How experienced holidaymakers prepare for their travels

How experienced holidaymakers prepare for their travels

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Are you planning to take your first trip abroad in 2020? Or maybe it’ll be your first time organising the adventures without help from your parents or partner? Either way, it can be daunting.

But don’t worry, we’ve all been there, and we all get better with experience. In the meantime, you can learn to plan for your vacation like a pro simply by borrowing a few tricks from the more experienced travellers. Here are 10 things they do that’ll put you on the road to success.

1| They Research The Destination

When thinking about visits to your dream destination, it’s easy to fall into the trap of assuming it’ll provide the same experience every day. However, many of the world’s best locations only look like they do in the travel brochures for a few months of the year. Timing your trip should be top of the agenda.

The first thing to check is the climate. Whether it’s a beach destination, a tropical climate, or any other location doesn’t matter. Knowing which time of the year to see the Northern Lights, for example, will make your trip to Scandinavia far better. Similarly, attractions may be closed in the off-peak seasons.

The contrasts between the different seasons should be weighed up against the increased costs during peak times. Seasoned travellers do this before planning their trip, and you should too.

2| They Check The Documentation

Deciding on a location and a time to visit gives you a platform to start planning your trip. Sadly, it counts for very little if you aren’t allowed to enter the country. Visa requirements should be top of the agenda. Even if you aren’t required to gain it before arrival, taking early action saves you time once you get there.

You can find more info on the requirements in different locations at As well as the visa documentation, you should check all other tourist advice. Knowing the currency and languages spoken is vital while you must respect cultural elements too. Showing inexperience in this way can spell disaster.

How experienced holidaymakers prepare for their travels

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Mastering this aspect of planning is a priority that all experienced travellers will show for all trips. If you want yours to go smoothly, it must be included in your plans.

3| They Use A Packing Checklist

Whether you’re taking a long weekend break to a nearby city or touring another continent for several months, you will want to travel light. However, the smartest travellers know that it’s vital to strike a good balance between this idea and taking all necessary items. The last thing you want is to be stuck abroad without key products.

Taking the standard travel essentials will have a big impact on your trip. Meanwhile, you should be sure that you’ve packed suitable clothes and accessories. Checking the situation regarding power adapters and similar features is crucial too. In truth, you’ll want to pack your health and beauty items as searching for these can be stressful.

Write a checklist and tick items off one by one to ensure that you reach your destination with all necessary items.

4| They Put Protection In Place

It’s one thing to plan for the perfect vacation. However, any experienced holidaymaker will know that things can do wrong. Even if it’s only a minor issue, failure to prepare for those situations could put you at risk of a holiday nightmare. Being ready for the worst situations is a characteristic shared by all top planners.

Travel insurance is naturally one of the most significant features. You can learn more at It’s also worth saving booking references and digital files in the cloud. Setting aside some money or having a credit card ready to save you from any problematic scenarios will help too.

If nothing else, it is a precaution that will put your mind at ease during the trip. In turn, it’ll enable you to enjoy your adventure to the max.

How experienced holidaymakers prepare for their travels

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5| They Advise People About Their Plans

When taking a trip abroad, you naturally focus on the positives. Nonetheless, you must take the time to appreciate your loved ones back home. If you are visiting a region known for high crime rates or adverse weather, people may be worried. This is especially true when touring, which is why you should provide a rough guide of which cities you’ll be in at any time.

More importantly, you need the opportunity to stay in touch. Many inexperienced travellers find that phones do not work abroad. Telling your service provider about the travel plans is vital if you wish the airtime to be unlocked while you’re away. On a similar note, the bank needs informing or else transactions may be blocked.

Nobody wants to be faced with the task upon their arrival. Following in the footsteps of experienced travellers by doing it early is vital.

6| They Prepare For The Journey

Long-haul journeys are a necessary evil that allow you to enjoy the holiday adventures. However, if you think the 10-hour flight will fly by, you’re sorely mistaken. As any experienced traveller will confirm, the impacts on your entire holiday can be huge. Therefore, taking the necessary steps to make the journey more pleasant is crucial.

How experienced holidaymakers prepare for their travels

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Packing some essential carry-on items will take comfort and entertainment to the next level. Moreover, you should try to sync your sleeping patterns with the new timezone you’re about to enter. This process can be started a few days before the travel. Sleeping for several hours only to arrive at 10 PM is never wise.

The most experienced travellers will have their onward travel planned in advance too. Otherwise, the madness of arrivals halls will feel too much.

7| They Make An Itinerary

We all enjoy the opportunity to relax on holiday. Nevertheless, if you’re time in a country is restricted to a few days, it’s vital that you make the most of it. Leaving things to chance will leave you at risk of missing out on key attractions. Besides, without the right level of research in advance, you may not even know about some places.

There’s nothing worse than returning home to discover that you’ve overlooked a stunning sight or experience. The smartest travellers will build a prioritised list and create an itinerary that also leaves some flexibility. After all, a little spontaneity goes a long way on holiday. It also accounts for unexpected issues.

It is especially important to do this when touring as you can plan the order of visits to save time.

8| They Book Tickets In Advance

Inexperienced travellers may leave bookings until the day they arrive at an attraction. Any seasoned explorer will know that booking in advance brings many rewards. Pre-bookings regularly secure discounts while it also removes the stress of lining up at the attraction. Moreover, it forces you to actually make the visit.

How experienced holidaymakers prepare for their travels

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Booking tickets also prevents the threat of missing out due to sell outs. Location-specific sites like will allow you to plan your entire adventure. Aside from getting the best deals and building the excitement ahead of the trip, it prevents any unexpected hidden costs. They could potentially ruin your adventures.

Organising adventures in this manner is easier than ever. So, you no longer need to be an expert to get it right.

9| They Set Out Goals

Sometimes, there’s nothing better than sitting by the hotel pool. Even then, though, you’re not wasting time. You are giving your body a chance to recuperate, which is often exactly what’s needed. Even when it is something as simple as this, ensuring that your vacation has a purpose is vital.

Some people will tie their holidays in with a love of photography or a desire to run the Olympic marathons. Others want to see certain animal species or volunteer to help a community. It doesn’t matter what you plan to do, as long as you actually. Few things are worse than returning from a vacation to realise you’ve wasted an opportunity.

The chances are that you only get a limited amount of time away. This is a key step that’ll help you make the most of it.

10| They Travel With the Right People

Perhaps the most common mistake made by first-time travellers is that they travel with the wrong people. Getting on with a colleague at work or a friend in the pub isn’t the same as being on vacation. You will be in each other’s company for extended periods. And it could test your relationship.

In fact, many studies have shown that holidaying together is a common reason for friendships to end. Experienced holidaymakers will test the waters out prior to travel. It’s also necessary to think carefully about their personalities. We all have negative traits. If theirs could lead to clashes, it may be best to avoid holidaying together.

It’s better to maintain a strong friendship and enjoy days out than fall out due to doing too much.


It might seem a lot of hard work, but putting the pre-holiday plans in place will unlock a better vacation. Once you’ve established those habits, all future trips will see those benefits too.

About Simon Petersen 506 Articles
Travel blogger, journalist, sports and movie fiend. Chronicling the life and times of a Kiwi at home and abroad.