|Saint Peter's Basilica and the Piazza San Pietro in Rome at the Vatican. Photo: WikiMedia.org.|
If you haven’t yet caught the travel bug, what are you waiting for? There are so many wonderful sights and attractions to explore in the world, and each trip you take will enrich your knowledge of other cultures as well as your own. Not sure how to get started? Follow these tips to plan an unforgettable trip.
Finding your inspiration
|Welcome to the "City of Light"—Paris, France, and Sacre Couer. Is this inspiration enough? Photo: WikiMedia.org.|
From city breaks and culinary tourism to beach escapes and adventure activities, your ideal holiday destination is out there somewhere—you just have to know how to find it. Start by browsing your favourite travel blogs; poring through travel photos posted on Pinterest, Flickr or Tumblr; or reading the travel section in your local newspaper or magazine. If you’re interested in a city break, Paris and Rome are two enchanting destinations, while those interested in more adventurous travel might consider a trip to the Dolomites in northern Italy or perhaps the fjords of Norway. Once you find holiday destinations that inspire you, seek out the travel guidebooks to learn more and start your planning.
Sorting out your finances
|The majesty of Hardangerfjord should provide all the inspiration you need for an epic adventure through Norway. Photo: Tacker.|
All too often, people let their finances hold them back from travelling. But with some simple savings strategies, you can raise the funds for a great holiday. The trick is to reduce your entertainment and recreation expenses. To cut food costs, make more meals at home, cut coupons and buy generic when you go to the grocery store. Take advantage of cheap and free events in your city, and try car sharing for the next few months to cut down on the cost of petrol. Another great strategy for saving money for the big trip is to transfer money into your savings account as soon as you get your paycheck instead of waiting until the end of the month.
Scoring a great deal
|The iconic Notre Dame de Paris beckons to all visitors and history buffs to the "City of Light." Photo: WikiMedia.org.|
These days, finding a great holiday deal is easier than ever. Take advantage of search engines like Hotels Combined and Travel Fox, which compare rates from hundreds of hotels and airlines simultaneously to help you find the best deals. Sign up to receive e-mail alerts from booking engines and Groupon that will notify you of travel discounts and special offers. If you want to make sure you don’t overspend your budget, consider booking an all-inclusive holiday that includes your lodging, food and tours.
Preparing for your trip
First-time travellers may feel a combination of anxiety and excitement about their upcoming trip, but look to these resources to help ease your concerns. Check out the NHS Fit for Travel and Foreign & Commonwealth websites for the most up-to-date travel advisories, entry and exit requirements, and recommended immunisations for your trip. You should also plan to purchase a special travel insurance plan that will provide coverage in the event of an accident or illness. Check the local weather when packing for your trip and read advice from other travellers on blogs and in guidebooks before you depart. Remember that with some careful planning and preparation, you’re sure to have a great time!
This post was produced in partnership with IceLolly.com.