In the past, people chose to go on short-term trips of a few days or longer. While this is still the case, more and more people are choosing to travel for longer periods of time. Planning a trip for two weeks or longer is very different to planning a short vacation.
Selecting a Destination
The first step of planning a trip is deciding where to go. It is important to remember that some countries have a much higher cost of living than others. For example, Australia is much more expensive than Thailand. Unless a traveler has a high budget, he or she may want to stay away from countries like North America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
Once a destination has been decided upon, the length of the trip should be determined. As transportation costs add up, the longer a person stays in one location, the cheaper their trip will be.
Booking Flights and Hotels
Traditionally people booked their flights and hotels through a travel agent. Although travel agents still offer good package deals, it is usually cheaper to make independent bookings online.
Consumers can find cheap flights by using flight comparison websites. These websites scan the internet for the cheapest deals available. Because travelers have a longer vacation period, they have some flexibility regarding their flight dates. This is beneficial as flights tend to be cheaper in the middle of the week.
It is also very easy to get cheap hotel rates. All one needs to do is go to a last minute booking websites. Last minute sites can sometimes get customers discounts as big as 70%.
Travelers should also consider alternatives to hotels. Sometimes hostels, motels, holiday rentals and campervans are cheaper than hotels. Hostels are a great choice for single travelers as they are very social.
Use a Good Rewards Scheme
Many airlines offer consumers a credit card which allows them to earn air miles. Ideally, consumers will get a card well before their trip. Those that do this can use the card to make everyday purchases such as groceries and gas. By the time their trip rolls around, consumers may have enough miles to claim a free flight or hotel. Some airlines have generous sign up bonuses so consumers should take the time to shop around.
Lastly, travelers may want to draw up a budget for their incidental expenses. These expenses will include food, drinks and activities. Those who have decided to visit a more expensive country may want to considering cooking their own meals. Another expense that should be added to the list is travel insurance. As accidents can happen at any time, it is essential to have medical coverage. If a traveler does not have insurance, he or she may be forced to pay tens of thousands of dollars for medical treatment.
Planning a long trip is an exciting process. Those who start organizing their trip months in advance will ensure that they have enough money to do all the activities they desire.