Plan your Trip

It’s back to the Travel Series and this time, it’s all about the Planning Process which will look into the best ways to plan your trip.

Once you find inspiration which I spoke about here, it’s time to get the ball rolling.

One of the best ways to start arranging your trip/s is to have an itinerary. Whether it be in an excel spreadsheet, a notebook or a page in my case, writing down items like the date you want to go, where you want to stay and what you want to do provides you with an overall picture of what your trip will be like.

Having some structure in place gives you an idea of what your schedule will look once you arrive at your destination. And, gives you space to make changes if things don’t work out.

This is where the booking part comes in. Depending on your city or even the country you visit, you need to check if they can accommodate you. Make sure that if you booked for a tour or an activity that your dates coincide with accommodation availability. Otherwise, you might see yourself running from one place to another and it can be disastrous.

Keep in mind as to why you visiting. Is it to see more of a particular town? To view flower season or attend a festival? A particular culture or an adventurous activity you want to try? When we went to Durban, it was to explore their coastline and amazing culture so we booked a B&B nearby to where most of our activities took place.

One of my favourite apps to use is Google Maps. It calculates the distance from one activity to the next as well as factor in how long it would take us to get there. Google Maps is an amazing tool to use when it comes to factoring how much time it will take you to travel if you doing a road-trip and how long you’re able to spend at a place before heading back to your hotel.

After much research into Durban, we decided to visit in November (before tourist season), for 5 days (we knew that was all the days we had and we covered all our activities) and used Uber for transportation (car rentals were too expensive and we could just use the Uber app at the fraction of the rental price). We also changed the day we were meant to fly out because flight prices were more expensive on Mondays and Fridays and cheaper on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturdays.

Make sure not to overload your trip with too many activities. This way you not pressured to stay at a place for 20 minutes before heading to the next touristy place. Allow yourself to sightsee and enjoy the moment instead of rushing.

Make a list of all the things you want to do but another list of possible other places you want to see too if something in list A fell through or you have enough time on your trip to try out another place.

Do extensive research on your destination because there might be activities you weren’t even made aware of like when we went to Nuy Valley, we had no idea it was on a wine farm and that there were several businesses for wine tasting. Or the time we went up to Roberston and a couple suggested visiting Bird’s Paradise. Research is one of the key things you need to be doing before blindly going on a trip.

Always make sure to make those lists no matter how silly it might sound. Make sure to look out for the next Travel Series post where I’ll talk about my booking process and what websites I use to do it.

Until the next adventure.

Stephanie Marthinus Blog