In general, planning is half the battle. And so it is when travelling around the world. I’ll take you with me in this article and show you how I plan my trip. Because as experienced as I am in traveling, I prepare myself in detail before each of my trips.
I will give you tips on what information is important for each trip, where you can find it and how you can prepare yourself individually for a destination. Of course I’ll also tell you which apps I can’t and won’t do without during my travels.
In the following I will give you general and basic information and tips for travel planning. You can apply these to any kind of travel. If you, like me, like to explore a country on a road trip, then my blog post with recommendations for planning a road trip is a perfect addition to this article. As I take care of sustainability in my travels, I attach great importance to traveling with as little paper (print out) as possible when planning my travels, and then later when traveling myself. Does that sound interesting to you as well? Then read my tips for paperless travel.
Step by step through my travel planning
I will now show you step by step how I prepare all my trips as soon as the destination is determined. Let’s get one thing straight: this is certainly not the ultimate and only way to plan your travels. With my personal recommendations and tips, I would rather like to give you information and inspiration for your very own travel planning. I hope that one or the other helpful tip will also be there for you.
Ask the Internet or Google
The search engine Google is my first port of call when I start the intensive preparation for a journey. Of course, I don’t enter search terms randomly, but search for the information that I think is important and interesting using the appropriate keywords. Here is an example to illustrate what I mean by this:
Let’s take my roadtrip through Montenegro. I didn’t know much about the Balkan country. But what I knew: I will explore the country with a car. These are already enough clues to search Google for suitable information. My search terms were then:
My secret favorites Pinterest and Instagram
On social media channels you can find information for a trip? In any case! And I think: much better and more targeted than on Google & Co. How you can use Pinterest and/or Instagram for your travel planning is explained in detail.
Pinterest does not fall completely into the area of social media, but is usually – like WhatsApp – called Facebook, Instagram, Twitter & Snapchat in one go. Instead, Pinterest is a similar tool to Google. Namely a kind of search engine. And that’s exactly what makes it so interesting for travel planning. As with the usual search engines, Pinterest works with keywords. Unlike Google, however, here it is almost exclusively private individuals who have a blog who deposit their website content there. This is a kind of prefilter that excludes the paid content (see my explanation under point 1).
Since Pinterest is no longer just a portal for Do it Yourself and craft ideas, you can also browse there for tips for your travels. You enter the search terms and Pinterest spits out all suitable blog posts. Therefore Pinterest is the right tool for those of you who are looking for authentic and personal travel reports.
The only problem with Pinterest is that you have to sign up for this service for free. If you don’t, there are only a small number of search suggestions available. However, you do not need to be an active Pinterest user. So there’s nothing wrong with logging into Pinterest to use this type of travel planning.
Similar to Pinterest, Instagram does the same. Here you don’t search for keywords, but for hashtags and/or locations. And you get photos and videos as search results instead of blog posts. But since pictures say more than words, Instagram is a great way to get an impression of your destination.
I’ve often found places/attractions via Instagram that I didn’t find on Google or Pinterest. Instagram works best on a smartphone, but it can also be used on a laptop/PC. However, the desktop version does not offer the full range of functions. Instagram was primarily designed as an app for mobile devices. Therefore my following explanations are based on the use of the Instagram app.
The Old School travel guide
After so much input on travel planning via the Internet or smartphone, we now come to my next step: Travel preparation with the help of a travel guide. Yes, you have read correctly. I actually buy a travel guide in book form for each of my trips. Of course, I could also download it as a digital copy onto my tablet or smartphone, but I’m old-fashioned in this respect.
I still buy books as printed editions. I’ve tried to read books digitally, but haven’t found access. Therefore, and also because I like to have something with some information about the travel country “offline” in my backpack, I also use travel guides for travel planning.