How to plan an international trip?

How to plan a trip itinerary for international travel?

Planning for a trip is always fun and exciting but at the same time, it’s a bit intimidating as we need to sort out some important things for a smooth trip. So that once you land in a new place can only focus on relaxation and enjoyment. From my travel journey, I have tried and tested various types of travel plans and itineraries and learned a lot, so I am going to share the best way possible to plan an international trip without any hustle.

If you think planning an itinerary is not that important then I must say it is important to some extent. But not every time an unplanned or unorganized journey succeeds, you need always an itinerary to avoid any hustle. Even I have seen people say to book a one-way flight and start your journey that will give you experience but that does not work most of the time. So here are a few very important tips on how to plan a trip itinerary.

Let’s have a look at the “how to plan a trip” guide to have a smooth trip

  1. How Many Days Would The Trip be And What Is The Budget?
  2. Choose The Destination
  3. About The City And Weather
  4. Documents And Travel Guidelines
  5. How To Book The Best And Cheap Flight?
  6. Visa Process
  7. Currency Exchange
  8. Make A Day Wise Itinerary
  9. Travel Insurance
  10. How To Book A Budget-Friendly Hotel
  11. How To Pack Your Bag?
  12. Download An Offline Map
  13. Local Sight Seeing
  14. Credit Cards Or Travel Cards For Airport Lounge Access
  15. Learn Some Basic Key Phrases
  16. Download Google Translator
  17. Do Research About The Country’s Aspects And Dos And Don’ts
  18. Phone Or Internet Plans
  19. Keep An Extra Copy Of All Documents
  20. Food And Restaurants

How many days would the trip be and what is the budget?

Pick your dates, as before planning a trip you need to figure out how many days you have in your hand to execute the travel and how much you want to spend for your trip. If you decide these two things that mean you are almost completed 10 percent of your itinerary. As international trip expenditures increase easily so you need to have a clear picture of your budget which will help you to choose a place, hotel, and other travel expenditures.

A realistic budget is required before planning a trip so that we know how much can be spent after booking flights and hotels. If we know how much we have in hand day-wise trip planning also will be way easier. My personal experience: I forgot to calculate about shopping in Hong Kong and ended up withdrawing money 3 to 4 times from the ATM, which cost me extra international transaction charges.

Choose the destination

Once you decide on your budget you need to quickly ask your mind where you want to go. You need to check as per your budget and holidays which country will be best and also check the climate also simultaneously. As once your mind answers your question then the real picture starts like rules and regulations, Currency, weather, rest stay, food, and all.

About the city and weather

Research about the place is most important without that, you are in a blind zone as you don’t have any idea about the city. Their culture, do’s and don’ts, to get a better idea you can check on Instagram, and Pinterest, and can read blogs, and youtube videos. This will give you a clear idea about the city and it’ll help you to choose your clothes, props, and accessories.

For a better picture for your social media, you need to be always ready ahead. If you read the blog posts you can get an idea about how other people are traveling, what they are eating, and what to explore. Don’t forget to save the beautiful places for your Instagram story. 


You need to check the weather because, if it’s a hot and humid climate then you need to take cotton clothes. If it’s the beach side you can take your beach wear, hill or mountain then trekking suits and equipment, cold then warm clothes. Also, some country has rules and regulation on dresses. In the middle east, you need to wear proper full-length clothes, in Indonesian temples, you need to wear clothes that cover your shoulders and knees, etc.

It’s very important to know about the weather at your destination. If you have planned a trip and it’s raining in the city you would not be able to go out or may face heavy traffic. You will be on a trip for a limited number of days, so it’s better to know which is the best season to visit those cities.

Documents and travel guidelines

how to plan a trip

You need to know about the recent updates about that country. It can be anything like the pre-registration process, vaccination reports, proof of funds, Hotel bookings, and Entry and exit dates with return flight tickets. Some countries check for your current work profile and assets, just to make sure you don’t have any intention to stay there illegally.

