Step 1: How to Start Planning your Trip

Rick Steves. You’ve seen him on TV. You’ve heard him on the radio. He travels everywhere, and dedicates most of his time to helping others travel; whether it’s making luggage lines for them, or writing guidebooks for them, Rick Steves is the name to know in this business. In these three series of blogs about Rick Steves, I will present my research on his best advice, tips and gear.

Let’s start out with the first step in traveling: planning the trip. Hopefully, you’ve chosen a destination. Maybe it’s the aqua blue waters and white sandy beaches of the Maldives, or perhaps you want to explore the trails of Yellowstone National Park. No matter where you’re going, Rick Steves has some tips for getting started.

One of his main points is that no matter how much you can plan, make sure you’re prepared for spontaneity. Ironic, right? It maybe, but it also makes the most sense. You might have saved that hike through the forest for the last day, and you wake up amidst the loudest and strongest storm you’ve ever seen. So much for that hike, but don’t let it ruin the day or your sentiments about the trip. Just find something else to do. Either talk to the concierge at your hotel, or wander the streets and talk to some locals. Another planning aspect to consider is when you’re going to take the trip. Chances are, you’re going to be somewhere during peak traveling season. This means everything is going to be more crowded and expensive. Some advice to avoid the tourist chaos are to hit up the famous spots at off hours; get up early and go first thing…and no, I don’t mean 10 a.m. early. I mean actually early. You can also take some back roads and explore the side streets of wherever you are to avoid all the tourists in the main streets, and you’ll get a more real experience of the city instead of the tourist trap one.

Wherever you’re heading, I hope these tips have been helpful. Happy Traveling, and be on the lookout for step 2!

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