How to Plan a Trip Without a Travel Agent

Planning all of the facets of a trip can seem daunting and many resort to paying large fees to a travel agent to take the stress and time of planning off their shoulders. It’s difficult to decide where to start or what’s step one?

A trip doesn’t need to be a long and arduous planning process, however. With a few tips, you can be well on your way to booking your next vacation entirely on your own. Use this guide to get started planning your dream trip.

Decide where you want to go

This can be a daunting task in itself. If you try to start planning a trip without a set destination it can really make the process seem unmanageable. If you put a destination on your planning that helps to give you a structure and a set destination to focus on.

Pick a type of trip you’re looking for to help you decide on a place. Are you itching for a beach vaca? Or perhaps you want to explore the city streets of a vast city in Europe? Deciding on a type of destination will help you to narrow down your options.

Figure out the length of your trip

The next step is to decide how long your trip is going to be. Putting a time stamp on the trip will help to give you more direction for the next part of your trip planning.


Figure out how much you want to or how much you estimate you’ll be spending per day. You can easily research these figures online. Look for daily costs for your destination and then multiply it by the number of days you’ll be in a place.

To do this you’ve got to decide what kind of budget you’re going to stick with as well. Are you going to stay on the backpacker budget line or splurge on luxury accommodations? By working out these things in advance you’ll set your trip planning down a certain road.

Once you set your budget, you can start your savings plan. Take a serious look at your finances and determine how long it will take you to save for your trip and set a plan and stick to it.

Book your flight

Before going to book your flights look on discount sites and last minute deal sites for extra good deals. Sometimes you can find package deals that include accommodations or some attractions that save you 50% or more on the total cost of your trip.

To book your flight use search engines like Google flights or Skyscanner that can search many airlines at the same time to give you a good idea of prices across many different airlines. Try a few different sites to check for different deals.


Next up is to book your accommodations. If you’re going budget, you may be able to get away with just showing up at hostels but if you’re arriving early in the morning or late at night, make sure to book ahead of time to avoid wandering around in a new place at a bad time. Hotel prices fluctuate depending on the site you’re looking at, so make sure to check multiple avenues before pressing the purchase button.


Read blog posts, buy guidebooks or find threads online that you can talk to people who have been to where you are going to get ideas on what to do. Some larger tours and big tourist attractions may require ticket purchases in advance so doing your research ahead of time can give you a better idea of your budget and help to narrow down your planning timeline.


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