Planning A Trip: How I Start Gathering Info

It's official, our next big trip will be to Southeast Asia. I have exactly 6 months to save, research, plan and organize every detail of our vacation and I'll be documenting it here.  

Step 1: Create a Pinterest board to collect images and ideas. This gets the creativity flowing and is a great place to store a variety of information. 

Step 2: Create an Excel Spreadsheet on Google Drive to keep notes about tips I come across, locations to visit and areas of interest. When you first start to do trip research, you find an overwhelming amount of information - some useful and some not so useful. This allows me to keep the important details all in one spot. I prefer to use Google Drive so that I can share the document with my husband so he can see what details I've included and add his own notes. 

Step 3: Gather Logistics. Deciding when the best time to travel is and how long we want to go for helps to create the framework for planning a trip. I did a decent amount of research on the best times to visit Southeast Asia and what I found is that November through February is the driest and best time to travel, but also the most crowded and priciest. March through June is the cheapest and hottest and July through October is Monsoon season.  Based on wanting to travel before the holidays, we decided to travel between Mid October through the beginning of November - the end of monsoon season and before tourism is at its peak.  This also gives us 6 months to plan and save for the trip (I never like to feel rushed into making last minute decisions and traveling without debt or stress of money is the best way to relax). We felt that based on our budget, ability to take time off of work and not feeling rushed through 3-4 countries, that 3 weeks would be adequate enough time for travel through Southeast Asia. 

This is just the beginning. Continue to check back as I start to put the pieces of the puzzle together.  I'll be posting about my budget breakdown, itinerary creation, reservations and much more. I'd also love to hear from you, so if you have any tips or experiences you like to share, please leave a comment!