Planning a short trip can be stressful at the beginning, especially when you have no experience or specific ideas yet. Also it`s a challenge that there is no right order in which you should decide on the main points: location, date, and activities. Preferably you have at least for one of them ideas in mind, so that you can start with that and plan the rest around it. It’s all about not getting lost in research!
If you don`t have a specific date yet, it is best to find the right one by looking up first the recommended travel periods for the area or city. Also take in consideration to travel during off season, so that you will have less expanses and still a great experience. Another way to limit your possibilities and at the same time save free days from work is checking for holidays that can be combined with weekends. In addition it`s smart to organize your journey the way, that you either arrive at your destination early during the day or start your trip right after work so that you make the most out of the time you`ve got. This way you can conserve an additional day off from work.
Planning all of that a few months ahead will prevent not only lots of stress, but there will be more and better options to pick from. Before booking an accommodation it is – next to the budget – also important to consider the possible activities close by. Often it will be even cheaper to book a little more expensive place when then money can be saved on transportation because of its central location. Also it is important to know how you want to use your vacation home. If it is only for sleeping, a bed in a hostel should be perfect, but if you want to spend some quality time with friends there and for example cook together, it may be worth it to spend a little more on that.
Often, there are many quite affordable airbnbs, sometimes even cheaper than hostels. Just estimate the expenses for transportation, housing, and desired activities and compare different options. In the end you will see what fits your ideas of the trip and your budget.
How to save money
As I mentioned before, besides comparing the prices of different accommodation and travel options, it is good to book both a little ahead, since it often gets more expensive by time. Also will using a night train/ flight/… save you money for an extra overnight stay.
Many expanses can be produced with additional travels during the trip and pricy activities. Central accommodations with free activities around to which you can walk to is often the key to low budget travel. It`s not “wrong” to invest in some activities, but it is just smart to limit the number of those. Memories don`t need to be expensive! But of course, even if the budget is tight, some activities are worth the money. You should never regret not experiencing something afterwards. Just try to find a balance.
The point most money can be saved but also spend for sure is food. It is smart, especially when you have a kitchen at your rented place, to bring food from home or buy it in a supermarket. I also love to go out and try new food places. But with limiting this on maybe a few special occasions you will save so much money and make those times even more unique.
Create your perfect trip
After finding a date and a place to stay it is now time to decide on what to do during the stay. There are so many different kinds of vacation, so this topic is, even more than the ones above, quite individual.
If you decide on booking a vacation home to meet up with friends, just enjoy the time together and maybe do some exploring around, not too much organizing is needed. Still, it`s nice to check the website of the city or surrounding for recommended places or search on google maps to get to know the area. Otherwise being spontaneous can be the best way of creating these kind of vacations.
When it comes to more touristic areas or an “exploring-trip” it`s nice to search on different websites, read some reviews and keep different options in mind. Some activities need to be booked in advance, so do that before starting the trip. Otherwise it usually works to get inspiration during your stay, and then decide also depending on mood, weather, and what people recommend on side.
City trips are a little different and since they are the most common short trips, I want to share some extra tips for that. Of course, everyone is different and some people rather go to museums and learn about the history, while others prefer just walking around town exploring the city or experiencing different stores and food places. No matter what kind of person you are, I can recommend doing some research about all the options before starting the trip. Because even though it`s nice to get surprised by new places, without any plan, especially cities can be quite overwhelming. It`s not about structuring the whole trip and of course plans can change spontaneously, but it might help to have a few ideas in mind or on your bucket list.
To find out what these points are it is good to do some research not only on websites with specific travel guides but also on Instagram and other platforms. Once you find an interesting activity or spot you can save the location on google maps. It is a great tool to get an overview about places you want to see and things you want to do, where they are located and how to combine visiting them. Visualizing it makes it often easier to structure everything and everyone can create their own perfect trip.
For sure, I could include so many more ideas about the topic in this report since I just love to plan trips (my friends always joke that I`m like their personal tour guide). But I hope with everything I shared today I could inspire you and help you organizing your future short trips. Of course, these are just some ideas and you can plan completely different and still have an amazing trip. Because besides all the planning, it`s still most important that you don`t get too lost in researching and detailed planning but instead leave space for spontaneity and surprises!