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Are you looking to plan a trip, but aren’t sure how to get started? Worried that you’ll make a huge mistake that’ll cost you?
Planning a trip can certainly be a daunting task for inexperienced travelers, but it doesn’t have to be so difficult. This special report highlights the most common mistakes made by new travelers so you can easily avoid them.
In addition, we’ll give you some helpful tips and travel “hacks” that will help you save time and money so you can enjoy an adventure of a lifetime without sweating the small stuff.
Planning your trip should be fun and exciting! Are you ready to get started?
Mistake #1: Failing to Plan
One of the most common mistakes that new travelers make is failing to research and plan the most important aspects of their upcoming trip.
Last minute flights, changes in hotel reservations and not creating a reasonable itinerary and schedule can cost you a lot of money, but can also leave you very disappointed in the event that hotels, restaurants and attractions are sold out or booked solid.
When it comes to planning your trip, you’ll want to begin as soon as possible.
Creating a Rough Itinerary
Decide what is most important to you during your travels. What landmarks or attractions are a must-visit? You’ll likely need to sacrifice a few of the places you want to visit if you hope to stay within budget and time frame but it’s important to at least come up with a list of top priorities so you can plan accordingly.
Book Flights Early
The earlier you book flights, the lower your costs will be and the more options will be available to you. You’ll also want to make sure you leave enough time in between any connecting flights.
Book Hotel Rooms
Book your hotel rooms as soon as you have decided on your destination, even if only tentatively. That way you can rest assured that you have a place to stay while you continue researching alternative lower-cost hotel chains.
You’ll want to choose at least a couple of restaurants and make advanced reservations, especially if you plan to visit busy tourist areas or want to experience a popular restaurant. Use websites like OpenTable.com to manage all your reservations.
Book Tickets to Attractions
Once you’ve solidified your schedule, you’ll want to secure tickets to the main attractions. Usually you’ll save money by ordering online and printing off tickets prior to leaving for your trip.
While you may get lucky and score yourself a few last minute deals, typically when it comes to travel, the more in advance you plan, the more money you’ll save.
This is especially true with flights and hotel reservations. One of the easiest ways to book tentative hotel rooms while you search for the best bargains is to use a website like https://www.booking.com
Booking.com also has an app which makes it easy to scout for lower-priced hotel rates while booking a room for the time being, just so you aren’t stuck.
Just make sure the hotels you book allow for last-minute cancellations. You may pay a slightly higher rate for the ability to cancel but you’ll still save money by avoiding penalty fees.
Expedia.com is another great resource for uncovering hot deals on all aspects relating to travel, including bundle deals on flights, hotels and car rentals. They also accept PayPal as well as all major credit cards, providing you the flexibility of paying upfront or at the time of travel.
Regardless of what resource you decide to use, you’ll want to keep an eye out for hidden costs.
While many travel websites may seem to offer you the best deal, if you dig deeper you’ll often find additional fees that aren’t part of the upfront total, including resort fees, taxes and service charges. Quite often, once you add all those fees up you’re better off going directly with the airline or hotel chain.
Also, keep an eye out for low-cost flights that seem too good to be true.
Do they offer any luggage allowance?
Are there multiple layover’s that could make it difficult to reach your destination?
Here are a few resources to help you get started:
Search hundreds of travel sites at once.
Score the lowest prices on hotels, flights and car rentals.
Mistake #2: Outdated Information
You’ll want to make sure you do your homework on country entry requirements for the places you plan to visit. The last thing you need is for your trip to be ruined because you don’t have the right documentation to be allowed entry.
In addition, most countries require that your passport be valid for at least six months after arrival, so make sure you check the expiration date well in advance and renew it ahead of time, if necessary.
Further, some countries require verification that you’ve received immunization prior to allowing you entry, such as Africa and the Indian Ocean, both of which will ask for proof that you’ve been vaccinated against yellow fever.
Tip: Make copies of all important travel documents in the event you lose your original copies. Print these hard copies out and keep a copy on you at all times.
You should also consider emailing a copy to yourself and placing all of these documents into a remote folder like Drop Box, found at: https://www.DropBox.com, that you can easily access from anywhere.