You've got travel fever but you've never been past your granny's house, down the road, out in the country. No worries, I'm here to help you by sharing the steps I go through when researching AND purchasing my trips. There is some overlap in the steps and of course go with the flow that works best for you.
2. Pay attention to the sites/sales. I look daily. It's almost second nature to me at this point. I look, dream and occasionally buy! Secretflying.com and Travelpirates.com are my daily sites. There are a dozen more, find some that work for you and sign up for the daily emails.
3. Join a few travel Facebook groups. Follow some travelers on IG. The company you keep is true in this instance. Watching regular folks talk about their fabulous vacations will motivate you! Black Travel Movement is good for this or Sisters Traveling Solo.
4. Be open. I only buy tickets for places that are on sale. Seriously. My dream trips are the cheap flight destinations. I make it work! And I've been to some fantastic places. Iceland and Malaysia to name a few. Again Secretflying.com and Travelpirates.com are my go to sites.
5. Before you book that ticket take a quick peek at lodging prices for the time frame you are considering. Remember seasons affect prices everywhere with Summer being pricey, lean toward off peak or shoulder season trips. I like the months of March, April, September, and October for travel. They are generally cool to warm in the spring and warm to cool going into the fall. Perfect weather for walking from historical site to historical site. Booking.com is a quick go-to for prices.
6. Book the ticket! Buy travel insurance or use a travel credit card that has travel insurance built into it. Buy health insurance or ensure that your current insurance has coverage for overseas travel. Horror stories happen, don't be one.
6a. Make sure bags are included in your ticket as well as the opportunity to pick your seat. If not budget for bags and mentally prepare to sit in the middle, someone has to. It might be you.
7. Book your lodging. Read all the reviews. Use google maps to "see" the neighborhood. Read TripAdvisor. TripAdvisor actually helped us when it came to picking our home in Greece, the one neighborhood that had this fantastic "looking" apartment had horrible reviews for night life or walking around at night.
8. Bring a wash clothe if you aren't staying in a hotel. Some countries only have the big towels. Don't ask me why, cause I don't know, just telling you what I've witnessed.
9. Be open while there. Don't get bogged down into the top tourist sites. Do what interests you! This is your trip. If museums don't interest you don't go. If you wanna club every night do it. Eat all the food. Seriously, try something different. Bring anti-diarrhea meds. Seriously.
10. If you don't like flying, no problem. Hit the road (rent a car). Travel by train. Megabus or Greyhound. Just go. America is beautiful. Each state is almost like visiting a new country. Find one that calls to you.
In the end have fun. Take pics. Share on your social media....after you get back..lol People steal. I'm just saying, unless you have someone watching your home, don't overly advertise that you won't be there for a week. If you do, invest in a good alarm system. And if you want to give a wedding gift, we'll take one too.
Happy Travels Folk...