Smart Travel Planning - 5 Tips to Save Money on your next Trip

Updated: October 19, 2020 by Traxplorio
Smart Travel Planning

Are you planning your next trip? Then this is the right place for you! With the wrong or no travel planning it can get very chaotic – but hey, it has its charm 😀 ! Especially on longer trips smart travel planning is therefore highly recommended.

With smart travel planning and our 5 tips to save money on your next trip, you can also save time, so you can experience even more! For example, an accommodation that is closer to the sights or places you are going to visit can save you the time you would otherwise need to get there (which can quickly add up to an hour or more). Of course, the right travel gadgets can make a big difference (e.g. you don’t want to suddenly find out that your charger doesn’t fit into the socket).

In this article, you will find a lot of information that helped me with my travel planning. If you have any feedback or other ideas, feel free to write them in the comments below 🙂

Table of Contents

Preparing for your next adventure - 10 things you should not forget!

travel preparation

Most of your travel planning is the same for every trip. That’s why we have created 10 short tips for perfect travel planning. Of course, there are other things you can keep an eye on but if you follow these 10 tips you can be sure to be ready and enjoy your next trip to the fullest!

  1. The most important thing when traveling – your passport (or identity card). It is also advisable to have a copy of these documents on your phone and with friends at home. This way they can help you if the documents get lost while traveling. Be sure to check the expiration date! In some countries, you will also need a visa when entering the country – inform yourself in advance, as there are often deadlines to be met.
  2. Your other travel documents. This includes booking confirmations (transfers, accommodations, tours, car rentals, ….) but also any additional documents you may need, such as an International Driving License.
  3. An unloved topic – travel insurance. To be honest, I myself don’t like to buy them either, because you always think – I don’t need that anyway… However, a few of them make a lot of sense and may let you enjoy your vacation a little more relaxed. Popular insurances are: Trip Cancellation, Trip Interruption, Emergency Medical Transportation, Baggage Delay, Baggage Insurance, Collision Loss Damage, Travel Accident, Travel Delay
  4. Travel Credit Card! We recommend that you inform yourself carefully so that you can find a credit card with which you do not have to pay foreign currency fees, can withdraw money abroad free of charge, get reimbursed fees from ATMs, and in the best case have a bonus program with which you can save money when traveling. In addition, you should let your bank know where you are going (to avoid a lockout) before you travel for a longer period of time and if necessary increase your credit limit. Besides, it is always good to have some cash with you.
  5. Emergency contacts. This list helps you not only when travelling 🙂 It should contain the following contacts when you travel: Contact person at home, contact persons you will meet on site (accommodation, car rental, etc.), contact of the embassy of your country, contact of your bank, medical facilities
  6. Travel vaccinations if necessary. Please inform yourself further in advance. If several vaccinations are necessary, a vaccination schedule must be followed, which requires a certain time window.
  7. Make sure that the transport for your first accommodation is arranged. You should also always have a confirmation for your first accommodation with you, as this is sometimes required upon arrival.
  8. Prepare your home for your trip. We just want to tell you a few things to think about before you leave home. Not all of them have to apply to you personally: turn off the electricity, make sure the plants are watered, take out the garbage, empty the mail, empty the fridge, pause your subscriptions if necessary, find someone to look after your animals, activate your security system or take other precautions,…
  9. Very important, because it can be very helpful for you on-site… make sure to check beforehand how you can access the internet during your trip! This way you can always react flexibly to new situations, be it booking accommodation, navigating somewhere, or just looking up information. The internet is very helpful when traveling! If it is difficult to connect to the internet during your trip, make sure to download offline maps in advance.
  10. Avoid Overpacking – On every trip you should pack only what you need. That sounds easier than it is. But the advantages are obvious, not only do you have to carry less weight, but you also have more room for your souvenirs 🙂 We have put together some packing lists for you and also a list of useful travel must-haves that can be useful on every trip.

