5 ways to plan the perfect trip

Planning ahead doesn’t mean less adventure, it just means a relaxed, easy holiday.

A person plans a holiday
  • Pilar Mitchell
  • October 2019

If you’ve been travelling your whole life, you’ve likely done the fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants, spontaneous tourist thing. And even if you’re still keen for adventure, that doesn’t mean you can’t plan. A bit of planning makes for a relaxing, easy holiday, whether you’re seeking out the best laksa in Singapore, or taking in the natural beauty of Queenstown.

Visit the blogosphere

Even if your interests are niche, if you’re visiting a well-travelled part of the world, chances are someone has blogged about it. Sewing enthusiasts will find guides to Tokyo’s Nippori Fabric Town, and foodies will find recommendations for the best boat noodle soup at Bangkok’s floating markets.

Start Googling your destination and perusing people’s blogs. You’re bound to find some interesting recommendations that aren’t in any guidebook.

Make a list of must-sees

Think about why you chose your destination. Are you going to Northern Thailand to see the surreal White Temple and fill your suitcase with colourful textiles woven by local tribes? Are you planning to experience true farm-to-table dining at the Farmgate Festival in Tasmania’s Tamar Valley?

Plan your itinerary by making a list of all the things that you must not miss at your destination. Schedule dates to visit attractions, buy tickets in advance when you can, and have a back-up plan for each activity in case something unexpected gets in the way of your plans.

A girl looks at a map
Book popular attractions in advance to avoid disappointment.

Plan your transport carefully

For some, walking the kilometres-long tunnels that make up many big cities’ train stations will be an experience in itself. At Tokyo’s Ginza station, you can eat at a sushi shop with three Michelin stars opens in new window. At Singapore’s HarbourFront station you’ll find the city’s largest mall opens in new window.

But if mobility is an issue, or walking long distances isn’t your cup of tea, it’s better to avoid the subway system and opt for buses, taxis, or private cars, traffic permitting. Taxis and private cars will take you precisely where you want to go, while buses stop regularly and are a mini sightseeing tour.

Load up your mobile phone

With the right apps, your mobile phone can be a powerful travel tool. Sync your destinations before you leave home and Google Maps opens in new window will let you explore the streets of Beijing from the comfort of your plane seat. If you’re not familiar with the local language, Google Translate opens in new window will get you acquainted with some basic phrases.

Triposo opens in new window provides an all-in-one service. Download the data pack for your destination and the app will draw information from all over the web to give you information on what to do, where to eat and how to get there, all in one place. For money matters, Elk opens in new window has more than 150 currencies and a calculator for on-the-spot price conversion that’s simple to use.

A person uses Google Maps.
Apps like Google Maps are indispensable travel tools.

Take a guided tour

Trying to plan for every possibility during your time in a new part of the world is fine for some, but for others, a holiday is a time for pure relaxation. But that doesn’t mean sitting on a beach for a week, it means signing up for a guided tour.

Try an all-inclusive deal that will take you to all the sights and makes sure you’re well fed and watered. Or sign up for one or two day trips to break up the pressure of having to plan everything yourself. A guided tour is probably not going to bring you off the beaten track, but you’ll certainly have a relaxing time.