How to Plan the Perfect Trip Step-by-Step (& Checklist)

Traveling to new destinations and meeting new people is an amazing experience that transforms us and helps us form a better understanding of different cultures and traditions.

However, planning the perfect trip that we always dreamt of, as adventurous and exciting it might be, at the same time it might prove quite overwhelming.

That’s why being proactive and creating a step-by-step plan beforehand, might save you money, time and offer you the long awaited relaxation you were hoping for.

Let’s wait no more and walk you through some important steps to keep in mind when planning the perfect trip.

PS: stay tuned until the end where we’ll share our travel planning checklist!

Let’s dive into our 8 steps!

Step #1: Define Your Travel Goals 

First and foremost, it is vital that you determine the purpose of your trip.

Take a moment and ask yourself; are you going for a chill and relaxing vacation, an adventure or a business trip?

The answer to this question can help shape your trip and decide which destination suits you best.

For instance, choosing party-centered Ibiza for your next family vacation might not be the best place, and leave you and your family members in despair.

Identifying specific goals and expectations for a trip will act as a stepping stone for the next steps such as the budget setting, that we will see right away.

Step #2: Set a Budget

To continue with, when planning your perfect trip, you need to take a good look at your finances and set a budget you can allocate for your trip.

Having a budget in mind, you can be proactive and even start saving in advance.

When setting your budget you need to work smarter not harder; that’s why we have broken down this step for you to save you time and effort.

First, go ahead and calculate your total estimated expenses to have a clear and comprehensive view.

Next, you can break down your costs for accommodation, transportation, activities, and meals.

Lastly, don’t forget to consider additional expenses like travel insurance and souvenirs.

Let’s head to the next step.

Step #3: Choose Your Destination

Choosing the best destination to travel to is quite subjective and even a bit overwhelming as there are numerous places that are worth visiting.

Trust us, most of us have been there and we know the feeling.

To facilitate your selection process, as your vacation bucket list might include plenty of destinations, you can meticulously research potential destinations based on interests and budget.

Then, you can narrow down options to make an informed decision.

A destination is more than a place; it’s the experiences you’re hoping to gain; from a gondola ride in romantic Venice to a magical journey to futuristic Japan.

In order to gain all the magnificent experiences you have always dreamt of, though, except for local attractions, bear in mind some equally important factors like weather, safety and ease of accessibility.

For instance, selecting the right destination according to the season is key, as different destinations match with different seasons.

After all, life is a series of unpredictable and unfortunate events;

Let’s move on to the next step.

Step #4: Book Transfer and Accommodation

Following up, you’ll need to decide on the mode of transportation.

The destination you decide to visit will dictate if you’ll need to search for flights, trains, rental cars, or all of them combined.

You can ask yourself questions like: 

  • Will you opt for a round trip?
  • Are you departing from a new airport? 

Also, don’t forget to look for transportation deals and discounts and book transportation and accommodation in advance to secure the best prices.

What is more, to be ahead of your game you can even sign up for price alerts so that you’ll receive notifications when the fares go down.

Bear in mind that during the shoulder season (i.e. the months between peak and off-peak seasons, when prices tend to be relatively low.), is the best time to look for some good discounts on hotels and flights.

Adding to that, regarding the accommodation options, you’ll need to conduct a thorough research and comparison between a wide range of hotels, hostels and Airbnbs.

There are plenty of travel apps where you can read reviews to ensure quality and safety and not find yourself in unpleasant situations.

Step #5: Pack Smartly

Organization when packing your things before traveling is key to not forgetting something important.

It goes without saying that if you pack while in a rush, something will probably go wrong.

Creating a well curated packing list beforehand based on the destination, the trip duration and activities, will save you from a lot of trouble leaving room for enjoying your trip to the fullest.

Before starting gazing into your closet and wondering what to pack in your suitcase, go ahead and check the weather forecast and pack accordingly.

Picture this; you are going to Italy this summer, which is known for its beautiful beaches, so you’re only packing swimsuits and T-shirts;

But you didn’t check the weather forecast and arrived in the middle of a storm, leaving you cold hearted.

That’s why it’s advisable to pack diligently and efficiently.

Moreover, besides the weather you need to take into account the essential documents like passports, visa and travel insurance, you should bring with you.

Speaking about packing the essentials, you should also think about storing your luggage somewhere safe; which brings us to the next step.

Step #6: Think About Luggage Storage

Imagine this scenario; You’ve just landed in lovely London and you have to wait several hours until you can check-in at your hotel or Airbnb; what are you going to do?

Carrying your luggage around before check-in and after check-out is a problem that usually arises when reaching and leaving a new place.

In some cases, there are hotels and Airbnb hosts who will accept to store your luggage.

However, it is important to highlight that not all hotels and airbnb hosts are willing to do that.

That’s where we are stepping in.

Here at Stasher we have your back as we’ve partnered with hotels, cafes, and local shops, in over 890 cities worldwide to cater the needs of every traveler, looking to store their luggage for a few hours or days.

The safety of your belongings is of utmost importance to us, while at the same time, the whole booking process is much simpler than you might imagine.

The way our luggage storage app works is super easy and you can book one of our locations in less than 2 minutes!

Below, you can see for yourself via demo how to book your luggage storage at Stasher.

Pretty simple, right?

Step #7: Create an Itinerary

Here comes the fun and most creative part of the perfect trip planning which is no other than the creation of an itinerary.

When creating your ideal itinerary, it is important to keep in mind the duration of your trip to plan your daily activities and sightseeing accordingly.

Also, you need to keep your activity planning consistent with the specific period of time you choose to visit a destination.

For instance, if you consider visiting a place during the high season such as the thanksgiving holiday, some attractions might be more crowded than usual.

To not miss out on any must-see attractions, museums or galleries it would be helpful to reserve tickets for such excursions ahead of time.

Last but not least, allow for some flexibility in the schedule and include downtime for relaxation and unexpected discoveries.

When discovering things you don’t want to miss, you can always pin them on Google maps.

And now it’s time for what you are all waiting for; the last step with our travel checklist included!

Step #8: Stay Organized With a Checklist

As promised in the beginning of our guide, we have prepared a complete travel checklist for you to download and use.

Traveling to a new destination is quite stressful, but the antidote to worry is organization.

Make a copy of our checklist here

As you’ll see in our checklist, all the actions fall under a certain category to make things even easier for you.

What you need to do on your part is check-off every item or action when completed, and you are ready for your next stress-free journey!

Let’s wrap things up with some final words.

Now Over to You

We hope that we got you covered with our step-by-step guide when planning your next hassle-free trip.

Traveling is an exhilarating experience that provides us with memories of a lifetime.

To make the most of it and live your trip to the fullest, apart from packing your essentials, storing them somewhere safe is equally important.

So, before moving forward with the trip, go ahead and store your luggage with Stasher, and you’ll never have to stress about the safety of your luggage ever again.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

When planning a trip some frequently asked questions are the ones listed below.

How early should I start planning a trip?

The ideal time to start planning a trip depends on various factors such as the destination, your personal goals and preferences and your budget.

However, as a general guideline, if possible, start planning at least a few months in advance, especially for international or more complex getaways to find the best fares.

How much money do I need to plan a trip?

The amount of money you need for a trip can vary widely based on several factors, such as the destination, duration of your stay, and mode of transportation.

How do I start planning a trip?

Planning a trip involves 8 important steps to ensure a smooth and memorable experience:

  1. Define your travel goals
  2. Set a budget
  3. Choose your destination
  4. Book transfer & accommodation
  5. Pack smartly
  6. Think about luggage storage
  7. Create an itinerary
  8. Stay organized with a checklist