Algarme: Planning a trip abroad on a budget

Learn about train station exits to save on time
Learn about train station exits to save on time

WITH long weekends coming up in the next two months, you might be contemplating taking a trip abroad. Even if you have no plans of travelling anytime soon, you might already be thinking of an overseas trip sometime next year or the year after. Nevertheless, it’s always good to get some tips before you travel to a foreign land, especially for the first time.

There are a few things you need to prepare as you go about planning for a trip abroad. The easiest is to get the help of travel agencies, but if you are on a tight budget and want to travel affordably, then you have to gather as much information as you can to arrange everything by yourself.

1. Check visa requirements

If you have a place picked out as your destination, visit the sites of their embassies on visa requirements. There are countries where you have to pay for visa fees. However, if it is of any help, there are over 60 countries where a visa is not required or can be granted upon arrival to Philippine passport holders. Collate the requirements for visa application if your destination needs a visa prior to entry.

2. Determine when you plan to travel and book your flight

Choosing the dates to travel can be quite tricky as options may be limited. If you are working, you can take advantage of holidays or use up your leaves. But if your priority is your budget, you can time it during the off-peak season, which is usually around January to February and June to September. You can also watch out for promo fares or book your plane tickets several months ahead. Be aware of airport guidelines and flight rules, especially on baggage and meals.

3. Choose your accommodation

Once you have your visa and plane tickets, it’s time to check out the accommodations. Again, it would depend on your preference, whether it’s budget, accessibility, or luxury. There are affordable hotels and hostels that are comfortable enough, so don’t sacrifice comfort over cost. There are several booking sites where you can choose the accommodation based on your taste and priorities.

4. Research about the place and how to get around

If it’s a do-it-yourself (DIY) trip, check every detail possible, such as how to get around your destination, bus routes, subway stops, opening hours of places you will visit, entrance fees, and other information. Right now, most of these facts are available online, which can help you with your planning. Check out weather, electric plugs, currency exchange, and the news about the place you will be visiting.

5. Pack well for the trip

Bring only which is necessary. If it’s a long flight, be sure to pack extra clothes in your carry-on. Roll your clothes to save space. There are many Youtube videos to show you how to pack efficiently.*

All photos are by this author unless otherwise stated. Claire Marie Algarme blogs at Follow her as @firsttimetravel on Twitter and Instagram and like her Facebook page First-time Travels blog.


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