don’t have to purchase 4 round-trip tickets!
When do you want to go? There are 3 travel seasons – high, low and shoulder season. The times of these seasons correspond with the country you are going to, not just with the time of the year. High season is usually the summer season for that country. It is also the time that most tourists visit and when prices are highest. Low season is typically the opposite, but keep in mind that winter in countries around the equator are still quite warm! Shoulder season is the period in between High and Low seasons with a moderate amount of tourists and moderate prices. You can do a simple Google search for “best time of year to travel to Egypt” and it will tell you the best months to travel to that location. Additionally, you can check average temperatures for your destination by doing another Google search for “Average Temperature in Egypt in October”.
Finding the best last-minute deals:
Occasionally, you find time to travel at the last possible moment. It turns out that there are deals for situations just like that, so it might be worth taking a look to see if something that is on sale right now will peak your interest.
Best Last Minute Flights: CheapOAir and Skyscanner
Best Last Minute Hotels: Booking.com and Airbnb
Best Last Minute Cruises: TourRadar - Up to 50% off Cruise & Sailing Tours
Best Last Minute Cars: Car Rental 8
Searching for great do-it-yourself itineraries:
Take advantage of our blog and search bar to look for an itinerary for the place you want to travel to. Keep in mind that these itineraries are not specifically designed for you, but they won’t cost you anything to check out! Additionally, if you see some things on the itinerary that you don’t think that you would enjoy, you could always replace them with other activities. If you don’t see an itinerary on our site for where you want to go, please let us know so that we can add it to the site. Thanks!
Additionally, you could search some of the major tour operator’s websites to see what their itineraries consist of - which is typically the favorites of the majority of travelers. This will not only give you a good idea on what might be worth seeing or doing around the area, but it might just make it easier for you to craft your own unique itinerary. Some of the more premium ones to check out are Adventures by Disney and G-Adventures. We did this exact same thing by combining two different tours that were offered by a major carrier in Scotland to make our own custom itinerary for much cheaper than their tours were. We tried to do the same thing using TourRadar in Egypt, but it turned out that it was cheaper to go with their tour instead of doing it on our own! You just never know.
If you are looking to save some money, one of the easiest things to do is to search for “free things to do in [destination]” on Google. Generally, a few lists will come up that tell you all about what things you could do for free while you are there. This list will help you balance the expensive activities with the free activities to keep your overall entertainment lifestyle costs reasonable. You could also try searching for “cheap things to do in [destination]” and open up a couple of those lists.