6 Must-Have Travel Essentials that help you on every Trip

travel adapter

A Travel Adapter is a must-have on every journey! With it you don’t have to worry about the sockets at your destination and you can charge your devices quickly on your own. Especially handy are the USB ports, which allow you to charge several devices at the same time at one socket.

Bozzy Pillow

The dream of all of us is to fall asleep at take-off and wake up again at landing. The Bcozzy Travel Pillow is by far the most comfortable Travel Pillow I have ever had. Not only is it a must on every air travel, but it can also be a great help on long train rides to help you take a little nap. This way you have more energy to use your time more efficiently and explore the area.

Multi Functional Scarf

This multifunctional head scarf is really one of my absolute favorites. Cool in summer, warm in winter – this magic head wear takes care of you very well in all seasons. It has more than 12 different dress ways. It can protect your face, head, neck and ears from almost every weather condition. No matter what time of year you travel, you will love this travel gadget. Make sure to put it on your packing list 🙂

Backpack

No matter if you have a big backpack or a suitcase with you. When you are planning to travel you should also be prepared for day trips. This small practical ultra lightweight packable backpack is perfect for every trip! The daypack’s adjustable breathable straps ensure a proper fit and comfortable all-day use. We are really surprised how comfortable and robust it is. A clear recommendation!

Packbeutel

Originally we bought these Packing Cubes in order to get along with a small piece of luggage even on a short weekend trip. But we quickly fell in love with the practical Cubes. You can not only save a lot of space but also organize your luggage and save unnecessary packing and unpacking time. That’s why they should be part of your general travel equipment 🙂

RFID

The RFID Blocking Sleeves are perhaps the most important and most underrated travel gadget for your trip. I myself have thought for many years that I don’t need such a thing… But here you can eliminate a high risk with little money, which can not only ruin your entire vacation. Unfortunately, there is criminal energy everywhere. With this little gadget, you can protect yourself and travel with one thing less to worry about.

How to select the cheapest flight at the best travel time

airplane

Good travel planning starts with thinking about how to get to your destination of choice. In this article, we will only consider travel planning by air. Of course, it is always advisable to plan a road trip or travel by public transport. If you are planning a road trip, you should compare the different gasoline prices in different regions. For this purpose, there are numerous apps that can help you. If you choose public transportation, it is important to plan ahead to get special prices. But especially with public transport time is always an important factor (what is the saving of 5$ worth if you have to travel 90 minutes longer? 😉 ).

First of all, we recommend that you always check with your airline to see if there are any frequent flyer programs available. There are also several credit cards that give you a bonus when you book with certain providers. However, the conditions change very often, so we recommend this research for your travel planning only if you are traveling for a longer time. Then a good travel credit card is worth a lot!

Now let’s take a closer look at the booking process for your travel planning. There are 3 factors that are crucial for us. The more flexibility you have in these 3 factors, the more favorable your travel planning can be.

Planning your Travel Destination

Do you want to travel to a certain country or do you actually want to do a certain activity or experience some special type of travel? If one of the last two points is the case, you can save a lot of money! There are so many beautiful places in the world too, so why should you decide right away? 😉

Smart travel planning is all about being flexible.

For example, if you want to surf, you can do so in many places. Or do you just want to explore a new city? The world is waiting to be explored by you.

We recommend 2 comparison sites for flights. There are many more providers, but in the end, we always found the best flight through one of these two websites.

Here you have several filter options. One underestimated option is to leave the destination open and select only the departure airports. This way you can not only be inspired, but you might also find unexpected great deals! I love this kind of travel planning.

Planning your Travel Time

Of course, you have a rough idea when you want to travel. But if you are not bound to a specific date, you can save a lot of money here! Remember that travel planning always works better when you are flexible 😉

However, there are also some myths that the cheapest flights are always booked 3 months in advance, or it is cheaper on a Tuesday. Others claim that with an incognito tab you get better prices… This is nonsense!

