What’s more interesting about the vacation than the destination ? For most of you it will be the company you are going with, may be the shopping before and during the trip or may be photography bit of it. For me , it’s the planning!
We have been planning our trips from day 1. Be it the honeymoon or the secret trips during the courtship period. 😉 I think it worked out well for us because we never disagreed on the places we chose. 🙂 The surprise factor in planning is what excites me to do it on my own. Although we study everything before going to a hotel or restaurant or any place, still there is always a little apprehension before actually visiting the place.So, when everything turns out well or sometimes more than what is expected, it gives a sense of satisfaction which is worth the effort and wait.
I am going to share with you few tips and websites which help me check everything beforehand. I have traveled mostly in India so this post is especially focused for travels in India.
Most of the websites are popular and known to everyone still no harm in having a checklist at one place 🙂 Here we go!
Where to go?
This is the first step of planning. Your battle is half won if you know where to go. If not, here are some sites which can help you in shortlisting.
You need to install this app and search for the destinations. It gives categories based on the kind of travel and activities possible and let’s you chose from variety of destinations. It’s a company which also plans customized trips. I think you need not read ahead if you have got your solution here 😉
This is my favorite surfing site and helped my survival in Chennai. It is one of those sites which give you range of activities to do on weekends, popular restaurants, interesting recipes and also nearby destinations. Most of us live in metros and the site covers vacationing spots for one day trips, weekends or long weekends.
Hope it helps!
Hotel websites and touristy websites of a place will always tell you how good they are and how ‘a must visit’ place it is. So, I choose to read blog by common people like you and me and get an insider’s take. It gives me more personalized version of the destination. Most of the bloggers prefer sharing minute details of the trip and it has always helped me decide what to and what not to do.
Recently , I came across a website – Tripoto which has collection of all the bloggers.Just type the destination in search tab and you will get a list of posts.
India hikes is another company for trekking enthusiasts. Apart from the packages they provide for hikes, there are travelogues of the hikers which can help you to plan treks on your own. They are tried and tested by many of my friends and I would happily recommend to opt for them if you don’t want the hassle of planning a trek .
It’s always easy to search for destination blogs on google and get actual story of a place from bloggers.
You will get an idea about the place from above mentioned sites, although I would suggest you to go through Instagram and Pintrest or may be flickr once. You might come across some amazing clicks of rare places and then you can search more about it. It’s always better to be doubly sure about the place you are visiting so that you don’t miss out on things.
This is the most crucial part of planning. If you mess this you surely end up being irritated throughout your trip.
Be 200% sure about the hotel/B&B/resort you are going to stay!
These days people do take this site seriously and provide the details of the actual experience in terms of stay, cleanliness, food, service and location. It also helps you in comparing the prices with other hotels and also other sites. It serves your purpose of checking on ‘things to do’ as well.
This gives easy view of the ‘review’ points and it saves your time of comparing the places. The hotel details are given more detailed than tripadvisor and it certainly helps in reaching to final decision. You might come across interesting stays on Bookings.com which are reasonable for the location and view. Just like this one I found
Airbnb is still in growing stage and might not be present for each and every destination in India . Still, I prefer airbnb for home stays and when I want more local experience of a place. You can choose as per your budget , number of days and desired views. It lists from private room to shared room to rental homes for a month or so. You know where to look for when you are on a break 😉
Here is one of the stays on my wishlist I found on Airbnb.
This one is for all the bachelors out there. Go get a feel of backpacking (Europe style!) and explore the destinations with Zostel. The only downside is , you have to plan well in advance to book a bed/room here as it gets filled up real fast. Also, it’s available only on selective destinations.
Check out hostel stays at various locations for budget trips here
“Friend in need is friend indeed” This friend will help you in every way. Most of my friends are travel freaks and keep going to new destinations now and then. So, be it beach vacations or treks or sightseeing, friends are always to rescue. Better than any blog or written information, the story from horse’s mouth will always guide you correctly.
Facebook helps me to stay in touch with them. Keeps me updated about their recent trips and lets me decide on my next vacation.I would suggest you to surround yourself with traveler friends for easy planning 😀
- Most of the times hotel staff is friendly and helpful so you can chat with them to know more about nearby spots which are not very touristy still worth the visit.
- Carry a notepad with hotel contacts, personal contacts and emergency details written in it. You should not depend on devices much.
- Carry an empty water bottle with you. You can save a lot on money if you use hotel water. Also, it helps to minimize use of plastic as much as possible.
- Book vehicles to be rented in advance. It’s a huge disappointment if you don’t get it later.
- Make a note of the popular cuisine and good places to eat. This you would definitely find in the blogs.
So,as I promised in my earlier post about Vagabonding, here is all you need to plan a vacation.Do drop in to share your tips and tricks which might help me next time. Till then,
Happy planning 🙂
p.s: Kindly note it is not a promotional piece and I am sharing tips based on personal experience.