Trip Planning

Simplify Travel Planning

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Do you get overwhelmed with travel planning? We're here to help you simplify your process to get the most out of your travel planning and maximize your travels. Here are some quick tips to keep in mind next time you're planning a trip.

Know Your Options

The biggest reason to travel plan is to know your options for activities, sights to see and places to visit. It's totally fine to show up to your travel destination with little to no research, but in our experience that rarely makes for the best travel experiences. We tend to get the most out of our trips when we at least know our options, even if we don't have our plans set in stone. It doesn't have to be a concrete itinerary, but you will feel more connected to your travel destination if you are knowledgeable about things to do and see such as historical sights, restaurants, or museums. If you have an objective that you would like to get out of your trip (practice your Spanish, learn about wine, etc.) you will need to research the options you have while in your travel planning process. Don't let this overwhelm you, try to have some fun with it and focus on the bigger picture - that it will help to maximize your travel experience.

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff

No trip goes exactly as planned, so don't sweat the small stuff. While travel planning, keep in mind any time constraints and try to set reasonable expectations of what you will be able to see and do in the time that you have. Knowing your options before you get to your travel destination helps you to prioritize the activities that you most want to do and see, according to what you would like to get out of your trip. But if something goes wrong (and it likely will), just remember that it is all a part of the adventure.

Stay Organized

To help you stay on track and not get overwhelmed, it is important to implement some systems around your travel planning to help you stay organized. Of course we'd love for you to utilize our travel notebook, but definitely recommend having a system that works for you. For us that means recording where we will be staying, potential things to do, and how we will be getting from place to place. Other things we like to fill in as we go to remember the adventure. If you can have all your information in one place, you won't be searching everywhere for your flight numbers or hotel reservation information which will help to keep things moving smoothly.

So next time your planning for a big trip, try not to live and die by your travel planning outline, but instead use it to maximize your travel experience. This perspective helps us to simplify how we trip plan and not get overwhelmed and we couldn't recommend it more.


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Travel planning for your next big trip? Check out the Adventure Assist travel notebook to help you simplify your travel planning and get the most out of your trip.

Travel Planning Tips: Research and Organization

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So you've picked your next travel destination and are about to dive into the exciting, but sometimes overwhelming, world of planning your trip. Don't worry, we're here for you. We've laid out our process of researching and organizing our travel information as well as some general things to consider as you go through the travel planning process. 

For reference as you go through this post, here is a link to our favorite travel resources.

To Do

Make a list of all of the things you would most like to do (or better yet, simply the things that you might like to do) in your travel destination. We like to break them down into three general sections - Activities, Attractions, Food/Drink.

Activities - Things to do, Tours, etc.

Attractions - Sights to see

Food/Drink - Restaurants, Coffee Shops, Bars & Nightlife

So, what’s the best balance between being completely spontaneous and having your trip planned out to the minute? We’ve found that you’re always better off knowing your options but the point at which you schedule activities is largely a personal decision based on how structured you would like your trip to be. Some people may prefer to decide the day of an activity, for some the night before, for others it could be weeks or months before your trip. Be aware that certain activities and attractions can require booking in advance.

Once you do have your schedule set, it is a great idea to add those items to a planner or calendar to help you connect your to do list with your schedule.

Transportation

The three biggest things to consider with transportation are - cost, comfort and time (in no particular order). Unless you are traveling to remote locations, you will typically have options for a range of the three factors. You will need to do some research to see what makes the most sense for your particular situation. For example, a budget backpacker, who places a high value on cost, may stick to cheaper bus routes that take longer to reach their destination while a midrange traveler may opt for a short flight instead.

Once booked, it is a good idea to write down your transportation details, such as booking numbers and departure times, so that you can reference them easily and efficiently.

Accommodations

For some travelers, finding the right accommodations can make or break a trip. Usually the three biggest factors when deciding on the right accommodations are - cost, location and value (in no particular order). Again, you will need to do some research to find the best place(s) to stay for your particular situation.

Once you’ve found your perfect home away from home, we recommend recording the address and all of the booking and contact information so that you will be able to easily access it while traveling.


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Let us help keep you organized as you plan your trip! Get your Adventure Assist travel notebook today and never lose track of your travel details again!

How to Plan a Group Trip (and Stay Sane)

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There is a lot to consider when planning a group trip and it can be extremely stressful. So, we put together some tips on how to plan a group trip (and stay sane). Follow these tips to take some pressure off next time you're planning an epic group trip.

Have a Leader

It is important to be democratic when planning a group trip so that everyone has input and shares their opinions but don't be afraid to take charge. The group needs a leader who is willing to make some decisions, including planning and booking the trip.

Who, Where, When

Decide who is going, the destination and when the best time to go would be. Consider which friends align best with your travel style and what everyone ultimately wants to get out of the trip. Keep in mind that the more travelers in the group, the more opinions, personalities and budgets you'll have to juggle. We suggest not to start planning until you get a commitment from everyone involved, including a definite location and timeframe that everyone is available.

Decide on a Budget & Payments

Before booking anything, it is extremely important to make sure that everyone is on the same page as far as budget. Agreeing on a maximum budget is a good way to eliminate any possible surprises that your group members might not be expecting. Additionally, it is important to decide how payments from group members should be handled. It is often easier for the leader to pay any deposits, etc., for the group and be reimbursed.

