Samples Process How to Travel: Planning Advice

How to Travel: Planning Advice

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Our world is becoming a smaller place to live, thanks to globalization and advancements in information and communication technologies. As a result, cross-cultural awareness has been increasingly and more and more people are making international travel plans. Like anything else, the key to memorable travelling experiences lies in a well-developed plan. A well-developed plan ensures one is able to minimize surprises and get the most out of his travel adventures.

The first step is to decide upon the place one may like to visit. This step is important because the selected destination will drive the entire planning process. For example, the selected destination will determine the appropriate budget. Some places are quite cheap while others are relatively expensive. Similarly, other factors also vary among countries such as food costs, transportation costs, and air fare.

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The second step is to decide upon the travel schedule. In creating the travel schedule, it is important to take several factors into account. For example, there are certain months of the year that are the most appropriate to visit a certain country. Those with tight budget may benefit from choosing the time of the year when few tourists visit the selected destination. Another factor that may influence the travel schedule is the purpose of one’s visit. The travel schedule of someone visiting Norway to enjoy its winter sports culture would be different from someone who is hoping to drive through Norway’s scenic areas when roads are less dangerous to drive.

The third step is to conduct an educational research on the selected destination such as local culture, local values, local traditions and customs, transportation infrastructure, and social etiquette. One may employ a number of resources to conduct his research such as the internet, travel guides, and friends and acquaintances who either come from the selected destination or who have had the opportunity to visit it in the past. Some may not realize it but one cannot overstate the importance of cultural awareness when visiting other places. This research process should also focus on the payment patterns in the country. For example, credit cards may not be widely acceptable in some countries. Similarly, currency exchange facilities may be scarce or expensive to deal with in other countries. As a result, it is important to take care of financial matters before travelling because one’s financial troubles may single-handedly ruin the entire trip.

The fourth step is to arrange for a place to stay. Fortunately, internet has been a huge blessing in this regard. In addition to hotel booking sites, new websites such as Airbnb have made things further convenient for the travelers. It is important to pay attention to customer reviews that may unearth the strong and weak points of accommodation options not mentioned elsewhere on the internet. If possible, the best option is to stay with a friend or an acquaintance as such accommodation options may not only be cheaper but also more homelike in nature.

The fifth step is to make a list of the places one would like to see. Different places may require different amount of time investments due to factors such as commute time and the size of the location. For example, one may not need more than an hour to see the leaning tower of Pisa but even 3-4 hours may not be sufficient to properly see the collection of a famous local museum.

One cannot overstate the importance of language skills in determining overall travel experience. In an ideal situation, one would be well-versed in a local language or at least well-versed in a language that is widely understood in the selected country. But it is not uncommon for language barriers to arise. The minimum preparation should include learning most-commonly used words in a local language. Fortunately, there are a number of useful tools available to modern tourists including apps and the technological advancements will continue to make things easier for travelers with language barriers. For example, there are apps which automatically translate street signs when phone cameras are pointed at them. Similarly, Google has introduced Translate app which is almost like a digital language interpreter. It listens to sentences in one of the supported foreign languages and translates it for the user in a language he understands. It is also capable of translating written words.

While it is preferable to do a minimum research on local culture, traditions, and customs, one can only learn so much in advance. Thus, one should continue to engage in learning process even after arriving in the destination place. One useful strategy is to observe locals in a variety of settings and imitate them as much as possible. If one has a tourist guide or a friend with local knowledge, one should not hesitate to ask as many questions as possible because preparation is always preferable to embarrassing situations.

One of the purposes of travelling to a new place is to broaden one’s perspectives. Thus, it sometimes pay to follow the road less travelled. This means visiting places that are less popular among tourists but widely popular among locals. Another strategy is to try as much local food as possible instead of finding comfort in familiar food items. One of the mistakes travelers make is to rush to food places they are already comfortable with such as McDonald’s or a fried chicken outlet. While there is nothing wrong in taking the safe route, such practices significantly diminish the educational value of travelling.

More and more people are travelling, especially, at international level. Like anything else, travelling should be approached with a proper plan so as to enhance the overall experience. The steps involved in traveling include preparing a budget, choosing the appropriate time to visit, doing research on local traditions, customs, and social etiquettes, arranging accommodation, and preparing a communication plan. Similarly, there are strategies one can adopt to enhance the overall travel experience such as visiting less popular places and trying local food as much as possible.