If you’re following me on Instagram you know I’m in Mexico right now for the 2018 Latin American Fashion Summit. That’s why I thought it would be a great opportunity to share with you some useful tips I’ve learned over the years to help you plan your next trip.

Whether you’re going on vacations or for work, you’ll always have a better travel experience if you plan ahead. It’s pretty much the same principle of making a budget. Yes, it’s a bit tedious and boring at first, but in the long run, it will give you much more freedom and make your life easier.

Get familiarized with your destination

Something I learned the hard way, is that there’s nothing worse than arriving at a destination and not having a clue of what to expect. You don’t need to become an expert, but it’s always useful to get familiarized with the map and the main historic and touristic attractions of the places you’ll visit.

I like to check out travel blogs to learn a bit about the history and culture of my destination, before getting there. Another useful tool is Instagram because you can follow related hashtags and see what people are doing over there.

Make your wish list

This should be super easy if you follow the previous tip. You’ll probably have a lot of must-see iconic places, streets, restaurants or even shopping you don’t want to miss. That’s why I strongly recommend you to write them down on a list. You probably won’t have time to visit them all, but it will help you prioritize, according to your time and budget. I promise this will make your life easier when you plan your itinerary.

Plan the basics but leave space to be spontaneous

The most important thing to plan is: how you will get to your destination, where you’ll stay and how you’ll move around. All your other activities will depend a great deal of these three things, so choose carefully. Remember that cheaper is not always better, because safety and time are also valuable. As I always say, mental health is priceless, and sometimes is best to invest in a good location than to waste precious hours in transit.

If you’re on vacations, your itinerary should remain a bit more flexible so you can actually enjoy and relax. The idea is to narrow down your wishlist but also leave room to improvise during the day. Try to be realistic with the timeframes, and remember you’ll get hungry and tired at some point. Itineraries are meant to make your life easier, not burden you and overwhelm you.

Seek a balance between touristic and local hotspots 

Although there are iconic places you don’t want to miss, there’s also great value in experiencing a place as locals do. You can follow local influencers on social media, to get an idea of less touristic hotspots that are also worth visiting.

Use technology to your advantage

If you travel by plane, you definitely want to download the airline’s mobile app. This will allow you to check-in, have access to updated flight information, and boarding pass in one place. 

Also, you download the map of the areas you’ll visit on the Google Maps app and mark the most important places. This way you’ll get a realistic notion of the distances and also navigate even if you don’t have internet access.

Finally, don’t forget to create a note on your cell phone with all your travel information. Include your passport number, flight number, the address you’ll be staying at and even your frequent flyer number.

I really hope these tips help you plan your next trip, even if you’re just visiting a neighbor city or a different continent. I’ve learned all these things the hard way and also sharing experiences with other people. So I hope I can pass on some wisdom and make your next travel experience a lot easier and better.

If you have any other tips, please share them on the comment below. After all, there are still a lot of places to visit and a whole lot more to learn. As always, thank you so much for reading and may the force be with us. Until next time!

useful tips for planning your trip