But it is a fact that if you want to travel for 10 days and you have a 3-week time slot, you can save a lot of money! It can make a big difference if you travel from 10 to 20 or 5 to 15. You can use the powerful filter options of Skyscanner and Google Flights.

Planning your Travel Duration

The last point for our travel planning. Once again a little insider tip that many people don’t take into account. By now you have chosen your destination and travel time, but especially with flexible travel time, you might be flexible regarding the duration of your trip as well. So why do you have to stick to your previously planned 7 or 10 days? In many cases, flights are cheaper if you extend or shorten the trip by a few days.

So have fun with your travel planning at Skyscanner and Google Flights 😀 And be careful, you can easily forget the time because you always find new possibilities and in the end, it can be very difficult to choose a destination 😉

Learn how to find your ideal accommodation and stay flexible

best accommodation

Especially nowadays it is very important that you can cancel your accommodation if necessary. But we hope that it will not be necessary, because we all love to travel, and we want tourism to survive in each country.

When it comes to accommodation, there are different approaches, which again depend on various factors. We would like to help you with your travel planning and for this reason, we have established 4 categories in order to give you a few tips.

No matter which category your trip belongs to, in most cases we recommend booking through one of the following two platforms. The best prices and sometimes even special discounts are available there in almost all situations. Furthermore, the security of your booking is guaranteed there.

Again, there are many different filters to help you find the right accommodation for your trip 🙂 Now let’s have a closer look at your travel planning. The categories also depend on which season you are traveling. If it is high season, you should always book your accommodation in advance.

Planning for a short trip (1-5 days)

Let’s start with the most common type of travel. Just getting out for a weekend and getting some energy can do wonders. Travel planning can make a big difference, especially for this type of travel!

Whether it’s high season or low season, if you’re only going on a short trip, you’ve probably already made a plan of what you want to see. A very important tip is to take a look at the map to see where you will be during your trip. Then use the maps on Booking.com and Airbnb to find accommodation not too far away. You will save not only time but also the unnecessary costs of local public transport.

Another tip is that you should filter the reviews by actuality. That way you can see if something has happened to the accommodation in the last few days (e.g. construction site nearby).

You should definitely book your accommodations in advance to concentrate on your vacation 🙂

Planning for a medium trip with focus on relaxation (up to 2 weeks)

Are you planning a well-deserved relaxing vacation? Then everything should be perfect 🙂 We recommend you to book your accommodation in advance.
If you are looking for some activity during the whole relaxation period, you will not only find local providers (which are sometimes a bit more expensive), but often also something at Get Your Guide (e.g. for Munich) or Tours by Locals.

We wish you a pleasant stay! 🙂

Planning for a medium trip with focus on adventure (up to 2 weeks)

If you are a bit more active on the road and don’t know exactly where you will be during your vacation we have some good tips for you. We are also glad that you decided to travel this way because you can gather so many new impressions and often have some great stories to tell afterward.

Especially on Airbnb you will quickly get to know people on site as the host often welcomes you personally. If this is not the case, you can always contact your host via the Airbnb app. This way you can get some valuable insider tips right from the start.

A big advantage of Booking.com is that the cancellation periods are very beneficial for you. Often you can cancel free of charge up to 24 hours before the start of your trip. But we would like to point out that we would like you to cancel an accommodation (no matter if it is on Booking.com or Airbnb) only if you have your reasons. 🙂 Especially in the current Covid-crisis, we have to stick together to travel and admire the beauty of foreign countries and cultures together in the future.

We recommend you to book only the first 1-3 nights (because sometimes this is necessary as proof of your arrival). The rest you can easily book locally, so you are always flexible 🙂 You are on vacation – so don’t plan everything through and let yourself drift.

Planning for a longer trip (2 weeks+)

If you are traveling for a longer period of time a good travel planning is even more important. Besides, it is only logical that you have to be (and want to be!) more flexible. Therefore we would like to recommend this procedure to you:

1) Roughly plan your route in advance (you probably have a vague idea of what you want to do if you’re going on a long trip anyway).
2) Choose 3 accommodations at each of your planned stops and save them. You can do this using the favorites and list functions of Airbnb and Booking.com.
3) When you are on location, open the app and check if one of your 3 accommodations is still available (this was always the case with me).
4) Now you can book your accommodation quickly and easily. Very often, the price is even cheaper because it is a last-minute booking.

Have fun on your next journey! We are looking forward to your next travelogue.

3 ways to save money before and during your trip

save money

We have already talked a lot about how to save money on flights and accommodation. The following tips are more related to other offers you can take advantage of before, during, or even after your trip 🙂 If you are more interested in this topic, we have another article for you: “How to make money traveling – 13 Options you should not miss“.

Time is money, so let’s start with the tips 😉

1) Become a Travel Blogger

We are a big fan of this opportunity when it comes to making money while traveling. 😉 And there is a very good reason for that!

  • The work you do to become a travel blogger also generates many other sources of income to make money while traveling. 

But first of all, these many benefits will cost you a lot of time. Travel blogging is not something you earn a lot of money overnight. Fortunately, you will be very happy to invest this time, as it is very much related to your passion – traveling. If you are seriously interested in making money on your travels with travel blogging there is not only one option. Depending on how professional you want to run this, you can either create your own travel blog. We have published 3 very helpful articles that are going to support you:

If you want to spend less time and effort, you can also sign up with Traxplorio and become a travel blogger in a few seconds. With your first post, you are guaranteed to win a part of the monthly jackpot and make money traveling.

If you create your own blog, it does not necessarily have to be a travel blog. You can blog about anything that comes to your mind!

2) Photography

We have just talked about the fact that travel blogging is a great way to make money traveling and generate multiple sources of income. One more of these sources is photography. If you plan to write a post about your travels anyway, you can also sell parts of your content. You are also welcome to share your travelogue on Traxplorio and take advantage of the blogger benefits. There are many platforms on which you can offer your photography. 

But I recommend you to have a look at the corresponding page first. Which pictures are already there in your niche (e.g. Iceland). Then be honest with yourself and rate if your photography can keep up. If you have a passion for photography, it might make sense to invest some money in better photography equipment :)What could be more beautiful than earning money with your passion while traveling?

The great thing about photography is that you can be very creative with your subjects. Be it food, landscapes, people, sports, … I love to bring a small part of my travels home to people through my pictures and maybe inspire them to go on a new adventure themselves 🙂

3) Work and Travel

Probably the best-known way to earn money while traveling in the past few years is Work and Travel. The concept can be summarized quite easily. If you can answer yes to these two questions, Work and Travel is a very good option for you to earn money while traveling. 

  • Do you like to travel?
  • Do you have no problem offering your work in another country?

That’s great! Now you can find a suitable job for you. This can be anything from farm work to DJ jobs in clubs 😉 There are great communities that provide such jobs. You have to pay an annual fee to become a member of the community. But it’s worth it because you can access many experiences and reviews of other travelers and it’s safer and more professional. 

Two awesome communities are:

Depending on how much you work, you will be provided with accommodation and food. But there is also the possibility that you get to know other travelers and more isolated accommodations through such sites. As a Van-Lifer you can for example park your van there and take part in life on an eco-farm and only have to pay a small price for your food.

Conclusion

conclusion

We hope that this article helped you with your travel planning. As you can see, you can improve your trip in many ways (time, money, experiences, …) if you spend a little more time on planning.

Especially you should pay attention to the section “Preparing for your next adventure – 10 things you should not forget!” That way you avoid unnecessary problems during and after your trip 🙂

But the most important thing is that you enjoy your vacation and that it is just what you are looking for! We are always happy to receive feedback on our tips or our recommended Travel Essentials. Maybe you own a different gadget that should not be missing on any trip? We are excited!

Follow and Share us on Social Media for more 🙂
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