Even If you are under medication then must keep your doctor’s prescription to buy any medicine as pharmacies don’t sell medicine without a proper prescription. You may not get the same medicines in other countries, so always keep extra medicine in your bag. You will be required to have medical insurance or travel insurance in a few countries. But even if it’s not required, I would highly recommend you to get one before you travel as the medical cost can be high in some countries.

If you are renting a car or bike to any country for a commute then an International driving license is mandated without that you may get a fine or end up with legal consequences. So, it’s highly recommended to have an International driving document.

How to book the best and cheap flight?

The cost of flight tickets is one of the most important parts of the international travel budget. Flight cost depends on the seasons, day timings, and as well as airlines. I would recommend you be flexible with your travel dates to get cheaper tickets and avoid any holidays, like Christmas and New year. It’s highly recommended to book your flights as early as possible as the date gets closer the price will increase.

Early morning flights are a little costlier than the mid-day or evening flights so in case you are not in a hurry then book your flights accordingly. Weekends flights are getting a little costlier than weekday flights, so plan your trip and leave based on your flight booking dates.

A couple of travel websites provide cheap prices. They compare other websites and provide you with the best and cheap ones. You can check on Wego, Skyscanner, Klook, etc. If you are not sure about your dates, please book a fully refunded flight.

Visa process

how to plan a trip

While some country provides Visa on arrival, some country needs a pre-registration process. Few countries exempt visas for foreigners so you need to check if your country falls under visa exemption then you will save some money here. If not then you can apply from the authorized office or an embassy.

If you are taking a visa on arrival, please check the official website of the respective countries for the documents required for a visa on arrival. I would also recommend you carry some local currency as the visa officers may not accept your currency.

Currency exchange

Exchanging currency is a tricky one as nowadays lots of scams are happening while exchanging currency. So to avoid any sort of scam you need to exchange the currency from a reputed company like Thomas Cook and all. All international airports have currency exchange counters but make sure you have your own cards. I remembered during one of my journeys one girl was carrying her mother’s cards and she was not able to get the exchange done.

It’s not advisable to get the currency exchange at the airport as you may not get the best rate. While exchanging make sure you check the rates online and count the currency which you received in exchange. There will be multiple exchange stores in the city where you will get the best rate of exchange.

(Current currency rate information.)

Make a day-wise itinerary

how to plan a trip

If you plan everything ahead of time then you won’t have to worry about anything. Once you decide where you are going then you need to check what to explore and what activities you want to do. As I have already mentioned the best ways to find out about the place are by checking websites, reading articles or blogs, checking youtube videos, and Pinterest. It will help you to understand and prioritize the best places your want to visit in a day.

Make a spreadsheet and write down your day-to-day plans, which place you want to go and how to reach there. It will also help you to understand how much you are going to spend each day and the best and cheap way to reach your selected destinations. Download an offline map, you may not get internet everywhere. There are few cities with lots of places to visit, so sometimes it will be difficult for you to make an instant decision.

Travel Insurance

Buying travel insurance is always needed if you are planning an International trip. As we never know our health condition and the medical cost get so high in foreign lands, so buying travel insurance is always important to avoid any sort of extra medical cost.

Travel insurances are available at a low price but the benefits are countless. Before buying any travel insurance, please check if the company provides its services to the country you are traveling to. If you are planning to drive in the visiting country, do check if your insurance provides accidental benefits.

How to book a budget-friendly hotel

Once you decide on your vacation and book your flights the next big task is checking the best place to stay. If you are a budget traveler or a luxurious traveler booking the best place always needs a little bit of research. Based on your budget you need to figure out which hotel or hostel should be preferable.

If you want to explore the place by local transport then probably staying in a prime area will be preferable so that you can easily commute by local transport. Please read the review before booking any hotel or hostel. Some hostels have dormitories and per bed, the cost is also way cheaper than a hotel room.

The benefit of staying in a hostel is you can meet different types of people and exchange knowledge. But if you don’t have a money crunch then easily you can find a few top hotels with great views and facilities. Try to compare hotel prices on the different online websites as well as the official website.

