Travelling becomes a trend due to various reasons. One of them is because people love it! The thrill to be able to discover new places, languages, food, meet new people, and to observe different ways of life is priceless. When you break from routine, then you will have a lot of new inspirations, different perspectives and also relieve fatigue and stress. Safe to say that for some people, it becomes a necessity. While it seems like everyone is travelling nowadays, I know that there are people who are still struggling to plan their trip. In this article, I’ll share some general tips on how to plan your trip (if you are looking for packing tips, check this article), and hopefully, it can help you save money here and there.

Plan well

When you travel, you need to plan it well. Remember, to plan something well, it requires time. However, it is not necessarily the case that the same time-frame works for everyone. Some people are comfortable planning their holiday one year before, while others are more comfortable doing the planning two months before the trip. To know which one works best for you, doing the planning (and the travelling) often is a must.

For now, to make you plan your travel better, let’s have a look at travel expenses. Check them below:

  • Major transport (flight or boat or train tickets)
  • Local transportation (the ground transport while you are at the destination)
  • Accommodation/Lodging
  • Food/meals 
  • Entertainment (activities, tours, shopping—some people might want to have a separate shopping budget)
  • Administrative (for some destinations, you will have these expenses: passport, visa cost, etc.)
  • Travel insurance

One of the biggest travel expenses, in my opinion, is the major transport. It is wise to arrange it as soon as possible. It is not a secret that the earlier you buy a plane ticket, then the lower the price.

Traveloka is one of the best online travel booking platforms that provides hotel booking, train booking, bus, and shuttle booking, as well as flight tickets in Indonesia. When you search for a plane ticket at Traveloka, it will show you various options available for the route and the date you requested. Traveloka will sort it based on the cheapest. It also has filters, such as transit, time of the flight, the airline, and others such as luggage service. It is easy to find cheap flight tickets with Traveloka.

Find suitable lodging based on your budget

Accommodation or lodging is the second significant travelling expense. During our travels, most of the time, we spend more time exploring than being in the hotel. Ok, the exception is for those who are doing a staycation. If you want to minimize your expenses, you can go to more of a basic hotel/hostel, rather than the luxurious one. Look for it early. If you look for the right hotel/hostel sooner, usually, there are more options available.

An extra tip from me, I usually find accommodation a bit outside the tourist hotspot (I don’t do this if I only stay for one or two nights). Usually, the accommodation cost outside the center is cheaper. You might indeed have additional local transport costs, but based on my experiences, in the end, it is still less expensive. I usually use public transport or walk to access tourist attractions from the hotel/hostel. 

Consider buying a travel package

Planning and arranging your travels by yourself should be the cheapest option, right? Because you are doing everything on your own? That is partially true. However, some destinations aren’t a small group friendly destination, and they don’t have proper public transport access. 

For example, in Indonesia, there are several remote islands such as Labengki, Derawan, or Togean, where you are saving costs if you visit the island with a big group rather than travel on your own or with a friend. Another example is the Afar region in Ethiopia. It is just clearly impossible to do it on your own. You have to rent a car, and make other arrangements which will end up to be more expensive than if you had joined a group tour.

On top of that, you need time to plan and arrange your travels, and time equals money, right? 

Always prepare these things

People often overlook this. Remember to keep all your documents (passport, visa, national identity/KTP, as well as other essential documents) tidy. One useful thing that I do is, I have the soft copy of all my relevant documents in my email, so whenever I need them, I can easily access them from anywhere. 

You also need to prepare your comfort kit. A travel comfort kit consists of several things, mostly medication that you might need during your travels. For example, if you have a headache, you usually have a particular medicine that you trust, then pack that into your comfort kit. Or if you know that you can quickly get motion sickness, then you have to pack that too. You can also pack essential oils, massage balm, and whatever things (in small size) you need to make your travel comfortable. 

Besides that, if you travel overseas, prepare a small amount of cash for back up just in case you can’t find an ATM once you arrive. I usually have 100-200 USD (or in whatever currency makes sense based on my destination). Other important items that also need to be prepared are water bottle (so you can refill water), camera (or your camera phone is enough?), and I always bring a notebook and a pen. 

Travel with friends

Travel solo or travel in a group, it is all up to you. While I’m fond of traveling with a small group, some of my friends prefer to travel solo—mostly because they can freely explore places on their own and don’t need to wait for decisions from other people. In this section, I would like to remind you that while traveling solo is fun,  sometimes traveling with a friend (or in a small group), can be a budget-friendly option. You can share accommodation and transport costs. In my case, my travel partner and I sometimes share a meal too (the portion is just too big sometimes). On top of that, you are sharing memories too!


Local transport is one expense that can be reduced with proper research. Some cities in Europe have the daily, or 48 hours, or weekly train/bus ticket, which is a lot cheaper than repeatedly buying a single ticket. There are tons of stories from other travellers in travel forums or on their blogs that talk about these travel hacks. 

Using public transport is also the rule if you want to minimize expenses. You can also consider walking instead of taking transportation if it is possible to walk. Some might get an overnight bus or train to cut the accommodation cost. 

There you go, all the general tips I have for you to plan your travel better. I’ll write again in the future to cover more specific travel hacks so you can plan your trip in a more relaxed way (and can save money here and there!). Do you have any tips on how to plan your travel better?