There will always be a reason to leave your comfort zone for an adventure in a foreign land. Be it a birthday, an anniversary, or you got hit by the ever-eager wanderlust bug, you’d only fret one thing – the planning phase!
Don’t worry, we get it ? Planning a trip is time-consuming, challenging and at times it can get a bit overwhelming. Where to go? What to do? Where to even begin?
Well, we have just the solution to help you get started on planning your next incredible escapade! ?
1. Selecting your dream destinationCredit: @nissagobp on Instagram
This is probably the biggest and most important decision you have to make when planning a trip. But first, will you be travelling solo, backpacking with your partner, or with family and friends? ?
Then you know whether you’re deciding for yourself or as a group ? To get you going, here are some of HHWT’s top suggestions for couples (Maldives
), foodies (Japan
), adventure seekers (New Zealand
) and backpackers (Europe
). Don’t worry ? There are so many Muslim-friendly destinations to choose from!
Credit: @sapa_gunung on Instagram
Alternatively, setting a budget could also help narrow down your choices. Once you know how much you’re willing to spend, stick to it and you’ll have your destination figured out ?
Head over to Expedia.com.my
and check out the great deals available! You might just be able to snap up some amazing deals that’s within your budget ?
2. Taking safety measures
Before booking that much needed getaway, make sure your documents are in order by doing these 4 things:
Credit: @dana_altheyab on Instagram#HHWT TIP:
- Ensure your passport is updated and has at least 6 months validity from your travel dates
- Send a copy of your passport to your emergency contact
- Check for visa and health requirements (if any)
- Check for travel warnings and advisories for your selected destination (if any)
- Find your country’s embassy at your selected destination (if any) and register yourself in case of emergencies!
Always keep a copy of your passport handy when you’re travelling! This will minimise the need for you to bring your actual passport around and prevent you from losing it.
3. Booking affordable flights and accommodation
Now, ready to lock down those dates? ? First things first, the flight tickets. Usually, this takes up quite a sizeable chunk out of your budget. And as everyone would’ve told you, you need to book it early so you’ll save more!
With Expedia’s new Add-On Advantage
, it gets even better. Once you’ve booked your flight months in advance on Expedia.com.my
, you can add-on hotel bookings anytime right up to the day you travel – with discounts up to 58% on selected hotels! ?
So take your time to find the perfect hotel for your trip, without burning a hole in your wallet ?
Credit: The Siam Heritage Hotel on Facebook
We’re sure you’d find the perfect place to stay! Like the Siam Heritage Hotel
in Bangkok ? A highly rated hotel with raving reviews at a discounted price? What a steal!
Credit: L7 Hotels Gangnam
If you’re planning a longer holiday and fancy hotel-hopping as you explore different cities (or even countries), Add-On Advantage
lets you do just that ? For example, if you book a flight to Seoul and a return flight from Jeju Island from 17th September to 1st October 2018, you could book more than 2 hotels
within your travel dates and still get the Add-On Advantage
Your epic Seoul-trip doesn’t seem so impossible now, does it? ?
4. Planning your itineraryCredit: @eza666 on Instagram
Now that you’ve gotten your ride and room sorted, it’s time to plan your itinerary. From cultural activities to learning historical significance, there are many ways to embrace and learn the foreign culture.
Some of you may gloss over this step but it’s really helpful to do your research beforehand. Like this comprehensive 3-day Lombok itinerary
? This way, you’ll know how much you’ll roughly spend and you can add or trim the budget when necessary.
But how do you get around? Any popular eateries or local food that you should try? What are the activities you’d like to do? Expedia.com.my
can help you with that! Search for tours, activities, tourist passes and more at discounted prices ?
