When planning a project, there are three dimensions you need to consider: scope, time, and budget. This article is about the scope, which, in this case, is the destination, how to travel and what to do.
There are many reasons for choosing where to travel: for example, a friend’s recommendation, an item from your list, an opportunity that arises. You can plan the trip by yourself or you can choose an organised trip from an agency: for example, a cruise, a tour, a safari. Choosing a destination is linked to the type of trip you want to do: for example, adventure, nature, culture, beach holidays. The options are almost endless.
Travelling on your own or with an agency?
For people who don’t like to plan and/or feel safer within a group, a tour, a cruise, or an organised holiday trip are the best options. Travelling with an agency may have its advantages, even for those who like to travel by themselves, depending on the destination. For example, travelling in Europe is quite safe and easy to plan without the help of an agency, but travelling to countries like India or Iran can be dangerous and it can be difficult to deal with the necessary procedures. Also, there are some places where organised tours are the best option, for example when visiting the Ancient Egypt, going on an African safari, or doing a cruise in Alaska – these trips are already organised in a specific way and it would be very arduous and expensive to organise them on your own… or not even possible. However, organising your own trip allows you to choose where to go, when, and in which sequence. Plus, you can change the plan whenever you want along the way. But remember: when doing your own plan, always accommodate alternatives due to unexpected events that might occur.
If you are concerned about the environment, the best way to travel long distances is by train. However, train is not available or is not a viable option in some cases – for example, if you live in Europe and want to visit the USA. Is ships (or cruises) a more sustainable alternative to airplanes? Not necessarily. Ships are also very polluting and bad for maritime life. Sometimes, airplanes can be the best option. Once you reach your destination, the best way to move around is by walking or cycling (with traditional bicycles, that is – electrical bicycles are less environmental friendly). You can also use public transportation, especially the metropolitan, avoiding taxis. If you are travelling through the countryside, you might consider the car option. Train or buses may not reach all the places you want to visit, especially in the mountains. Of course, if you are planning your own trip, you can mix and use different means of transportation according to the situation. Also, if you are a fan of cycling, check cycling routes and cycling trips.
Those who are concerned about the environment will be happy to know that there are more and more sustainable hotels. If you are travelling with an agency, you can usually choose from a limited number of hotels, so search information about each hotel on their own websites. Besides sustainability and the number of stars, pay attention to how far it is from the city centre and which services they have available. Does it include breakfast? The bedroom has shampoo and shower gel available in the bathroom? Does it have parking (important for those with a car)? These options are even more important when you are planning your own trip, of course. You can look for hotels on travel agency websites and on tourism websites. Or you can just google it, of course.
What to do?
At this point, you have already decided your destination, what type of trip you are going to do, if you are planning it or going to trust an agency, which means of transportation are you using to get there, moving around, and go back home, and the hotels where you are going to stay. Now, you have to decide what are you going to do and the sequence of the activities. If you are going to museums, are you buying tickets online or paying for guided tours? Which route will you take to visit the countryside? Are you going to scuba diving, skiing, hiking – in which day? If you are going to stay at a beach resort, are you going to do optional trips to see the surroundings – which ones and in which days? In an organised tour, you don’t need to plan the sequence, but you can study it so you know what is going to happen each day (or prepare to be surprised). If you are planning your own trip, you will have to prioritise activities in case you are unable to do everything. Again, make sure you have alternatives in case your plan fails for some reason.
In project management, when a project is finished, it is advisable to do an evaluation meeting. Does it make sense in this case? Well, if you are planning to travel again, yes. If you travelled with an agency, think if it was worth it and if you would travel with them again. What went well? What went wrong? If you planned your own trip, how much did you divert from your original plan – and why? Next time you go travel, take all this under consideration.
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