You’d think that someone who travels as much as I do would like travel planning. Nope, I hate it.
When I took just one or two vacations a year, travel planning was fun. I’d spend hours finding the perfect hotels and creating lists of great restaurants to try and sites to see (this is how my Field Notes were born, which I’ve written for Rome, Seattle, Turkey, Barcelona, Vancouver and New York City).
But now that I’m a travel writer, I can rarely afford the time to daydream about my destination let alone research lists of cool things I want to see and do. Often I have just a week or two between trips and need to file stories before I can leave again. This means I needed to whittle down travel planning to just the essentials.
So what are the essentials?
In this article I’ve written for Passport Health, a travel health website, I outline what I consider to be the bare minimum. I list out essentials to plan in advance for both ease of mind and for safety, identify some ways to save money (do you know about the Global ATM Alliance?), and give some packing tips too. There’s some advice that’s special for Canadians, but other nationalities can benefit from it too:
If you’re looking for other practical travel tips, check out my Advice about how to travel page where I give logistical advice for places that lack info for independent travellers (e.g. Machu Picchu, Panama City), health tips (e.g. preventing altitude sickness, visiting the dentist in Thailand), packing tips, advice for respectful travel, plus tips if you’d like to start living a nomadic life like I do.
What are your essential travel planning tips?