Planning an adventure can be a lot of work. You can end up spending a lot of time and energy on things that really don’t require it and, worse still, you end up paying more than you need to. Here at Viral Dreaming, after decades of travel, we’ve refined our travel planning processes to bring you a 5-step ‘How to Plan My Adventure‘ guide that will help you avoid common mistakes and help things run smoothly. After reading this, you will have the tools and the knowledge you need to create a well-organised trip for less.
This post breaks down the most important steps in the planning process and links to several resources that will save you two very precious commodities – time and money. The 5 steps we will be looking at in this ‘How to Plan My Adventure’ post are as follows;
Step 1 – Deciding on your location and activity
Step 2 – Booking your flight
Step 3 – Booking accommodation
Step 4 – Getting travel Insurance
Step 5 – Sustaining your lifestyle (making money abroad)
How to Plan My Adventure
Step 1 – Decide Where to Go and What to Do
Deciding where you want to go and what to do once you get there acts as a starting point and an end goal for your next adventure and, with so many options to choose from, it’s important to put together a sporting vacation that is right for you.
Once you have decided on where you want to go and what you want to do, you’ll have the information you need to set budgets, make travel arrangements such as booking flights, accommodation and transport, and you’ll know whether or not you will need to generate income to sustain your lifestyle abroad. We’ll dive into these topics later in this post.
Need some adventure inspiration? Check out our Inspire Me section.
Step 2 – Book Your Flight
Flight expenses often take up a large chunk of your travel budget – especially on short trips abroad. People often make the mistake of buying the first ticket they come across online and they can sometimes end up paying a much higher price than somebody else travelling to and from the exact same destinations. The fact is, although there is an art to finding a cheap airfare, there is a very handy website and app that does most of the work for you – Momondo.
Momondo is a travel fare aggregator website and travel metasearch engine that compares millions of flights to get you the cheapest deals in the shortest amount of time possible. Their Travel Saver Calendar also allows you to determine the cheapest time of year to fly to several popular destinations so you can plan your trip well in advance.
To get the most out of these sites you should follow these 5 simple rules;
- Be flexible with travel dates
- Be flexible with destinations
- Don’t always fly direct
- Create a ‘Fare Alert’ to get email notifications about fares of a certain flight.
- Book 6-8 weeks in advance
- Check the price again 23h after you book your flight. You have 24 hours to cancel a flight without penalty.Either keep the flight or rebook when the fare became more interesting.
By the way, Momondo can also be used to book accommodation and your car hire for when you arrive at your destination. It compares the best car hire deals from numerous companies and works its magic to find you the best price. Another company I love working with to hire cars is Rentalcars.com as they work with international AND local companies in over 160 countries. Especially for adventures, we often travel with a lot of gear. It gives you a piece of mind booking your car in advance. Also picking up your car at the airport is usually more expensive. Double check if the prices differ if you fetch your car elsewhere.
Step 3 – Book Your Accommodation
Accommodation is another potentially huge expense – but only if you allow it to be. As soon as you have decided on your destination and you know how long you will be staying there for, booking your accommodation early-on will allow you to get the best deals on your preferred type of accommodation.
As with flights, you could easily fall into the trap of wasting precious time searching for accommodation and paying over the odds. We recommend booking your accommodation through a site such as Airbnb – an online community marketplace which allows you to search out millions of accommodation listings all in one place so you can find the best deal. You’ll be surprised the variety of listings you have on AirBnB: from Castles, tree huts, house boats, glamping tents or just normal apartments and villas … You can get very specific with your searches to ensure you find exactly what you want;
- Host language
- Property type (apartment, house, b&b etc.)
- Room type (whole property, private room, shared room)
- Size (number of beds/bedrooms and bathrooms)
- Amenities (Wi-Fi, TV, kitchen, pool etc.)
In addition to Airbnb, Momondo can also help find the best deals from all the major hotel sites in much the same way. The difference between AirBnB and Momondo is that Momondo lists commercial accommodations whereas AirBnB lists accommodations offered by individuals like you and me. So the main thing to consider when booking accommodation is: What type of accommodation would you like to stay in?
Step 4 – Get Travel Insurance
Obtaining travel insurance before you leave for your adventure should be a crucial part of your planning. Whether your flight gets cancelled, you need emergency medical treatment, or your luggage is lost or stolen, your travel insurance plan is your lifeline.
A good adventure sport travel insurance package will cover the following:
- Injury and sudden illness
- Emergency services and assistance (24 hrs)
- Lost or stolen items
- A range of cancellations due to emergencies e.g. hotels, flights and transport.
- Local emergencies that cause you to leave early
- Financial protection that covers bankruptcy of any company you are relying on to get you home
- Provides coverage in the majority of countries
- Accidents CAUSED BY participating ADVENTUROUS ACTIVITIES
If you intend on participating in extreme sport then you must ensure that this is covered in your plan. Usually, you will be required to pay a higher fee for this inclusion so always make sure your chosen sport is covered. Personally I always choose World Nomads as they offer policies for adventurers by adventurers, they really know what should be included. World Nomads include the widest range of adventurous sports in their policy while still charging very competitive fees compared to other travel insurances. Get a quick quote here.
Read our extensive guide to Adventure Sport Travel Insurance to find out what type of travel insurance package is best for your trip and what companies give you the best deal.
Step 5 – Sustain Your Lifestyle Abroad
If you’re planning a prolonged trip abroad or relocating permanently to do something you love, you’ll need to find ways of making money while you’re abroad. This can basically be done in one of the two ways we outlined in our posts, How to Make Money Online and How to Make Money Working Abroad.
Making money while you’re living your dream abroad is entirely possible, but it takes a certain mindset and you’ll need to have the knowledge and skills to make it happen. Here are some examples of how you can sustain your lifestyle while living abroad;
- Making money online – Freelance writing, teaching English online, affiliate marketing.
- Working abroad – English teacher, tour guide, scuba diving instructor, bar tending, customer service, …
The best way to go about it, is to learn from scrap how to set up an online business. Even if you haven’t any clue how to start or if you are working a 9-5 job somewhere it couldn’t hurt to investigate if becoming location independent is your next step in life. The best place to start is by far Wealthy Affiliates as they take your hand step by step in creating automated income.
How to Plan My Adventure – Live Your Dream For Free
Hopefully you found this post useful and you can begin to implement some of these tips to plan your next trip. If you’d like to WIN your next adventure, simply share your adventure dream on our ENTER TO WIN page and sign up 5 friends to be in with a chance.
If you’re planning on visiting Cape Town and you’d like some help planning your trip, please feel free to contact us – I’d love to help!