I am getting ready for a trip to Brazil that I planned in about 3 months with a friend. In a whole; I researched destinations, purchased the tickets on a Monday night/Tuesday morning about 6 weeks in advance, then saved and prepped for the trip!
3 months in advance – start researching destinations.
Once my friend and I decided we wanted to go on a trip, I started looking up ticket prices in our time frame. By using Google Flights we were able to look at trips to any where in the world, and specifically, within the next 6 months. South America, Asia, and Central America are most affordable at this time (spring 2020.) Pinterest is my go-to for travel destinations! For my trip, I looked up travel itineraries in South America, then Brazil, and then Rio de Janeiro. We decided to go to Rio because of the warm weather, a new culture to learn about, and hiking opportunities. I also find inspiration by searching for photography done in the area. Its a great way to figure out what the trip will be like, what to do, and to save for future planning!
6 weeks in advance – get the ticket.
Keep an eye on the tickets and watch the pattern of fluctuations. Typically Monday or Tuesday will show the best price. On a Wednesday, the tickets we were looking at were about $850, then we bought them the next Monday for $635! These are out of Los Angles and fly into Rio de Janeiro, total trip time is 15 days. For longer flights with airlines I am unfamiliar with I will generally get the travel insurance with my ticket.
4 weeks in advance – plan!
Save all the photos on Instagram you love, pin all of the pins that have hacks about he city you’re visiting, and create a list in your travel journal of must-see places! I like to book a room for at least the night I arrive in the city, if not for a couple days. Then, I look into day trips surrounding the city and potentially further travel. I do like to travel with the free-spirited schedule of not having one, and find things to do the day of or book a trip the night before. If you’re more of a planner I suggest doing most of your planning now!
I also have a general idea of how much this trip will cost in my head now. Search for food costs, how much accommodations are in prime locations, and other activities such a snorkeling, boat rides, or pubic transportation. I like to plan a budget per day including the accommodation, food, drink, and activities. In Asia I was able to do less than $20 some days, but in Europe it can range up to $60 per day.
1 week in advance – start packing.
Set aside the clothes you know you want to bring with and make sure they are all fresh and washed! Figure out amenities you will need for traveling and get the correct travel size to take with. I usually pack 2-3 times just to make sure I have what I need, and leave what I don’t. I always backpack with my Osprey 30L, pictured above, so I roll my clothes and pack everything tightly together.
Line up a ride from the airport to your accommodation, or research the taxi prices from the airport so you know you are not getting taken advantage of. It is much less chaotic if these things are thought of, rather than after days of travel.
1 day in advance – almost.
Coordinate everything you need for the airport and clean out your purse. I always like to organize my purse so it is easy to get out what I need including a water-bottle, scarf, camera, wallet, headphones, lotion, and a book or journal for the plane ride. For my last couple of flights I wore a fanny pack and put my passport, CC, phone, and drivers license in it so they were easy to have out and put away for check in. Set out the clothes you will be wearing at the airport and go over your flight agenda one last time.
Day of – adventure time!
Double check that you have your passport and other essential items at easy convince to have out for check in. Empty your reusable water bottle, pack your tooth brush, and do a scan over the room to make sure you have your chargers! Bring a snack if you have a long flight and look over your journal at your layover to set some goals for the trip!
Safe travels 🙂