How to pack your bag?

Now, you must be thinking about why it’s important to have a properly packed bag while you are on a vacation. Let me tell you the first and the most important thing and that is the extra baggage charge by airlines. Every airline allows only limited baggage, if your bag is overweight, you will have to pay extra money based on extra weight. Please check while booking because some of the low-budget airlines allow only cabin baggage.

When we are on vacation we don’t want to drag tons of luggage which makes our journey hectic. So to make it simple you need to know how to pack important stuff in a sorted way. Also, don’t forget to carry a dress based on the culture of the country you are visiting, as it may be different than your culture.

Download an offline map

Whenever you go to a new country despite having your internet connection downloading an offline map or keeping a city map in handy is important because you never know when these small things can be your great help.

If you are driving from one city to another, you may encounter no internet connection, and sometimes you may not understand the local language. It’s always good to have a backup while you are away from the main city.

Local sightseeing

If you know driving then before traveling you should apply for an international driving permit to drive legally in any country. In case you want to take a local cab or taxi to avoid driving then just check about that country’s local transport system. Sometimes you may need to download some application like uber to book a cab.

But, most importantly take a good look at google Maps so that you can understand how to roam around the city. I used to watch a youtube videos to understand how to reach any destination. The other best way would be to ask the hotel you are staying at, they will guide you or provide you with a map.

Credit cards or travel cards for airport lounge access

how to plan a trip

A Credit card or travel card is always important for an international trip not just for payment but also for free lounge access. Just imagine in case your flight gets delayed or you have an international layover then having lounge access is important. You can eat and relax without any cost because some credit cards provide free access to these lounges.

Credit cards also give you the benefit of rewards points, which you can use to book or upgrade your flight ticket. You may also find a good deal on flight booking and hotels through your credit card.

Learn some basic key phrases

It’s not a technical requirement but trust me, if you know some local key phrases it’ll be fun during your stay. When you are in a new country knowing about the country’s culture, and traditions some keyphrase always helps and it makes you comfortable with the locals. Even if you say Hello in the local language, it will take you a little closer to that country.

People love that when a foreigner greets them in their language. Sometimes it bit necessary in some Asian countries to understand the food menu, or getting a direction through google Translate will always help still few keywords will help you to some extent.

Download Google translator

Google Translator helps to understand the local language and also sometimes in restaurants if the menu is not written in English that time it will help you to understand and order food. Even it helps to communicate in non-English speaking countries.

Do research about the country’s aspects and Dos and Don’ts

As I said earlier do a bit of research, I think you should check this point during your research where you are heading. what are their culture and customs say, any dos and don’ts? For example, in Singapore, I came to know about the chewing gum ban and in some Asian countries, you can not carry Durian on public transport.

Phone or internet plans

Once you land in a new country buy a phone plan based on your stay. From the airport and local market, one can buy a local sim card but I will suggest you once you land at the airport buy it from there so that you can start using internet data.

There are various plans available for tourists, which you should take based on your stay and uses. You must check with the sim provider about the recharge process because in some countries it’s a little difficult to get the recharge done. They don’t provide an online recharge facility for tourist sim, you will have to visit local stores to get it done.

Keep an extra copy of all documents

Trust me it sometimes saves lives and I’ll tell you why. Though in this digital era we keep everything on email or mobile phones. But in some cases, if the internet or the device fails to respond you can show the hard copy to avoid any delay. My personal experience: my bag got exchanged with someone else on a Thailand airport bus. I had my hotel printout in my bag, the airport authority called the hotel and then I got my bag back.

Food and restaurants

The most important in any international travel is, that you should always check if you can eat the local food. It’s impossible to survive without food, so just check on social media platforms, blogs, or videos what is the food culture of the visiting country. If you are not comfortable with the local cuisines, please search for some other restaurants on what you like to eat.

Important apps to download

Google translate

Android / IOS

Offline map

Android / IOS

DigiLocker app for digital document

Android / IOS

Hertz car rental

Android / IOS

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