top of page

Planning 101

  • Physical fitness

  • ​Where to go

  • Trip duration

  • Budget

  • Research​

Flight & Transit

  • Onboard aircraft

  • Transit

  • Layover


  • Flight

  • Lodging​

  • Tour 


  • Immigration & custom

  • Currency

  • Transportation​


  • Packing

  • Transportation​

  • At the airport


  • Safety

  • Schedule

  • Bring memories

  • Prepare your return​

Planning 101
Research and planning is basically the key stage. You should be spending more time here than actual travel time away form home. Start with this planning checklist

Time-Energy-Budget: These are three deciding factors for trip duration, destination and activities, type of transportation, lodging, food, tour etc.
Flexible/Fixed destination: It may be economical if you are flexible selecting next destination. Start looking into flights , lodging cost, places to visit and  things to do for comparison.
Weather: There is always summer somewhere. Northern hemisphere between April - October. Southern hemisphere between November - March, unless you are heading to a winter destination.  
Visa Requirements: Based on your nationality, check visa requirements to your destination. Visa free, on arrival visa, mail in visa service, in person visa application - all will impact in decision making
Destination Type: City | Countryside, Single/Multiple Destinations |Road Trip |Cruise 
Transit & Layover: For connecting flight research on transit airport, possible city tour with long layover, lodging and immigration if necessary
Going Around: Self Guided Tour | Hire Individual/ Company
Accommodation Type: All Inclusive | Hotel | Airbnb
Transportation: Self Drive | Public Transportation | Hire Transportation. For self drive, learn about road conditions, local driving behavior, traffic conditions,  left/right side driving, international license requirements., type of car (2W, AWD, 4WD) depending on destination and road conditions. Get a full coverage insurance directly from the rental agency, avoid third party insurance when traveling internationally. 
Notes: Start writing research notes, i.e. Flight Options, Cost | Place to Visit | Things to Do | Restaurant & Bar | Tour | List of Items 
Route Map & Schedule: Start mapping  your itinerary, locate lodging and points of interests as planned. Start listing address, plan how to move between two points.

Final Selection: Make your final section on destination, route, lodging etc. Let's move on to booking 

Suggested Resources

  • Research Destination: Google Map, TripAdvisor

  • Search Flights Google Flights, Kayak

  • Lodging: Airbnb,

  • Seasonal Weather:

  • Visa Requirements: Always check on government official website, embassy website in your home country

  • Car Rental: Sixt, Avis. Learn about multiple country drive (if planned) is allowed by rental, and insurance requirements. 

  • Guided Tour: Check on for individual tour guide, you may feel lucky on other social media. Tour with reputable tour company, check TripAdvisor or Google. 

  • Reservation: Some attractions, club or other facilities  may require reservation


Anchor 1


Booking should be followed by confirming destination visa requirements. Suggest to secure air ticket first followed by the by booking. 

Airline Tickets: After initial research on Goole Flight, KAYAK or other third party web, suggest to purchase ticket directly from the airlines. This would help incase of trip interruption, flight cancellation etc.
Flights should direct and shortest.  Select flights with adequate time in transit (minimum 2-3 hours international). This will allow to recharge and enough time between gates, security and immigration (if applicable). Try to use one airlines for entire journey. Do not  mix and match airlines to save few bulk.

Transit & Layover: If there is a long transit, it many be possible to explore the city for few hours. Research on immigration time, airport services for luggage storage, possible tour, taxi/Uber etc. Depending on the transit airport, it may be a better option to get a day/night room in the hotel located within airport vicinity. Other option is to spend time in the airline lounge paid or membership.   

Lodging: So many factors to decide. Typically we prefer Airbnb in city areas for 3+ nights stay. Hotel/resort preference for short stay (1-2 nights), , resort. But it's a choice should be carefully made to fit in your interests. 

 Booking a tour depends on where you are going and what you would like to explore. Without a doubt, guided by local is much more efficient than wondering around. We typically prefer private tour where possible. When we are traveling, we like to be free than locked with other people's schedule. Even if it is not a tour company, having a local individual with you will make the day memorable. It's all about research and planning ahead.  Be aware of authenticity, reputation of tour company or other individual is important. Keep reading reviews, forum and other sources on the web. After visiting 80+ countries, we yet to wait for a bad experience. We communicated, make pre-payment to individual over wire transfer, PayPal, credit credit card. Of course few times we were concerned, but we did our researcher and may had good luck throughout. 

Attractions & Other Facilities: Whether you are planning to go for spa, nightclub or top of Burj Khalifa, look into dates and openings, book your slot/table in advance. When you are traveling, you no longer want to spend time on planning or researching on a  place to visit. You may even want to book a table for dinning ahead of time depending on day, location and type of facility you wish to access. 

Suggested Resources


These are just few fav airlines on our list (clickable link). For review and star rating, check on TripAdvisor. Always signup for airline milage program that you will be flying. It's free ,and someday it will add up to some reward/service.  


Fav airports for layover/transit (clickable link): 



We prefer Airbnb whenever it makes sense. Do it for 3+ nights stay. Shorter stay at hotel/resort/all inclusive.

