Last day my friend Gabriele went to Australia for his wedding travel…I told him: “How did you organize your trip?”
He answered: “Sure I’m a travel agent. I know what to do”.
I’ve never been to Australia and I’m not a travel agent, so I’ve decided to do a little search in Google and try to organize it by me…what a confusion!
Here you are a scheme that can help you in many situations.
You can avoid my mistakes and quickly find what you need to organize your trip.
Trip planning steps index
These are the Steps I follow each time I want to plan a trip.
1. What activities practice?
If you already know what activity to practice, you can skip this step.
If you don’t have a clear idea of what to practice…then answer these questions first:
* What are the risks?
* Do I need a physical training before?
* What is the minimum skill level?
* Where can i practice my activity?
* What’s the best period?
Consider Skiing as an example.
Ski is an intensive sport activity especially for legs. If you plan to do a winter vacation, be sure that your legs are well trained. (So you can prevent leg diseases, muscle problems, etc…)
To help You choose Your activity, here, You can find a list of possible types of adventure tourism activities.
2. Choosing the right destination
Now it’s time to choose the destination. There is not a special way to do this. You can follow friend’s recommendations, advertising, news, your desires and so on…
* Each year the major travel companies release surveys about what’s hot for the next touristic season.
* Here Suman gives a list of possible tips to choose unusual destinations.
* You can also see this pdf report about tips to choose the right adventure travel destination
3. Search for general info
This is the critical point of the planning process. At this point you should know what to do and where to do it.
The first thing that could come up in your mind is to perform a Google search to find more travel info…then good luck!
If you prefer to find unique and clear travel info start a specific search…
Instead of searching for “destination”+Adventures or “destination”+travel etc…search for:
* “Destination”+Tourist board
* “Destination”+wikitravel [Note: Wikitravel is the Wikipedia like travel encyclopedia]
* “Destination”+”Hiking tours” [Or another activity]
* “Destination”+”Adventure travel companies”
At the end of this process You’ll have a general view of what attractions are worth a visit, distances, best period to travel and where find more detailed information.
3.1 Search for destination guides
Be sure to learn at least these simple facts before you land.
* Communications (Internet points, Postal services, Cell phones, Public telephones, Foreign language)
* Transports and transfers (Public transports, Hub points, Freeways, Airports, Railways, Ferries, Buses)
* Documents (Passport and visa, Customs, Baggage)
* Health and Safety
* Converters (Currency, Weight, Length, Temperature, Liquid, Electrical current)
The best way to do this is through a guidebook. The best I can suggest you are:
* The Big Book of Adventure Travel
* The Definitive Guide to Adventure Vacations
* Rough guides to all world destinations
3.2 Search for videos
Video is the fastest way to preview a location. You can watch the other traveler’s experiences and see what other think about it. Here there is a comprehensive list of video sharing websites where watch travel videos.
3.3 Search for maps
Maps are a great tool to plan a vacation. You can use them to learn the distances and see the main transfers points. The best way is to use the Google maps. You can perform a search to find custom maps.
You can see the travel itineraries of other people. For example I’ve created a custom maps of the Top 10 adventure travel spots of Italy
Google sightseeing.com has a good list of sights and maps. You can search by category or by keyword.
3.4 Search for weather conditions
Weather is a difficult factor to consider because it’s difficult to find correct forecast for long term periods. So it’s better to search for a climate chart.
3.5 Search for tips, advices and news about your destination
The last (or the first) thing to do is to find real travelers advices. On the net there a lot of trip sharing websites and forums.
Here Guillaume gives a list of the new Travel 2.0 websites where you can find reviews and trip stories
4. Trip planning
You can skip this steps if you decide to book and organized adventure travel package. Here Tim gives some useful tips to travel adventurous on a budget
4.1 How to find cheap flights
There are thousand of flight companies, so it’s very difficult to search for airfares in different websites.
Here Markus provides a list of the best cheap airfares aggregators to save time and money during the search.
4.2 How to buy the right insurance
* The Truth about Travel Insurance
* Travel Insurance is Important!
* Travel safe – some useful tips and advice!
4.3 What to pack: Accessories, gear, digital cameras, etc.
* Make photocopies of important documents (Check, passport, visa, etc…)
* Consider what allowable necessities you can carry-on luggage
* Buy comfortable walking shoes
* Rain Gear
* Photography & Electronics
* Carry with you some medications: Anti-diarrhea medicine, aspirin, extra tampons, travel packages of Kleenex, antibacterial hand cleaning gel
* Bring a long-sleeved shirt or sweater
o Quick-drying jerseys
o Drytex socks
o Stiff-soled shoes
o Cycle gloves
* Traveller’s point offers a list of packing tips and accessories
5. Compare the offers of various travel companies
At the end buy your travel package and Enjoy!
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