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The planning stages of a trip, what are they?

The planning stages of a trip, what are they?

Aug 26th, 2000, 04:53 PM
  #1  
Ike
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The planning stages of a trip, what are they?

I have been roaming the web for a while now looking for a web site that can help me plan out my trip. I don't need advice on where to go, but need help in the planning of the trip. What are the different stages of planning, and when am I done planning, and ready to travel? I hope some of the members here can help me out, or link up to a web page that can, I appreciate it, thank you.
 
Aug 26th, 2000, 05:29 PM
  #2  
elvira
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I just brought a post to the top for you. Hope it helps.
 
Aug 26th, 2000, 05:38 PM
  #3  
Ike
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Thank you elvira!
 
Aug 26th, 2000, 06:14 PM
  #4  
Monica
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Hi Ike,

I don't know of any web site that has what you are looking for, so I thought I'd write how I plan my trips. I usually start to plan my trips 6-8 months in advance. I start (after choosing a country) with purchasing the Insight Guide books to learn about the country, culture, foods, people, history, etc. These books are very informative. I read and learn about the various towns and cities to visit. From that point, I'll plot out my route so that I don't zig-zag all over the country and figure out where I want to go. I determine how long I want to stay in each location. That all depends on the sights to see. I'll also read other guidebooks that I either buy or borrow from the local library. I contact the tourist offices and request tourist information, maps, etc. And of course, I'll go through the Fodors.com Europe forum for additional information. Next I'll read about the hotels and write letters, email, or fax to the hotels my request for reservations. About the same time I'll work on my train and/or car reservations. From that point, it's a matter of more reading about the places I plan to visit and buying any things I might need for the trip. While I'm reading about the various monuments, museums, Cathedrals, etc., to see, I'll prepare a cost estimate so I can budget my trip. It's always helpful to know in advance how much a trip will cost (a good estimate).

I hope this helps!
 
Aug 26th, 2000, 07:08 PM
  #5  
Bob Brown
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Ike: I go through these phases:
1. Destination selection, and date selection. You say you have done this phase already, so I will not elaborate.
2. Airline ticket acquisition
I start looking on the web, primarily at Expedia, for prices. Having done this several times, I have a fair idea of what a good price is. If I see a price, I grab it. I also enlist the aid of a pretty good travel agent who has something of a "watch" list. To a huge extent this aspect of the trip dictates the exact days on which I will travel.
3. Make Hotel Reservations

After tickets are in hand, I know the dates of travel.
Then I start trying to narrow done my list of hotel choices. I use Fodors and this Travel Lounge for info. Then I contact the hotel I have decided on.
4. Fine tune list of attractions I want to see at the various destinations.
5. Make out a tenative budget and cost estimate.
6. Reserve rental car and, if possible, make train ticket and other reservations via the web. For travel within Europe I have found that waiting to make train reservations until I am over there is good enough.
Those are my phases, but there are little twists and turns at every step of the road.
 
Aug 26th, 2000, 08:23 PM
  #6  
travelman
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Ike you listen to Monica .On the money. to the point I love it.
 
Aug 27th, 2000, 07:00 AM
  #7  
Ike
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Thank you all very much, you have helped me out a great deal. Time to go to the library and read up. Thanks again.
 
Aug 27th, 2000, 07:15 AM
  #8  
Iris
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Ike (why are you a hypocrite?) --

First thing to do is figure out just how much of a compulsive person you are, because I've found vast differences in how people plan trips. Some have itineraries planned to the half-hour, for which they spend months of heavy-duty research in guidebooks, etc. Others buy their plane tickets and leave everything to chance.

I am uncomfortable with leaving hotels and transportation to chance, so I nail both down a.s.a.p. If you're planning for summer, you'd best have hotel reservations by Jan. at the latest, October is better. Ditto plane tickets, but you can't usually get rail tickets more than about 6 wks. ahead, if that. You can, of course, get a rail pass earlier but remember you'll need seat reservations before you board the train, and they need to be obtained ahead of time often, esp. in summer. If you are a concert- or theater-goer, of course you need to set that up ahead, too.

But unless I know from this forum or the guidebooks that some tourist attraction has advanced ticketing and that I'll lose out if I don't act ahead of time, I usually plan my sightseeing only in the most general possible way, staying flexible to the day-before to deal with weather, exhaustion, illness, or whim.

That drives some people crazy, however -- the ones with the hour-by-hour plan. They claim they see much more than I ever do, because they know how to fit things in. I say that makes traveling feel like a chore to me.

So, "know thyself."
 
Aug 27th, 2000, 11:03 PM
  #9  
Jonni
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Ike: My best advice is to take more than one type of money--traveller's checks and a debit card for example. Separate them into two places in case a pickpocket takes advantage. The other advice is to only pack a suitcase that you can take on and off a train by yourself. There is no one to help with huge luggage and you don't need that many things with you anyway. Buon Viaggio!
 
Aug 28th, 2000, 06:58 AM
  #10  
jwagner
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I recommend this site so often that people probably think I schill for them. Eurodata.com has a good piece of downloadable software that will help you plan--maybe overplan--your trip. It lets you map out your days, pre-budget your trip, cut and paste bits and pieces from other web sites, etc.

For me, I pick my destination, figure out how logical transportation is from one point to another. Usually retool my itinerary after realizing it would be impossible to see, for instance, Rome and Amsterdam on the same trip (unless you are Rick Steves). Then I begin reading travel books and looking at sample itineraries. I like the books where sites are rated. (Again, Rick Steves does a pretty good job of that, but remember it's all subjective.) I try to keep lists of everything that I have even the slightest interest in and do some research. My goal is to have a working knowledge of the places I am visiting. I rarely stick to an itinerary.But I like to become a paperback expert on the places I'm visiting. I like the new Europe for Dummies book, which gives some good advice on trip planning. Rick Steves 2-22 book is also pretty good if you are planning on visiting more than a couple of cities.
 

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