The devil’s in the detail: Preparation in travel is the key

Travel is something we all look forward to. It’s what gets us through those long hours at work, stimulates our imagination, and offers an escape from ordinary life. Travel and ordinary life, however, are less different and separate from one another than you might think. The two are actually extremely interconnected and similar. Think about it. What do you do in your everyday life?

Let’s go through a basic day routine:

  • You wake up.
  • Get ready.
  • Take some means of transportation to the destination which can be either work, school, an appointment.
  • You might go somewhere after work like the grocery store or run some sort of errand.
  • Prepare and eat dinner (if you’re lucky, have someone else make dinner for you – ahem my boyfriend…).
  • Maybe if there’s time, a fun activity like going to the movies.
  • Then it’s time to go to bed.

Did you miss it? What is the common denominator of each of these everyday activities? Preparation, of course! Let me clarify: What time do you wake up? What do you do to get ready? When and what means of transportation are you taking? What do you need to get at the grocery store or what errand do you need to get done? What are you eating for dinner? What movie do you want to see and what time are you going? What do you have to do before you go to bed and what time is bed time? There are many situations and events in everyday life that requires planning and organization – it’s all about the little details!

Like everyday life preparation, travel requires even more! Think about it: Travel often involves, first and for most, a destination of choice and decision on the length of time. Secondly, how you are going to get there and a place to stay overnight. Now you might plan a few things to do beforehand, maybe look up a couple of places to eat. However, during travel you need to plan well in advance to avoid stress and bad experiences, while also facilitating a good experience. For example, the need to book transportation and hotels well in advance, restaurant reservations etc. The consequences of not doing so in travel could lead to an increase in stress at having to try to find a hotel with little availability. Compare the stress of not being prepared in travel to the stresses of unpreparedness in ordinary daily life, like feeling unprepared for a meeting, test or otherwise. I could go on and on about life and travel comparisons, but I think you get the big picture.

View over the Swiss Alps

Doing your due diligence beforehand can also save you time and money (who doesn’t like extra money in their pocket?!). Here are some lessons I’ve learned from a of my travels, specifically, did you know you that some attractions that cost money are free during certain times or you can save some by bringing your own instead of renting?

  • In Milan, Italy the Sforza Castle is free everyday one hour before closing AND every Tuesday from 2:00pm.
  • Budapest, Hungary is well known for their thermal baths, but often people overlook the fact that there is an additional fee for towel rental on top of the price for entry! Bring your own towel (BYOT) and you can save some Forints (that’s the Hungarian currency) and buy some aromatic paprika to make the country’s specialty, goulash (I’ll be posting a recipe on this on my blog later on so stay tuned!).
  • In Madrid, Spain, the Prado Museum is free Monday to Saturday from 6:00pm to 8:00pm and on Sundays and Holidays from 5:00pm to 7:00pm and entrance is also free for students with a valid identification (ID).
  • With that same student ID, you can get lots of student discounts on pricey attractions anywhere in the world (check online before your visit – you’d be surprised with how many places offer student discounts).

Without planning, you might miss these opportunities by paying full price for entry and be forced to wait in long lines to buy tickets. What a difference a bit of planning and research in advance can make on your experience!

The devil is in the details. The more you prepare beforehand, the less stressed you will be, the more time you will have to just enjoy yourself, and the more money you will have for other experiences. Take some time and invest in yourself and be prepared to get the most out of your travel life!

Let me know if you have any travel planning lessons you have learned, I love hearing about your travel experiences! Don’t forget to like, comment, and share if you found this post helpful – I post a new blog post every Sunday!

Ciao for now,



6 thoughts on “The devil’s in the detail: Preparation in travel is the key

  1. Olivia says:

    Very Inspiring Karen, i hope one day to travel even HALF as much as you have!! Thanks for the tips on saving money and I will certainly be keeping up with your weekly blog:) Keep travelling and enriching your life

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much for the comment! You will travel just as much, if not more if you make it happen! Often times we want to travel, but there will always be excuses to not travel whether it be money, a job, family or friends, or any other obligations we might have. I think it’s also ingrained in us as women that we need to settle down, be married, have kids by a certain age, and to travel alone – that’s ‘crazy’ and ‘unsafe’! There really is no perfect time to travel, rather we need to make those opportunities and just invest in ourselves and collect memories, not things. 🙂


  2. conlymarie says:

    Hi Karen, I like your post and I am definitely looking forward to future ones!

    I definitely agree that preparation is key. Although some people like spontaneity when it comes to travel, I feel like that spontaneity should be planned beforehand, if that makes sense, haha. Anyway, I have my trip coming up with my girlfriends and I realized that I love getting planned and organized before we go. That being said, I would be the one to create a Google Doc for us to look at and add ideas/notes/etc. when needed… with most of the content coming from me… :p

    From a fellow travel blogger,
    Conly (


    • Thanks for the comment! I definitely agree – spontaneity is also great (not everything in life can be planned ahead otherwise what’s the fun in that right?!). I think your Google Doc sounds like a fabulous idea! That way you all have an idea of what each other wants to see and do beforehand and can plan ahead and it will make each of you think and even do some research to see places tourist don’t usually get to see! I see that one of the places you are planning to go to is Vancouver, something I highly recommend is renting bikes and biking around the whole city (no need to really plan your route just go where ever your bikes take you, but bring a map – I definitely recommend making a pit stop in Grandville Island!), but renting bikes for the day can be expensive costing $100+ each bike at many shops with added fees for helmets & locks! But with careful planning ahead… you can get that same bike rental for half the price! There is this one bike rental place in Gas Town that rents each bike out for $50 for the DAY including helmets & locks – I can’t remember the place’s name, but if I remember I will for sure let you know!


  3. Wendy says:

    Cool blog and good information here. I always think that travelling is so expensive, but your tips are great. I’ll have to try it out some time! Keep up the good work and looking forward to next Sundays blog!


    • Thanks for the comment! Travel can definitely be expensive, but with the right preparation, you’d be surprised with how much you can save and it won’t be quite as expensive and seem so out of reach! Less time worrying, more time enjoying!


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