Article How to Plan a Trip to Another Continent
"Tips from Matthias" Series — Netherlands
The very first time I went to America, I had no clue really how to plan a trip that far. Now I had some extensive travel experience from before, but had never gone outside of Europe.
I had always said as a teenager,
I'd like to go to America. Then, during my design education, I had said I wanted to have an internship in America. But it never really came to the point of actually going.
Then I graduated at age 21, and something happened. I received an email about a film festival in Phoenix, Arizona. It was on kinda short notice, I had only about 8 weeks to plan everything — including the financing.
But once I got started, it was well worth the try, and I learned a lot from that time, by simply starting somewhere, you'll figure it out along the way.
Pick a Destination in Your Head and Find a Ticket
Because now I already had a clear destination picked for me, it was easier to make the step and find an actual flight to the United States.
But if you don't know exactly where to go yet, just pick a city that seems a lot of fun. If you like a booming city, go to New York. I you like culture go to Shanghai.
The next thing really is just going online and finding a budget ticket shop. Try to find a flying date of at least 2 months ahead, this will save you some money.
Don't worry yet about anything, just see what it'll cost, and this will give you an actual idea of the prices. Also try to pick different departure dates to see if there's a big difference.
Once You Have a Ticket, Go Check Out a Hotel
Especially in America, there's lots and lots of budget hotels — little further away from downtown though. Try finding one that's within your budget and make a reservation.
Try to think about how much you'd like to spend on food and activities on a daily basis, then just multiply it with the total days, and you how much that will cost you.
Finally, it's also a good idea to take with you some extra cash, just in case you come to unexpected problems. You can also find yourself some good deals on a rental car online. This is a great idea if you love driving and explore the area yourself!
Make a List of all the Cost and Create a Good Overview
One thing I always did was create a spreadsheet (using Excel or another alternative) and just put all the costs in a new row, so you can easily see the total cost.
It's also a good idea to print this or save it to your phone or tablet and take this with you during the trip, so you'll always have clear overview of your budget.
Also think about costs for accessories, like a digital camera or video camera, if you like to create better photos. And maybe keep some extra money in the budget for some new clothes!
Well that's it really, it is a little bit of work to plan everything well, but if you do this, you will have a great vacation!