Easy Planning: How to Plan that Epic Trip

Love planning trips? Hate it? Either, or … I’ve got you covered! My simple but thorough 3-step trip planning process will help you DEFINE your perfect vacation experience – and then make it happen.

Below you’ll find this 3-step trip planning process. Plus trip planning tips, how-to tools and templates, and a little trip planning inspiration.

The #1 most important question in the entire trip planning process is this: When you’re back at home, what will make you say, “Now THAT was a fantastic trip”?

Simple and Thorough 3-Step Trip Planning Process

This 3-step trip planning process centers around YOU. Your style. Your goal. Your vision. And then using that vision as your compass in all your trip planning and decision-making.

Your very first step is about defining your compass: 

  • Identify your goal. What will make this a fantastic trip?
  • Prioritize your constraints. Time, money or activities?
  • Clarify what you know. Where, when or who?
  • Understand your default travel style. Preferences, vacation rhythm and physical limitations.

Typical steps, but purposefully in a different order than most planning processes:

  • Read up on your destination, highlighting and ranking as you go;
  • Map out your interests to see a natural itinerary emerge;
  • Pick a place to stay that you’ll want to go back to;
  • Book the critical pieces of your trip, including must-do activities; and,
  • Deep breath … when it’s fun again, fill in the gaps.

Get out the door … leisurely and with your vision of that perfect experience still intact. Here’s your ultimate countdown checklist:

  • 3 MONTHS before you leave
  • 1 MONTH before you leave
  • 1 WEEK before you leave
  • 1 DAY before you leave
  • MORNING OF the day you leave
  • LONGER THAN 1 MONTH trip adjustments

Remember to SHARE these tips and tools with your TRAVEL COMPANIONS!

Trip planning tips:

Inspiration for trip planning: