Things to do when planning for travel

Things to do When Planning for TravelA lot of times people ask me, “where do you start when planning a trip?” What are the Things to do when planning for travel? What should you do first? What’s important and what’s not?

These are all great questions!

Below I’ve broken this out to five general sections, let’s dive into this and talk more about things to do when planning for travel! 

Section1 » Roaming Sparrow » 2024Section 1 : Know when you want to and when you can Travel.

Knowing when you want to, and when you can travel is perhaps one of the first things to consider when planning a trip.

Unless you have a very flexible lifestyle, or live the digital nomad lifestyle. Knowing when you can travel is important. This will also help determine where you want to go. The north of Japan is nice, unless you don’t like snow, so traveling there in the wintertime might not be best for you. Unless you do not mind the cold… then I say go for it. 

Here’s some things to ask yourself that can help determine the when…

Perhaps you have vacation time saved up. Can you overlap that vacation time with some national holidays to get the longest travel time possible? 

Perhaps you have a few months between jobs, or before you go back to school – unless funds are super tight this might be an ideal time to travel. 

Knowing when you want to go and when you can go, are very important things to keep in mind. 

When you have a few general dates in mind, then it’s time to move on to section 2. 

Section2 » Roaming Sparrow » 2024Section 2 : Know where you want to go. 

It may seem like a simple thing to ask yourself. But personally I struggle sometimes to answer the question, “well…where do I want to go?”.

The world is a mighty huge place. So many amazing things to see, mountains to climb, oceans to swim in, and fantastic people to meet.  It can be hard at times to settle on an initial destination. 

When I am unsure about where to go, I turned to YouTube. I type in phrases such as “travel videos”, “the most amazing places on earth”, “fun adventures to go on”. This and other phrases along these lines. Or even if I know that when I want to travel, I type question such as “best places to visit in February”, “world festivals in March’, “best summertime destinations”. These search questions help narrow down some other travel videos you might find based around that date.

Generally however, it’s a mixed bag that gets presented to you. Every now and then a video comes up that’s inspirational, it will inspire you to do further research. 

Personally was inspired by watching a video of two people traveling across Vietnam on a motorcycle. This got me thinking of Vietnam, then I started researching more, and eventually this led me to thinking I would like to travel there. 

Inspiration about a destination can come from anything. Talk to friends and your family about a place they have been. Post a call out on Facebook asking people for travel suggestions. All of these are good ways to start inspiring your heart for travel! 

Section3 » Roaming Sparrow » 2024Section 3 : Establish a budget.

So you have your general location you want to go, you have the time a year and your dates that you want to go. The next of the things to do when planing for travel is ask the question to ask yourself of what budget do you have to work with.

Personally I try to travel as frugally as possible. With this in mind I tried to keep my budget on the lower end. Other people know I have a different story. I have a few friends who work great jobs that make over $120k a year, they however only have two weeks off. So when they go on a trip, they don’t mind spending $20k over 2 weeks. While other travelers I meet, they spend may be $600 a month to travel. 

When establishing your budget, You a few ways to set this. I personally like to do a top-down approach, look at the full amount I have spent, then break that out into supplies and per day costs. 

Let’s I am traveling for 2 months and I have a total budget of $3000 (*not including travel gear).  This is about $1500 a month, this an average of $50 per day. That sounds great but then I have to figure and flights, and other transportation. Also lodging per day.   I find going this route helps me see the larger picture and then I could specify what type of luxuries I want and what do I actually need.

The other way is a bottom up approach, where you list out your lodging costs per day, food costs, travel costs and then add up to a budget. This way does have its advantages, however I like to know what I have to work with and then break it down to what is possible. 

Section4 » Roaming Sparrow » 2024Section 4 : Review necessary travel items.

The location of where you want to travel, and the time of year will determine a lot about the necessary travel items you might need (*no use bringing a heavy down parka to the islands right?). Also with the budget in mind, you sort of know what you have to work with cost wise, and generally what type of lodging you might be staying in. 

The next of the  things to do when planing for travel is to tart writing a list of items you may need, put it down for a couple days then come back to it. You still think these items are important? You still need these things? Did you forget to add something?

Necessary travel items for myself at least are. 

  • My travel bag (*this is your home away from home so it’s important)
  • Travel shoes (* shoes are perhaps the most important thing as happy feet will keep you going longer)
  • Clothing 
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Camera equipment
  • Laptop
  • Passport
  • Visa requirements
  • Any immunizations or vaccines I need for the area traveling to
  • Telling people close to me, where my travel is going to be. 

Section5 » Roaming Sparrow » 2024Section 5 : Make sure your home base is taken care of while away.

The last things to do when planing for travel is think about when getting ready to travel, is who will be taking care of your home when you are way. 

Do you have a few plans that need to be watered every day? A bird that should be talked to. Or even someone just to drive on by your place to make sure its not burnt down once a week. 

Having someone that can check in on things, and has a set of keys for your home is important. It will also bring you great peace of mind… as you don’t want to be on a flight for a 2 month trip and realize you forgot to lock your front door! 


I hope these 5 things to do when planing for travel will be of some help for you to plan your next adventure.  If you have any of your own things you do when planning, post them below! 


Tim on a Rock
Tim on a Rock
Roaming Sparrow is a project by Tim Mack. It is a life on the road, an adventure to gain knowledge and share genuine experiences.
Find some great experences, check out Viator!

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