Plan a Perfect Trip in 8 Easy Steps

How to Plan a Perfect Trip to Abroad

Planning for an international trip can be overwhelming and time-consuming. Although it should be something fun and positive, it can easily become a stressful task whether planning a short trip or a long one.

It's very easy to get confused in the beginning, especially when you haven't done something like this before.

A lot of information can be found on the internet but the question is where to start. So, here we've created a step-by-step travel planning guide to make your trip easier and less stressed.

Step 1 - Choose your destination (where you want to go)

Finalise a destination where you are going to travel. Think about the vacation you really want. Don't be like "I don't know, I just want to travel". This way, you won't be able to plan a trip that will really execute. So, pick a destination, as it will give you a definite goal. Make sure to choose a destination that fits your budget as well.

Step 2 - Decide the length of your trip

Before you jump to your cost research, decide the length of your trip. Once you've decided whether you want to go on a short trip (a few days) or a long one (a few weeks), it will become easy to figure out how much it is going to cost.

Step 3 - Research your travel costs

Do thorough research on the prices in your destination. Include the following in your cost research:
  • Flight ticket
  • Accommodation
  • Getting around (by local transport or taxi)
  • Sightseeing & attractions
  • Places to eat & drink
This will provide you an estimate of how much money you'll need for your trip.

Step 4 - Book flight and accommodation for your trip

Search for online deals and packages for your chosen destination. Compare the price across various booking sites. And you can save money by booking in advance. Another tip to save money is to travel off-season.

Step 5 - Plan and decide your trip itinerary

Start with making a list of all the major places you would like to see. Plan your activities and calculate how much they cost. It will help you make any adjustment to your savings. Ask family & friends who have been there.

Use online resources like Travel blogs, Google and Trip Advisor for ideas while planning your itinerary for your destination. But make sure your research is up-to-date. 

Step 6 - Cross-check your documents

Before you pack your bags, make sure to cross check all your required documents. Mentioned below is the document checklist:
  • Passport
  • Visa (if applicable)
  • Flight & accommodation tickets
  • Travel insurance
  • Travel vaccination proof (find out in advance if any immunizations are required for your destination and get vaccinated if mandatory)
  • Credit Cards
  • Driving License
  • A few passport size photos
Please note: Take copies of your important documents.

Step 7 - Pack your stuff

Now it's time to pack your bag. The best thing to do here is to pack minimum because you can always buy the needful there. The more I travel, I realize we don’t need a lot of stuff.
  • Pack your clothes according to the weather at your destination place.
    • Don't forget to add sunglasses, scarf, belt, and socks in your list.
  • Most important toiletries to pack are:
    • Toothbrush, toothpaste & floss
    • Shampoo & conditioner
    • Shower gel/soap & face wash
    • Comb, hair ties & hairpins
    • Towel
    • Deodorant 
    • Sunscreen, face lotion/gel & moisturizer
    • Personal hygiene products
      (Some of the toiletries can be skipped if you are staying in a hotel.)
  • Electronic items like mobile, chargers, laptop/ipad, camera & universal power adapter.
  • A small medical kit including band-aids, eyedrops, earplugs, doctor-prescribed antibiotics, painkillers and hand sanitizer.
  • USB card reader and memory card.
  • Keep your house keys safe with you.
  • Download important mobile applications:

Step 8 - Enjoy your trip

Now the last step is to enjoy your trip and have fun. Take some photos, buy some souvenirs and create amazing travel memories.

You're more likely to have a great vacation if you plan your trip with care. Now, start saving money for your trip and enjoy every single second of it.

I hope you enjoyed it!

5 Days in Thailand - A Wonderful Trip to Pattaya & Bangkok

Thailand Trip

Together with our friends, we flew to Thailand from Dubai on 8th Sep 2016. Since we had already bought a tour package of Bangkok and Pattaya, our trip became easy and stress-free.

This trip was so amazing that I didn't want it to end. I am so glad that I have been there.

When arrived at Bangkok airport, we checked-in and bought sim cards first. And since we've already got a holiday package, the van was already out there waiting for us to transfer from Bangkok Airport to our booked Hotel Mac Boutique (3***) in Sukhumvit where we put our luggage and took some rest first. After an hour of rest, we went to explore the city.

We also bought some souvenirs on the first day of our trip.

We explored the local areas and malls in Sukhumvit and Nana via Metro. You can purchase the token from the token machine at the metro station. Or you can also purchase it directly from a person at one of the kiosks at the metro station.