Book Transportation First

Book flights or other modes of transportation first to officially lock in the group and timeframe of the trip. Additionally, booking early typically gives you the best prices and will ensure that everyone in the group is able to travel together. Don't forget to ask about group rates.

Decide on Accommodations

When planning a group trip, the traditional hotels or hostels may not always make the most sense. It is often better to stay in a home or apartment through a service like Airbnb so that everyone can hang out without being crammed into a hotel room.

Plan Activities

Communication is key when planning activities for a group trip. It is important to get an idea of what the group members are interested in doing before booking anything ahead of time. Sometimes it may be better to have an idea of what you all might want to do but wait until arrival to book the activities so that the group can feel it all out together. We recommend to not be overly ambitious and to plan a lot of downtime on group trips because people will inevitably want some alone time throughout the day.

Go on Your Trip!

Your planning will pay off once you land in your dream destination. Relax and make the most out of a group trip with your friends!


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Planning a group trip? Keep track of all your travel details with the Adventure Assist travel notebook!

Traveling with a Purpose

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We often talk about traveling with a purpose... but what do we mean by that?

Consider this - could travel be leading you nowhere? A few "awesome" experiences under your belt, checking countries off your bucket list, wandering the world without really taking the time to get to know your destinations or yourself? As an outsider it may seem like this is the dream life, but we know from experience that constantly traveling in vacation mode, especially during extended trips, can be pretty damaging to your attitude and your wallet.

As a Peace Corps Volunteer in Nicaragua (hi, this is Jake!) I saw this constantly. Travelers that set off on a life changing trip through Central America only to get caught in tourist traps, party all day and night, and spend the majority of their trip asleep in their hostel bed. After I left the Peace Corps I headed down through Central and South America and noticed much of the same. Travelers who were undoubtedly seeking something but appeared instead to be running away. And hey, I've been there, I'm not one to judge and I like a good time as much as anyone, but I decided somewhere along the way that I didn't want to travel like that. In fact, I made it a mission of sorts to travel with purpose and share that idea with others. It's a big reason why we started Adventure Assist. Our travel notebooks have become a way to give people intention while traveling and as we evolve it will continue to be our main focus.

So, how can you apply traveling with a purpose in your own life? Once you understand the concept, there are a million ways to do it. For example, I traveled to Cuba to run the Havana marathon, in Tuscany I set out to learn everything I could about wine, I went to Guatemala to study Spanish, in Singapore I was fascinated by the history and architecture of shophouses. Maybe you'd like to volunteer in India, learn to surf in Costa Rica, attend a baseball game in every stadium in the US, or head to the English countryside to write a book. Maybe you simply want to relax or to see an old friend or to learn about the history and culture of a new place.

We believe that if you plan on traveling for an extended period of time, having goals throughout your adventure is extremely important. We aren't saying that you should make an intense list of things to accomplish in every city you plan on visiting but that being conscious of what you want to get from your travels will likely lead to a more fulfilling experience. Traveling with a sense of purpose helps you learn and grow and it better connects you to your travel destination. Without a doubt, you will leave with new skills, knowledge, and likely some experiences you would not have had otherwise.


Traveling with a purpose? Get an Adventure Assist travel notebook to relive the adventure for years to come.

Travel Planning Tips: Choosing the Perfect Destination

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The first step in any travel planning process is choosing the perfect destination for your trip! There are a lot of things to consider when choosing a travel destination (and travel planning in general), so we're here to share some tips that we use to decide where we will be heading next.

What do you want to get out of your trip?

The very first thing to think about when choosing the perfect destination, is what you want to get out of your travel experience. We are big believers in giving your trip purpose because it will inspire you throughout the travel planning process (and while on your trip) and give you something incredible to look forward to. Do you want to discover a new culture? Do you want to become more knowledgeable on a specific subject (European history, wine, Kung Fu)? Or, do you just want to relax and reset? Giving your trip purpose by setting expectations or goals is a great way to get you in the mindset for your trip and help you narrow down destinations that make sense.

Since you now understand what you want to get out of your trip, you’ve probably narrowed your search down quite a bit. What’s next? How do you actually decide? 

Seasons & Weather

When planning your next travel destination, it is always important to consider the time of the year, seasons, and weather in any potential destinations. Is it the busy tourist season or slow season? Is it warm and sunny or does it rain most of the day? Are there any events or festivals that you should be aware of?

Must Do Activities

Another consideration while deciding on your next travel destination is any activities that you've always wanted to do! What are your bucket list items that you can check off on this trip? Do you have recommendations from friends and family? Are there any life changing activities that you can do?

Expenses

For most of us, the biggest factor in determining a travel destination is the cost. Does the expense match what you are expecting to pay for the trip? Often the biggest expense of a trip is the price of flights and other transportation. Remember to also take into account day to day expenses like the price of accommodations and food. Additionally, you'll want to account for any activities that you will want to do while in your destination.

Still stuck in your travel planning process? If you're still undecided on where your next travel destination should be, we recommend searching the internet for the best places to accomplish your travel goals, scouring travel blogs for the perfect spot, or checking out social media to see where might be a good fit.

 

Travel planning can be overwhelming. If you're planning a trip, simplify your travel planning process with the Adventure Assist travel notebook.