The first thing to planning is actually deciding where to go.
Friends and family have asked us how we manage to find travel deals and where to even start? Well.... We've got a few tips for you that we hope will help you out :)
If you're not sure when to book your ticket or how to plan it, here's a few things to consider when booking your trip. In this exact order...
The first step is determining where you want to go? Maybe you've seen a friend go somewhere you've always want to go or saw it on a Facebook video. Doesn't matter, for us, we have found a lot of inspiration on places to go by following @beautifuldestinations on instagram and by following other inspiring travel blogs.
What happens after you have decided where to go? Research! We actually like to research the places to go to before we go so that we know what to expect and specifically, when to go.
Tripadvisor does just that! It's a free website with tips from real people. Think of it as the travel version of Yelp. You can find anything here. From itineraries, hotel prices in popular areas, things to do, places to see, how these places look like and more!
When we travel international, we also take into consideration our safety and stay up to date with any news going on in those countries. Therefore, we are enrolled into the STEP program (Smart Traveler Enrollment Program) *For more information visit: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/before-you-go/step.html
The next step is the ticket. We try to budget and figure out the average amount we are willing to spend on the ticket based on the location, season and if there is anything major happening within that month.
Booking our Ticket: We currently use Hopper a smartphone app to keep an eye on airline prices. The app allows you to view one-way or round trip (currently does not show Hawaiian Airlines) based on the dates you are looking for and you can even set it up to notify you when prices are at a good price for you to start booking. And the cool part is that you can either book directly with Hopper or go to the airlines direct website to purchase - the prices reflect each other. There are other similar apps that you can use to track, but we have found hopper to be one of the better ones.
Determining the Price: The first thing we expect is that major attractions are going to be pretty expensive. For example, don't be discourage if you're trying to go to Japan during the cherry blossom season and prices are crazy, it's only because a lot of people want to see them, so it's only right to see that change in price be higher, but there are reasonable prices, so that's where the Hopper app comes into play for us.
Now to the fun part! After you book your ticket... You can start looking up places you want to visit and work that into your itinerary!
Stay tuned for a travel tip on how to mange your itinerary later :)
In the meantime, don't forget to subscribe!