We enjoyed the street food, window shopping and captured those memories in our cameras. And the most amazing experience was taking a tuk-tuk ride. It seems to be everyone's favorite way of getting around Bangkok. (A tuk-tuk is essentially a rickshaw with a small engine fitted in. Read more about it.)

The very next morning, our taxi driver dropped us from Bangkok to Pattaya as per the itinerary prepared by our travel agency.

Pattaya is most commonly known for its beaches in Thailand. In Pattaya, we stayed at Pattaya Loft which is also a 3*** hotel. (Pattaya Loft hotel reviews on TripAdvisor)

Our actual trip started there. And below are the places we visited on our trip to Thailand.

Coral Island in Pattaya

Coral Island is a paradise with crystal clear water and fine white sand in Pattaya. It's a perfect place for water sports lovers.

Parasailing

Parasailing in Pattaya

We decided to start with parasailing. Everyone in our group seems to be very excited but I am so afraid of heights that I just dropped my plan to go for parasailing. But my husband never fails to make me overcome my fears. He succeeded again. And our guide was too stubborn that I couldn't argue with him while he was forcing me to go for it. So yeah, he was also responsible for me to say yes to go for parasailing for the first time in my life. But my heart started pounding when I realized that only one can go at a time. I let my husband go first before my turn as it makes me more comfortable to see him doing something I am afraid to do. He is my mentor after-all. :D

I saw him enjoying the parasailing and that motivated me. Finally, it was my turn. I stepped onto the ship deck and was tied to the parachute. It usually starts going up slowly but due to my lightweight, I just went up in a fraction of a second. Then I suddenly realized that the view was so breathtaking that I forgot about my fear. It was an amazing experience. We all loved it.
Parasailing is a must try activity for those who want to experience flying even if they are afraid of heights. You're definitely going to love this.

Underwater Sea Walk

After parasailing, now it was the time for Underwater Sea Walk.
Underwater Sea Walk Experience in Pattaya

The guide explained us about the gear and essentials. The way he told us that there's nothing better than this underwater sea walk, we expected a lot. There was a big metal helmet-kind-of-mask put on top of our head to help us getting oxygen supply. The operators were very quick in doing their job where they ended up ignoring people's discomfort or questions.

But when we entered the water, we experienced that the water was not clear, rather it was so dirty that even pictures have come out bad. We came out with ear pain and headache after the underwater sea walk.
Underwater sea walk in Pattaya is worst. Try it on your own risk. haha!

Banana Boat Ride

Banana Boat Ride in Pattaya

After such a horrible experience, we relaxed on the beach and resumed our activities with banana boat riding. It was fun. The goal of banana boat driver was to make it thrill at the end of the ride by throwing us into the water. It was full of adventure.

Jet Ski Ride

Jet Ski Ride in Pattaya

The final sports activity was jet ski riding. We had a good time enjoying the jet ski ride. The guide was also helpful and it was a great experience for all of us.

We had fun on the island with some photo shoots and swimming around... Ah! let me tell you that I was not a swimmer at that time so I just watched my friends swimming while trying to learn swimming. But no success...haha! :-D :-D

Then it was lunchtime that was also included in our package of the day. After lunch, we went back to our hotel. We were so exhausted that we decided to get some rest before exploring the Pattaya streets. At night, we spent some quality time walking down the streets of Pattaya including the Walking Street.

Walking Street

Famous Walking Street in Pattaya

The nightlife in Pattaya is totally happening. Many visitors come here to enjoy the nightlife in which Walking Street is counted as one of the top famous Pattaya nightlife. Being the most exciting street in the world, there is so much to see and do on the Walking Street. The street with neon lights and music from the different genre, food vendors, and street events makes it the biggest spot in Thailand.

We had our next day booked for Alcazar show and Art in Paradise.

Art in Paradise

Art in Paradise, Pattaya

We started our afternoon with a trip to Art in Paradise which is a 3D Art Museum. It is the first and only one illusion art museum with 3D illusion paintings. We became part of the artworks and had fun posing for photos.

If you want to make your photos great, find a cool angle to make 3D paintings alive. Try to visit on weekdays to avoid the crowd on weekends.

Alcazar Show

Alcazar Show in Pattaya

Alcazar is globally famous for the best transvestite cabaret show in Pattaya. Luckily, it was also included in our tour package. We enjoyed the Alcazar cabaret evening show and really impressed by their marvelous combination of music, dance, and costume.

