Travelling to countries (new and old) is thrilling, fun and exhilarating. However, planning is not. Wait…it is at first..but then, searching for good deals and ensuring you are paying the best price is really time consuming.
I’ve been on and off with my planning this whole year:
- Spent a few days planning a trip to Italy-France-Spain. This stopped because I procrastinated.
- Then decided that I will try Contiki tours to Europe. This fell through because of some negative reviews I read online and the fact that I wasn’t into tours in the first place. But I didn’t want to travel to Europe by myself especially because of transportation in winter there.
- Now, I’m planning on Japan (possibly Korea and Taiwan) by myself. I find that Japan is a lot safer than Europe and transportation will be much more convenient for a female solo traveller.
Hopefully I won’t procrastinate and this is for JANUARY! I better purchase tickets soon or else…
** Update: Flight tickets have been purchased as well as travel insurance.
Now, all I need to do is book my accomodation (because I can’t be sleeping out on the streets can I?) and activities I want to do! I’m thinking that I might need to replan my whole itinerary because I really do want to go to Hokkaido and Sapporo for the snow.
Anyways, this is what you SHOULD NOT DO:
- Book your flights last minute. I did it within less than 2 months in advance and golly…prices have increased. Keep your eyes peeled open for special deals because now they have specials but now for the time I want.
- No preparation and research. How can you plan your itinerary if there is no research involved? You need to ensure that the places you are going to INTERESTS you. Even check that the places you are staying in are convenient (close to public transport, attractions, etc.). There is no point in planning to go to a specific place if there is nothing there that excites you. That’s just wasting your time. Also, check if you need a VISA.
- Overpacking. As a solo traveller, you have to rely on yourself and (helpful) strangers. When you are moving from place to place, it will be wise to pack lightly. So I’m planning on leaving a lot of valuables home including my mac. (I wonder if I will though..). Just ensure that you can move from A to B easily without feeling frustrated with whatever you are bringing.
- No insurance. You MUST buy insurance. There are a lot of “what ifs” and you must consider for the possibility of cancellations, changes and other things that might occur unexpectedly. Plan for the unexpected.
- Don’t learn the language. Going to a foreign country is hard especially when their main language is not the one you speak at home. Even though English is one of the most widely spoken language internationally, you can’t assume that everyone in the country you are travelling to will know and understand English fluently. Learn some basic phrases from the countries you will be going to. The locals will definitely appreciate you trying.
- Don’t respect the culture and country. You should not even be leaving your home if you do not respect other people’s beliefs and values. Yes, you might have differing opinions but everyone is entitled to that. Respect is important especially when you are in a foreign environment.
- Work. I’m trying to tell myself this now but this is YOUR vacation. Don’t bring your work with you and just relax. That is the main purpose of this trip right? Enjoy your holiday and have fun!
I need to follow a lot of my advice because currently I’m planning on bringing my mac (even though I said I wouldn’t) for blogging and possibly lesson planning for 2019 (who said that teachers don’t work on holidays?). I also need to book my accomodation but I’m still tweaking my itinerary a bit because I want to fit in more places..Good luck to me and to all of you!