Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Be your own Travel Planner

One may spend countless nights and days to decide a destination they want to explore on their next vacation. In our busy lives we all do this because of shortage of time. Thinking about the next place to visit, the budget – air fare, food, expenditure on accommodation, money meant to be spent on gifts and presents while coming back and so on. Yet we sometimes end up with unexpected expenditure or some unanticipated situations which is enough to ruin our planning. Due to this most of us rely upon travel planners.

Travel agents, guides and personalities alike that are given authority to decide and tweak the way we should be traveling through our destination. Well, not a very good idea for me. I personally believe that we all have a unique sense of traveling and exploring a particular place, and for me interaction with the place is foremost important rather than just seeing the places mentioned in books and come back home as if we were there to play hide & seek with famous spots.

So, I would like to share some ideas here, I hope they turn out to be beneficial for you when you plan your travel next time: -

Air tickets

Travel planners and tourist agents often buy air tickets much earlier so when you need a ticket they can even give you one at a price much lower than a current rate. Now, this is not a rocket science in any manner, you can also do this and ultimately if your plan allows, you should do this only. Buy air tickets as soon as you set your plan to travel.

Time table

This is another easy thing that your travel planner would do on your behalf and charge you. If you go through a proper research about your destination over the internet and various travel magazines. It won’t take you  longer than 10-15 minutes to decide how you want to spend your time. Just be clear about your reason to travel to that place and stick to it. This way you don’t have to follow a guide like sheep. You can enjoy more at your place of interest and skip some other spot at your will. Now, that’s what I call freedom of exploration.


These days every details is available at your fingertips, just put a little strain on them and search for some hotels that suit your preferences and book room there. It is not as difficult as it seems, trust me. Every hotel is ready to welcome you when you express a desire to book a room in advance, just like any travel planner on planet earth does.

These were the things that are general in nature, but you can take a few extra steps and snatch the independence of your travel style from the hands of a travel planner, and this steps are: -

Map quest

Well maps play a vital role in having a vacation where you don’t get lost unintentionally. Download maps on your phones if you have that feature. If you think you are new to travel maps then simply start to use map of your own city and see how they exhibit details about your known place, this will help you to get accustomed with map language and symbols. If you do not own a smart phone or tablet, simply buy a map from the tourist office of the place you visit.


Well, in this era of internet we all have friends spread over the globe. Get in touch online with some people from the place you wish to visit and discuss your plans briefly with them, see what have to say and suggest you.

In my journeys, all these steps have served me good enough to make my trips memorable; I hope these little points would help you to avoid paying to a travel agent. What you should keep in mind to explore a place in your own unique way is that
  1. Don’t take second hand suggestions. Copy pasted information is of no use. So, if someone is telling you long stories with no connection to your point of interest just chuck it.
  2. Don’t pile on information too much, leave a little scope for the unexpected and enjoy as your destination gradually starts to flaunt its true colors only for your eyes.
  3. Always keep your phone, internet connection and other communication tools charged because sometimes these miscellaneous expenditures can disturb your budget.
  4. keep asking your hotel staff and other people you get to interact with about local modes of transport that are safe and cheaper.

I hope you connect with your destination in your very own special way, so that it adds on to your stories for years to come.

P.S. I am not against an idea of taking help from a professional travel planner; if it suits your needs always go for it. the enjoyment is in the heart not in following a notion. 

by Prashant Rana