Alcazar show features a small team of male and ladyboy artists who give dazzling and fantastic performances with great music, amazing sets, and stunning costumes to entertain the audience. A trip to Pattaya is incomplete without seeing the spectacular Alcazar Show.

Alcazar cabaret is a must visit show. Don't miss it ever!

Next day, after having the breakfast, our tour guide transferred us from Pattaya to Bangkok. We stayed in the same hotel, Mac Boutique Suites, Sukhumvit.

Our tour package for that day included full day Safari World with Marine Park & lunch in Bangkok.

Marine Park

Marine Park in Bangkok

At Marine Park, we enjoyed all the exciting shows. Orang Utan Boxing show is the world famous and funniest show. Sea Lion show was also great. Dolphin show captivated us with the Dolphin's effortless mastery of the most difficult tricks. Other shows included Cowboy Stunt show, Spy War, and Bird show.

Then we had lunch. It was an Indian food buffet as per our package. After having lunch, we headed towards the Safari park.

Safari Park

Safari Park in Bangkok

Safari Park is an open zoo where the ultimate safari experience features hundreds of animals from all over the world. And the Safari drive was a new experience for us. We had a lot of fun roaming around the place seeing different animals. We also fed the Giraffes and it was a wonderful experience.

Our day ended with lots of fun, laugh, and photography.

Next day, some of us (including me) went to explore the famous temples (wats) and floating market and others went to visit the Dream World & Snow Town in Bangkok.

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market

Floating Market in Bangkok

We booked a taxi and started our day with the famous Floating Market in Bangkok i.e. Damnoen Saduak Floating Market. We must tell you that there are many floating markets in Bangkok but Damnoen Saduak is the most popular one. And a trip to Bangkok is not complete without a visit to the floating market. So, don't miss it while traveling to Bangkok.

We hopped on a floating boat and enjoyed the scenery & the peaceful way of life on both sides of the river bank. It was an amazing experience as we had never been to a floating market before. Located around 30-40 minutes from Bangkok in Ratchaburi province, its a beautiful market with lots of colorful fruits & vegetables and refreshing drinks.

We enjoyed the sight and took some photos. It is a very attractive place for tourists to see this old style and traditional way of selling & buying goods.

(Best time to get there is as early as possible in the morning so as to avoid a lot of the crowds.)

Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of The Emerald Buddha)

Temple of The Emerald Buddha

Then we went to check out the wats (temples) out there as a trip to Bangkok is not complete without a visit to the wats as well. Bangkok has a lot of beautiful temples. We started with a visit to the Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of The Emerald Buddha), located within the grounds of the Grand Palace. It is known as the most sacred Buddhist temple in Thailand.

(The Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha are open daily but close by mid-afternoon, so get there early.)

Wat Pho (Temple of Reclining Buddha)

Reclining Buddha in Bangkok

Our next visit was Wat Pho, one of the oldest and largest temples in Bangkok. It is also known as the Temple of Reclining Buddha. Wat Pho is famous for the huge gold leaf covered Reclining Buddha statue which is the largest in Thailand measuring more than 150 feet in length. The feet and the eyes are engraved with mother-of-pearl decoration, and the feet also show the 108 auspicious characteristics of the true Buddha.

Apart from the Reclining Buddha, the whole Wat Pho compound is full of artwork and Buddha statues. This temple is also a training center for traditional Thai massage.

The temple is located next to the Grand Palace and behind the Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Kaew).

Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn)

Temple of Dawn, Bangkok

From Wat Pho, we took a boat to cross the Chao Phraya river (costs only 3 Baht one way) to visit Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn). (The entry fee is 50 Baht.) Wat Arun in Bangkok is surrounded by beautiful gardens with trees and statues.

The highlight of visiting Wat Arun is climbing the vertical staircase to the top level. The climb is very steep, so be careful and hold on tight to the ropes while climbing. And don’t forget to put decent clothes on – no shorts, tank tops etc are allowed. You can also hire a tuk-tuk to take you around for the day to see the temples.

We didn't climb as we were supposed to reach the airport before night. So, we just roamed around and returned to our taxi to reach the airport on time.

It was a remarkable trip. And I wonder why people say that they don't like Bangkok. It's an amazing city. You just need to mix yourself with it and then you will start feeling home.