Credit: @tambui on Instagram
Sometimes you’ve got to remind yourself, travelling is all about understanding and immersing in different cultures, experiencing Allah’s creations and learning others’ histories. So when you travel, find out if there are any special events going on that you can witness or take part in. Wouldn’t you love to catch the Loi Krathong (lantern) festival that happens every November in Thailand? Find out the meaning behind this celebration and why they celebrate it nationwide. After all, peace begins with understanding, tolerance and respect. ❤️
5. Finding Muslim-friendly food
Trying out local delicacies can sometimes prove difficult if you’re visiting a Muslim-minority country. But it should still be on your to-do list! As they say, food represents culture ? But depending on where you are in the world, Halal certification requirements might differ too.
You’d be surprised how much more you’ll enjoy your trip if you could find Halal must-try local dishes! For example, you might not think that Hong Kong can be Muslim-friendly but there are so many options
for you to snack on ?
You can search online for Halal restaurants, even via HHWT app (available on iOS
)! ? Other options are to look for vegetarian restaurants, eateries that serve Halal meat only (and are pork-free), or, when desperate, eateries that prepare their Halal and non-Halal food separately. Be mindful that food are sometimes prepared using alcohol.
A good practice would be to follow up with the eateries on social media (when possible) to find out more OR to reach out to the Muslim communities in the area! They’re always more than happy to point you in the right direction ?
Always ask how the food is prepared before dining. Do note that although restaurants serve Halal meat or are Halal certified, they may also serve alcohol.
6. Downloading travel apps
There are so many travel apps out there that will come in handy when you’re in a foreign country. ? These are some of our favourites that we can’t live without:
- Muslim Pro: Your all-in-one app to find prayer times, qibla compass and nearby mosques anywhere in the world.
- Google Maps: Download offline maps and navigate your way like a pro.
- Accuweather: Check the weather before you start your day so you’re well prepared.
- Google Translate: Never have a “Huh?” moment or get lost in translation ever again.
- Wifi Finder Free: Locate free and password-protected wifi spots in the area!
- HHWT App: Find Halal eateries and prayer spaces at your destination so you’ll never go hungry or miss your prayers during your travels!
- Expedia App: Search and book flights and hotels anytime, anywhere.
Search for flights, hotels and flight+hotel packages
on-the-go wherever you are. Plus, you get to enjoy member prices and great deals once you sign up! There are always exciting deals going on so keep a look out for their flash sales, flight specials, daily and last-minute deals to get your money’s worth ?
saves your paperless flight and hotel itineraries so never travel without it! It also sends you real-time instant updates from gate changes and flight delays to baggage carousel numbers. ?
Download here for iOS and Android
7. Packing for your trip & flightCredit: Giphy
Even the most avid traveller sometimes struggles when it comes to packing before the long-awaited trip! Dealing with excitement and anxiety, the best way to get it done is to have a checklist
Don’t know where to start? Begin with packing these essentials
in your backpack. Trust us, they’re life-changing! And if you don’t go anywhere without makeup, you need to get your hands on some of these all-important products
Also, pack a small carry-on bag for your flight so you can have these handy - passport, handphone, wallet, snacks, hand sanitizer, a pen and wet tissue.
8. Handling the money
And lastly, before changing your money, check the currency changes to get better rates. ? One convenient app to keep up-to-date with the world’s currency exchange is XE Currency
Follow the fluctuation rate before changing money. Best time to do so is when your home currency strengthens, or the foreign currency weakens.
While you’re out and about capturing your wanderlust moments, remember to never keep all your money in one place (like in your wallet). Stash it in your hotel safe or luggage (that’s kept locked!) and bring out the amount you need for the day. This will lessen the chances of you losing AND over-spending the money ?
In case of emergencies, have a handful of money on you for when you’re in a pickle and activate your debit card for use overseas. It’s also good to have a credit card handy.
See? Planning a trip doesn’t have to be complicated! Just follow these essential tips and you’ll bag yourself your dream vacation (and save a few bucks while you’re at it)! ? With your passport and itinerary in hand, you’re ready to jet set and go
Psst… Haven’t made up your mind yet? Download the Expedia app
and scroll through the deals for more sparks of inspiration ?
This article is brought to you by Expedia.com.my