Along with packing, this is my favourite part of getting ready for my trips - planning and organising! You need to plan your trip by a certain standard to be prepared, save yourself money, feel confident and ready to take off but my advice would be to actually book as little as possible!
The best way to travel is by going with the flow and plans can change so quickly on the road. Say you meet a group of friends in a hostel and they are all heading to another part of the country you're visiting and you would love to join them -- you can't really do that if you have paid for accommodation somewhere else for the upcoming month....
So research as much as you can, make lists, take notes, put together a rough itinerary and book what you have to (like the flight) and then let your journey unfold!
The following are ALL the steps (20 of them) I take when planning a new trip -- I've covered everything for you (IN ORDER) so you can be completely prepared and board the flight with confidence!
#1 DECIDE WHERE YOU WANT TO GO
First things first! Where do you want to go? How do you decide if you don't have a clue? The world is huge, there are so many places to see and things to do! If you haven't dreamt of visiting a certain destination, only longed of travel in general then choosing where to go can be a daunting task.
There are some factors to consider to help narrow down your decision.
COST - Your budget will of course last longer if you visit places that are cheap to get by! It doesn't mean you can't visit expensive places, just keep those trips short and sweet or work while you're there.
ELIGIBLE TO WORK - You might want to include working abroad in your plan. Maybe for the experience or to top up your funds! Check which destinations you will be able to work in and that offer the job you would like to do.
Have a look at my page about Making Money on the Road
ACTIVITY OR EXPERIENCE - There may be a certain type of trip you want to go on or activities you dream of carrying out that would conclude your decision on where to go. I love to read travel books if I have an experience in mind or to just get inspired! Check out the books 1000 Ultimate Adventures &1000 Ultimate Experiences by Lonely Planet.
LENGTH OF TRIP - For long term backpacking trips, some destinations are more suited than others! Same goes for shorter trips, you may be more flexible with your spending if your going away for a shorter period and returning to work at the end of it.
MY TOP PICKS FOR LONG TERM TRAVEL: South-East Asia (THAILAND, MYANMAR, INDONESIA, CAMBODIA) Asia (SRI-LANKA) Central America (GUATEMALA, EL SALVADOR, NICARAGUA) Eastern Europe (CROATIA, CZECH REPUBLIC, HUNGARY)
TOP PICKS FOR WORK & TRAVEL: AUSTRALIA, CANADA, NEW ZEALAND, THAILAND
For more ideas and inspiration on where to go, explore my Destinations Page that has all my Itineraries, Adventures, Tips and Guides that have been carried out by me!