What Would I Tell My Younger Self Before Traveling Abroad

Plan a Trip to Abroad

My first trip to abroad was full of unexpected experiences. I hadn’t explored much as I was not
so experienced, and I made a lot of travel mistakes. If I could talk to my younger self before my first trip abroad, here’s what I would advise my younger self:

  • Don’t be scared to explore and try new things.
  • Pack light – pack only the essentials, and not the “just-in-case” scenario stuff.
  • Meet new people and make friends.
  • Don’t stress when things don’t go the way you expect, just go with the flow.
  • Trust your instincts. Following your intuition will keep you safe.
  • Learn the local language. It will help you in communicating with and understanding the locals.
  • It is okay to leave your comfort zone and experience the changes.

Happy New Year 2018

A very happy new year to all my blog readers. It was my second New Year's Eve in Dubai and I must say that there is nothing like celebrating the New Year with your loved ones. 

Celebrating the New Year's Eve with the stunning fireworks display at Global Village was fun and full of excitement for us. And the best part was that so many cultures were able to celebrate NYE together as the fireworks were burst to welcome the new year of seven countries, through seven countdowns and fireworks displays, including the UAE.

Here's how we welcome the new year:


Cheers to a New Year!

The Ultimate Moving Abroad Checklist


So you’ve decided to move abroad? Congratulations! You’re in for an amazing experience that you’ll never forget for the rest of your life. Even though you’re preparing for the journey of a lifetime, it’s still going to be time-consuming, stressful, and you’ll have a million different things to do before you even begin packing your beautiful suitcases for this amazing adventure.

With that said, please take a look at this comprehensive list of things you need to consider before moving abroad. Take what applies to you and get those specific tasks or events squared away before moving on to the next leg of your life’s journey. First, make Plan For A Trip, then start making it happen.

Moving Abroad Checklist

Taking Care of the Paperwork
  • Make sure you have a valid passport
  • A place to live
  • Buy tickets for your flight and acquire transportation to the airport
  • Find tenants if you’re renting/subletting your apartment or house
  • Get your visa in order
  • Talk to a doctor about potential vaccinations
  • Create a physical and virtual copy of your important documents
  • Get health insurance in your ex-pat country
  • Let your bank, credit card companies, etc. know about your change of address
  • Let your bank know about your move abroad
  • Set up an Internet bank account
  • Call the power company to let them know about the move
  • Get copies of your medical and dental records
  • Sell anything you no longer need
  • Research utility, phone, and TV companies in your ex-pat country

Prepare to Make a Cultural Shift
  • Research local healthcare
  • Have a complete understanding of local currency
  • Have enough local currency to get by for a short while
  • Understand basic phrases and word pronunciations in the local language
  • Research cultural differences and etiquette (include business etiquette)
  • Use Google maps to learn the location of local schools, doctors, shops, etc.

Personal Checklist
  • Make the big announcement to family members, friends, and coworkers
  • Say goodbye to your loved ones
  • Put in a change of address notice with the post office
  • Collect the contact details of those closest to you
  • Put together a repatriation plan
  • Get a complete checkup from your doctor
  • Put together a moving plan

Packing Your Belongings
  • Stock up on prescription medication if unavailable in your host country
  • Keep your essential items in your suitcase because your shipped belonging might take time to arrive
  • Find an international moving company or storage space
  • Purchase packing materials
  • Make a list of everything you’ve packed, take photos, and determine the value of everything on your list
  • Determine if there are any travel restrictions in your host country
  • Buy a new compatible phone for your host country
  • Clean out your refrigerator and defrost it
  • Clean your house
  • Take meter readings, lock the windows and doors, make sure the stove is turned off on your last day

Moving Abroad with Children and Pets
  • Get appropriate transfer documents from your children’s school
  • Determine the new school(s) for your children
  • Pick appropriate children’s toys to bring along on the journey
  • Give your children pictures, games, and books that will teach them about their new country
  • Make sure your pet’s breed is legal in your new country
  • Discover if there are any pet-related quarantine rules
  • Determine if your pet needs vaccinations
  • Make arrangements to have your pet transported to your new country

Repatriation
  • Determine if you plan to move to your host country permanently
  • If not, decide on a return date to go home
  • Make plans for family emergencies
  • Determine if you’ll stay in your new country even if your situation changes
  • Get appropriate medical insurance when moving abroad

If you’ve definitely decided to move abroad, you should begin the planning phase at least 90 days in advance. This way you’ll give yourself enough time to complete this checklist before moving to your host country.


AUTHOR BIO:
Wendy Dessler
Wendy is a super-connector with Outreachmama who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships, and networking. She frequently writes about the latest advancements in digital marketing and focuses her efforts on developing customized blogger outreach plans depending on the industry and competition.