Trip planning is always exhilarating and anxiety ridden. My upcoming trip to Asia is more so than usual because I’m sort of going in blind. I went to the Philippines when I was in like kindergarten to visit family. So my experience with this continent is very limited. In contrast, I’d already been to Europe twice before I moved there. So as I begin to plan my adventure I wanted to keep you in line with how I plan my trip step by step.
Step 1: Flying cheap means looking for the affordable airports. Don’t start where you want but let the prices guide you on the adventure. I’m flying into Manila with my mother so that was just lucky. Now on my flight back, I was debating on going to Manila again. This has a plus side because my family is there and I want to make sure I have an airline willing to work with me if I change my flight date. But I could choose another place to get one more stamp on the passport. Hong Kong seems like a good option because it’s a modern city with lots of flights going to Los Angeles. Also, it’s close to Southeast Asia which is where I’m going to be traveling through.
Step 2: I booked a tour with G Adventures and have credit from when I canceled. So figuring out what will be the best tour has been the center point of my trip planning. The tours are much more expensive than solo traveling. Since I’m new to Asia, I figured it would give me a great intro and help me feel comfortable when I go at it alone. It’s also a great way to do a lot of activities in a short amount of time.
Step 3: Work away was such an amazing experience in Tel Aviv, Israel I wanted to do it again. My criteria for workaday locations are places with a large expat community, English is partly known and is of course safe for female travelers. For this information, I look to Lonely Planet travel notices and other blogs such as The Blonde Abroad and Be My Travel Muse. Indonesia and Thailand have great expat communities and are known for having friendly people. I’m not contacting hosts until November but it’s good to look at what my options are as I begin to create a solid budget for myself.
Step 4: Figuring out how long I want to stay in Asia is something I probably won’t even know until I get there. On one hand, I love the adventure of travel, I have the finances and knowhow to travel for awhile however I feel a pressure to start my career. Will anyone really hire a 30-year-old nomad? I know people say I could make money off of blogging but it’s been two years and I’m nowhere close to that level. I was thinking about 2 1/2-3 months of travel. Then I’ll return to the real world and try to get an adult job. Hopefully one that offers lots of vacation.
This is just the beginning of my trip planning. I’m nervous to explore a new continent but so excited to expand my travels.
What are some of the first things you consider when you are planning out a trip?