Super Host, guest reviews are the key for us. Select a stay used typically for rental, and not occupying by the owner with personal stuff. Photos and host total listing may give you an idea about the place. Avoid booking stay listed for long and highly rated by the guests. Why? These are may be overpriced, do your research. Look for other similar listing and few reviews, it's ok. Some excellent new listing trying to get into the market to build reputation. Read all the details about listing including cancellation policy. Approximate location shown on the map, know where your are going. 

To date (2021), we used Airbnb in 12+ countries. By far they are better experience compare to similarly priced hotel accommodation. 

Guided tour company/individual: 

TripAdvisor ​is probably the starting point. Initially TripAdvisor was excellent and then like many other public corporation, they started front lining those with committal benefits.  Research on other travel blogs, social media to find the best.

For individual tour guide, we suggest (clickable link) Showaround,  Indy-Guide for Central Asia. 


Anchor 2
Anchor 3


Luggage: Invest on a lightweight carry on bag, one of best investment when traveling around. Most of the trips, you should be able to travel with carry on bag only. Avoid checked luggage by all means. It makes travel lot simpler for many reasons (avoid airline counter check-in, long wait after arriving at destination, changes to lose luggage, transportation hustle, occupying space at your hotel room and the list goes on). Most airlines would allow 7-10 Kg carry on allowance with personal hand bag. Follow the guidance, pack light, pack essentials only. Remember, you are not going out there for a fashion show, you don't need much clothing. It is one of our priority to manage travel with carry on bags, and we succeeded most of the times.

You have been making a list of items to carry with you. Make sure you pack all and cross out from your checklist. It is one of the most important part of travel, otherwise you will forget something that may add stress to your trip. Your list could be unique, but typically you want to add to your list things like toothbrush, shaver, charger, electronics, cameras, phone, sandals, hat, sunglass, medicine, passport, IDs, cash & credit cards, international travel outlets adapter, headphones, Netflix/YouTube/Music download contents etc. List is yours to complete, ensure you packed all you need.

Getting to Airport: Arrange  your airport transport (public, Uber/Taxi, self drive and parking, rent a car and drop off at the airport, someone else dropping you off at the airport). Secure your house/apartment as needed. 

Boarding Pass: Complete online check-in as early as possible, typically airline would allow online check in 24 hours prior to flight.  Select your seat, purchase extra luggage, food or other service as needed.

Pre-Check: Depending on your country, you may have pre-check for airport security clearance (i.e. TSA/Global Entry in USA). For frequent traveler, it is worth completing pre-check with your local authority. It expedites going through the airport security and immigration. 

COVID Check List: With pandemic around, things are different and bit difficult when traveling. Know your destination COVID travel restrictions, documents you may need (i.e. Vaccine cards, COVID test, Airline/country health declaration, health insurance). List many be long, but better to be prepared.

Suggested Resources
Best lightweight carry on
1. Osprey Ozone Wheeled Carry-on 42L/21.5" (weight 2.1 Kg)
2. Osprey Porter 46 Travel Backpack (weight less than 2 Kg)
3. Lightweight 22 in carry on IT luggage (weight less than 2 Kg)
Check COVID travel restrictions to your destination and transit country.
Check info through government website/embassy, and not through third party websites. COVID related regulations keep changing frequently. 

Read some travel blog/forum on TripAdvisor. People who have traveled there recently may have added some valuable info. 

Flight & Transit: 

Please don't be the person who never run but trying sprint like Usain Bolt, cut lines at the airport just because he/she is late and disrupting all others. If everyone else can be at the airport on time, you can do it as well. Your time is not more valuable than others, and if you miss your flight just because you are late, let it be. I guarantee, you will never be late again. So you got my point. Plan your arrival, know your airport, know the time of departure. It is always better to be there early and spend time on duty free shopping, get a coffee/food, lounge at your selection, call friends and family or anything you like to do at your leisure. 

Follow the rules, have patience, loo around and see what other people are doing going through security or immigration. Respect your fellow travelers. 

If it is a night long flight, try to sleep. Make sure you have your noise cancellation headphones. Don't be surprised if there an annoying crying baby around, or some guy/lady found his/her momentary soulmate and keeps talking loud all night ignoring others around, so just be prepared. Download digital contents on phone/tablet to go through sleepless hours.

Keep some snacks/water, sleeper sandals, compression shocks. Yo don't not have to travel Business Class to get more comfortable. You can plan yours if you think ahead. 

If you have a transit long or short, be prepared. For long transit, always try to purchase ticket through a large airport, some of my favorite transit airports listed below. 

For short transit, of course you need to go to your next gate, it may be in another terminal. So go your gate first and then if there is time to spare, get your refreshment, use washroom or do what makes you to stay calm.

For long transit, airport matters. You may find a lounge, refreshment or even take shower that makes you feel comfortable. Some airports may have day/night hotels. You may also have the opportunity to go outside the airport and explore city for few hours. Getting in an airport lounge (paid/membership) is worth considering the time and money you would be spending walking through the airport for hours. Bottom line, do your research before you leave home. 

Don't get stressed if your flight is delayed or cancelled. I have seen people acting like doomsday. Remember, it is part of the trip and part of travel experience. Stay calm, accept it, enjoy it, make adjustments to plans. 

Suggested Resources
Favorite transit a
irports for layover/transit (clickable link): 

Anchor 4


To be added

Anchor 5


To be added

Anchor 6
bottom of page