In early January right before my trip to Australia, I purchased round trip tickets to England and started planning my Fall 2020 England and Europe trip. At this time, the spread of COVID-19 was minimal and had not reached the US yet. I returned from Australia mid-February and completely stopped planning my travels. I thought to myself; why would I continue planning a trip when we had no clue when travel bans would be lifted and when we would recover from COVID-19. Then, it hit me. I don’t have to purchase tickets and book accommodations now, but I can still use my time to plan a fantastic trip, whether it be in the Fall or sometime next year! Here is how I’ve been planning my future travel:
My Instagram saved page is organized by country. I only save posts with useful information including locations, recommendations, accommodations, restaurant/cafes, and photography spots! When I’m planning travel to a specific Country, I always go back to my saved posts and start researching.
Similarly to Instagram, my Pinterest boards are organized by Country/State. What I love about Pinterest is that the pins I save are directly linked to thorough blog posts. I’ve discovered some of my favorite blogs and incredible posts through Pinterest. Plus, you can pinpoint search whatever you’re looking for! For example, “best street food in Istanbul” or “must eat cafes in Paris”.
Google Maps Pinning
Google Maps is a gem to have access to when you’re traveling. Once I’ve done my research through Instagram, Pinterest and blog reading, I create a Google Map and drop a pin to the location I would like to go to. Then, I color coordinate the pin by activity; sightseeing, restaurants, bars, cafes, accommodation, etc. The best part is you can download your map and use it without WiFi while you travel. Top tip: find your activities first, then search for accommodation that’s near what you’re seeing. It will save you lots of time and money!
Below is my travel planning map for Berlin, Germany (in progress) – this is the second stop in my Europe 2020 trip.
Create an Itinerary
Once I have my activities, food/drink and accommodation pinned, I begin to organize an itinerary based on the distance of the pins. For example, if shopping, a museum, and a restaurant are all near each other, I will visit those places in one day! Make sure you leave time for exploration – you can discover your own unique experiences, cafes, restaurants, etc. I type out my itinerary organized by days and keep both a paper and digital copy with me.
I have become an expert travel saver when it comes to booking flights! I utilize Google Flights and Skiplagged for tracking flights. Simply select “track flights” and input your email for regular updates on the price status for the flight you are interested in. Top tip: track flights for multiple dates, even if you change it by one day. It can make a HUGE difference in the price and save you hundreds! Always purchase your flights mid-week and if you see a good deal, snag it up! I’ve missed out on savings, because I’ve waited too long! Although I do not recommend buying tickets right now, keep tracking flights and see if there is a pattern and when prices are the lowest.
Flexibility when traveling in general is a must, especially right now. There may be times when an activity on your itinerary is unexpectedly closed and you have to come back – that’s okay! You may have to change or delay flights to a later date due to current events and that’s okay too! Remember, what is meant to cross your path, will! Sometimes the best discoveries happened at the most unexpected times.
Related: Self-Isolation Survival Guide
How have you been planning your future travel? Have you started to plan or are you waiting? Share your future travel planning tips with me if you are!
Save me for later!