Planning a tour is in itself an exciting but stressful journey. Chances are you might end up limiting your itinerary within your own borders. Especially if you have never had the chance to visit another country before! Yet, given a chance, we would all agree that the idea of travelling beyond your borders is tantalizing.
But the question, remains – How exactly do you plan an international tour? One reason why this question always sounds so complex is because of the multiple subtle questions hidden within this question. Let’s explore these questions further to get our answer:
“Who lives sees, who travels sees more, and who travels the farthest sees the most”
1) Should I decide on the budget or choose the destination first?
Usually, these two things go hand in hand. Preferably it would be great to choose your destination first and then decide on your budget based on some good research. There are three important factors you should consider before zeroing in on a plan:
– What is the purpose? (Relaxation/ Sight-seeing/ Adventure and so on.)
– How many days do you have in your hands?
– What is the current currency rate?
2) What documents do I need to plan an international tour?
All you need is a Passport and a Visa and you are ready for the journey! Visas usually cost a relatively small fee and must be obtained before travelling, which is an easy process but can take several weeks or more. We will get into the Visa details in a little while. If you don’t already have a passport, you can read our post on applying for a passport. For certain countries, you may require additional documents depending on your nationality. In case of Indian Citizenship, you may check the details here.
3) How to create the perfect itinerary?
An itinerary is the blueprint of your journey. There are no such specific rules for a perfect itinerary. You will know your itinerary is good enough if it gives you the big picture of your journey from start to end. Ideally, your itinerary should be able to answer the following 5 questions:
– What are your modes of transport? (Details about flight, vehicle, public transport)
– Where are you staying?
– For how long are you staying?
– What places of interest you wish to visit (and when)?
– What are the activities you can do there?
Make sure you speak to a few people, who can guide you about the place, before finalizing your itinerary. Research well before you book anything. One very important reason why itinerary planning comes before you book your flight tickets and apply for a Visa is because often you may be required to submit your booking details during the Visa application process.
4) Should I book the tickets first or apply for a Visa first?
The million dollar question! Well, you can go either way. But ideally people book their tickets first and apply for a Visa later. Reason being, while applying for a Visa you will be required to specify the period of your journey. You wouldn’t want your Visa application efforts to go waste just because you couldn’t get a flight ticket last minute! Plus last minute bookings always burn a huge hole in your pocket.
What if you don’t get a Visa after booking the flight tickets? Well, that would be a mess! If it’s your first trip the uncertainty of visa can be a big spoiler. But never let that put down your idea of an international tour! You can read here about how to travel without a Visa.
“Our happiest moments as tourists always seem to come when we stumble upon one thing while in pursuit of something else.”
— Lawrence Block
5) I have my Visa process, Passport & Bookings all ready. What next?
Research. Research! Research! When you plan an international tour backed up by good research, nothing can stop you from having a no-hiccups ride! Research on the weather, on what you need to pack, on the country’s culture, and the list is endless. But no worries! We have put it all down in 10 simple pointers for you, right here.
The overall process although similar for all countries differs only in one thing – the experience. If you have some interesting experiences or tips to share we have the comment box just for you!