Trip Planning (with injuries) 101
Updated: Sep 5, 2018
Short and sweet - here's the basics you should look at before booking international trips, with added tips on how to travel with injuries!
1) Start with flights
Flights are often the most expensive part of a trip. Instead of planning your trip around set dates, look to see what dates are cheapest to go. Use Google Flights to find the cheapest dates and then either book through their site or (if you have miles on an airline or through a credit card) book through the airline directly using your miles.
With injuries: know your body - does one long flight or several shorter flights work best for you when traveling? When looking at Google Flights, try to look at all the different options and see what works best for your body and for your schedule.
2) Get an outline
I always book my flights and get my outline together at the same time. My outline can change a lot when looking at flights - for me, it's always worth it to go for the cheaper flight and maybe take an extra train or two to my destination (especially in Europe). Once I pick my country to travel to, this is when I start looking at blogs to see what cities/sites to visit.
I would really recommend using Google Docs to put all your trip info in and then download it (or even print it out) before your trip (in my experience, taxi drivers often need to see the actual address).
With injuries: when looking at length of trip, think about how long you can put stress on your body. If you're still recovering from injuries, maybe just go to Hawai'i and stay in one hotel for a whole week. If you can push you body a bit more, maybe try three cities in Europe. Better to stay more nights in the same hotel than move from place to place every other day and wear down your body.
(For European travelers, I highly recommend using Rick Steves travel guides - he'll always give the best travel outlines for Europe!)
Once you have your flights and outline, start to fill in the blanks with hotels. If you start traveling often, you might want to sign up for hotel rewards points (Hilton doesn't have the best hotels in the US, but their international hotels are amazing; SPG is also a great program to sign up for).
With injuries: I highly suggest booking with Booking.com or Airbnb - both are sites that are easy to cancel should something come up. I've had to cancel several trips because my injuries got worse and I wasn't able to travel. You might also want to get travel insurance as well! It's saved me a lot of money when having to cancel my trips.
Last major thing to book is transportation. Buses tend to be the cheapest form of travel in most countries but can also take the longest time. If you're in Europe, I would definitely suggest getting a Eurail pass if you're traveling through multiple countries - or if you're traveling within the same country I would highly suggest using FlixBus (cheap buses that have wifi and are actually pretty clean and comfortable)!
Also if you're traveling to places that will take more than 5-6 hours by train, I would highly suggest looking up cheap flights (use Google Flights again).
With injuries: again this is about knowing what your body can take - I find that traveling by train is more comfortable than bus, so I try to take routes that use more train travel. Just know what's most comfortable for your body!
I know this is a brief overview of information but I hope this helps when looking at booking your next trip. Always feel free to contact me if you have any comments, questions, or help with you next trip!