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Seamless Journeys

Travel knows no boundaries

How to Plan


This question most definitely clouded my mind once I decided to plan my own group trip. After all, ensuring a smooth group travel even within one's own country is a mighty task, let alone an overseas destination. Nevertheless, it has been a fun activity and an awesome practical path for me, leading to some great learning about the world around us.

Undoubtedly, the internet is a one stop solution to all our questions. It can't get more easier. So then, lets get on with a manageable planning approach. I have here split them into STEPS just for ease. They are all interlinked. At times, one STEP may precede or succeed the another. You will surely experience that yourself , once you start planning on your own.


Choosing a destination can be confusing due to the varied choices available. It is also dependend on the choice of every member in the group. Its wise to start with 2 or 3 options and then finalise the destination after a little brain storming and price comparisons. Over a period of time, my group has stopped questioning me on my destination choices due to the success rate of the previous tours. Now they enjoy being in suspense for a while till the entire planning is done. It is best to avoid squeezing in too many places into a short period of visit. Allocate enough time for visiting each place.


Once the choices of destinations are in place, discuss them with the group to decide on the one final destination. Now, fix a budget for the entire trip. Working around a fixed budget not only ensures curbing of unnecessary expenses but also ensures maximum value for money. Without a "planned budget", the trip may get way too expensive. Remember, the costliest options do not always provide the best experiences. Also, be open to a few thousands here and there. You do not want to miss out on the best, for wanting to strictly stick with the budget. Simultaneously, check the convenience of group members and decide on your DATES OF TRAVEL . I have always found the trip to be cheaper when you travel for a longer period. This is because the flights are the most expensive part of any trip. So don't think twice about extending your holiday, you may or may not have a chance to visit the place again.


The budget is vastly dependent on the destination and to a certain extent on the prices of flights or any mode of transport to get there. There are 100 and more websites helping you find the cheaper tickets. Rule 1 here is to book your flights well in advance. The prices tend to get dearer as your travel date approaches. Rule 2 - make a choice between non-refundable and refundable fares. You can get an amazing deal if you book a non-refundable fare. On the other hand, in case of need to seek refund it may get difficult. However, refundable fares offer more flexibility. Though they may turn expensive, they ensure you don't lose money in case you need to cancel your trip for any reason. On that note take care to always book tickets family wise, in that way you don't need to worry in case a part of the group wishes to back out. Before booking your flights , ensure you have prepared a rough itinerary, so that you don't fall short of days to visit the places you would love to.


The biggest factor in fixing an itinerary is the weather forecast. The "ACCUWEATHER" website does provide great forecasts of most places, date wise. Do have a peek at the weather of your choice of place, on the particular dates of travel, so that you don't end up reaching there when the weather is most likely to be nasty. At least you can stay prepared.

Travel Itineraries can be varied. You can browse for a standard itinerary which has previously been followed by any or many to play it safe and easy. To this you can add or delete a few places depending upon your period of stay. You could speak to people who have earlier travelled to the said destination, to get an idea. You could browse through travel blogs and various suggestions offered by experts to find exceptional and unique places that may interest you and your group OR you could do all of the above and make your very own. That is what I usually do. I make my own itinerary after much research and juggling between choices. Sometimes I have just gone crazy trying to fix it. There would be more than one place you love to visit, which means you need to rethink based on the time limit ( i.e the travel dates you have set ). Let the places of visit follow a logical order. You must avoid criss-crossing the same path more than once. Make your choice. Once your flights are booked, there is no way to change the travel dates. You will then most certainly settle down for an itinerary. This itinerary need not be the final one. As your plan progresses, there will me many more choices that come your way. Take it cool but have one to start with. Don't ever worry about not having the right itinerary. Every travel brings something new. Just go with it.


Once you have a draft itinerary or choice of places of visit, you need to proceed to fixing your path of travel. By this I mean travelling from one country or city to another. Like I mentioned earlier, this needs to follow a logical order as travelling in a haphazard manner can make your trip expensive. For eg. If A and B cities are closer to each other and C is the farthest of them all, you can compare the distance from A to C against B to C and then plan your route accordingly depending on their distance from each other. Use a google map for this. Another point is accessibility. If A to B is not accessible, you may need to approach B through another place. The ROME2RIO website (along with google)comes very handy and helps you to plan your path easily while also helping in understanding the pricing.


As mentioned before, all these steps are not necessarily in the same order. Maintaining a manual dairy works best for me always. This has the required, collected pieces of information, that is easily accessible. Keep penning down the prices under various heads and add them regularly to help compare against your budget. I usually classify budget into these categories : FLIGHTS; VISA & INSURANCE; STAY ; FOOD ; TRAVEL and MISCELLANEOUS , where TRAVEL would be subdivided into EXTERNAL (country to country, city to city or any long distance travel) and INTERNAL ( covering local travel inside a place and nearby- basically to sight see). MISCELLANEOUS would include all sight-seeing expenses and other

For more steps on planning read all heads under PLANNING.

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