We’ve been planning for our trip to Europe for months now, but we’re down to about 6 and a half months until the trip. Since we’ll be moving about 3 weeks before we take off, I’m getting organized now to ensure everything goes smoothly.
Here’s what we’re doing in the next month to prepare:
Make final decisions about where to travel.
We know we want to visit London and Paris, but we’re debating whether to add a few days in Amsterdam to our trip. This month we’ll really crunch the numbers and determine whether a few months in a third city is worth the time and money.
Create a budget.
We already put together a budget for our trip months ago, but if you haven’t thought about how much it’s going to cost you, do it now. It’s easier to save money if you plan around a budget.
Start reading the guidebooks.
We’ve browsed a few books on travel to London and Paris, and while we’ve learned quite a bit, we haven’t found any that we feel compelled to purchase. We plan to do some more hunting this month and see if we can find a couple companion books that will be worth taking along on the trip.
In the meantime, there’s a wealth of information on European travel online. I’m hunting for additional resources to determine where we’ll stay and what we’ll do while we’re there.
I’ve been watching flight prices for several months, but now I’m getting serious about deciding how we want to put our itinerary together. Flights generally seem cheaper out of Chicago than Indianapolis, and direct flights seem easier to obtain there, so we’ll likely fly out of Chicago.
We’re also looking into hotels, deciding where we want to stay in each city, and what type of accommodations we need. It doesn’t seem that hostels will save us much in the long run, so we’re looking into budget hotels. I’ve found quite a few options on TravelAdvisor.com, but I’m continuing to research areas and attractions to determine the best possible location in each city for our stay.
Start thinking about attractions.
This month, we’re making a list of what we want to do and see in each city. This is the fun part of the planning, because it’s all about how we want to put the trip together. I’ll probably factor in plenty of downtime to explore so that we don’t feel pressed for time with a strict itinerary.
If you’re a seasoned traveler, help me out. What do you suggest a first timer do to prepare 6 months before the trip?