1. Get your documents in order.
If you don’t have a passport, it may take at least four to six weeks, from the time of application for you to receive one.
2. Establish a budget.
When planning a trip, establish a budget as early as possible, even before you know your destination, travel dates or itinerary.
3. Choose a destination.
Once you have finalized a budget, where do you want to go? If you’re like many travelers you have a humongous list of places you want to visit, this can be tricky.
4. Create a rough itinerary.
So, you want to go to France? Don’t go ahead and buy a roundtrip flight to Paris and a hotel room, yet. First let us plan out a day-by-day itinerary of your perfect trip to France, before you book a thing.
5. Book your airfare.
Because your airfare will probably be the most expensive part of your trip, you’ll want us to book it before we book anything else (car rental, hotel, etc.). This will allow you to be more flexible with your dates, which is a great way to save money on your flight.
6. Book your accommodations.
It’s time to go back to that itinerary we jotted down and start to confirm some places for you to sleep. As is the case with pretty much everything we book for your trip, the earlier you confirm the arrangements, the better – especially during summer or a high season.
7. Consider travel insurance.
There are several kinds of travel insurance: trip cancellation insurance, flight cancellation insurance, medical insurance, etc. The best time to buy insurance is just before you put down the major deposits on your trip, whether that entails airfare, a package or prepaid hotels.
8. Book local transportation.
When in Rome, ride the Metropolitana, just like the locals, you can get to the destination to which you’re traveling too. You can ride a bike, in places like bike-friendly Amsterdam or in London there’s the underground Tube, unless you plan to go outside the city.
9. Tackle last-minute logistics.
A few weeks before your departure date is the right time to start taking care of a number of key logistics: money, phone, house-sitter, pet-sitter. Call your credit card companies to let them know you’ll be traveling abroad.
Instead of packing the day before your trip, start thinking about what you’ll need to bring at least a week before you leave. If your destination of choice is suddenly experiencing abnormal weather, you may need that extra time to go shopping for something like a packable rain coat.