So you want to plan a trip? Use these simple tips to help you save money and make the best of your time.

Don’t limit yourself to booking a hotel from the hotel website.

One of the biggest mistakes people make when planning a trip is blowing their budget on the hotel. Unless you are planning a trip where you are going to stay at the hotel the entire time, there is no reason to spend so much money on a hotel. Check out the prices on the hotel website, but make sure to compare them to discount websites. Look into travel websites such as Orbitz, Expedia, or and consider using Air bnb to rent a room or home close to where you want to be. Chances are that you will be able to find a better deal by renting a home instead of staying at a fancy hotel. The host may even assist you with sightseeing or allow you to cook meals in their kitchen, which will save a lot of money. A hostel could also be a good option, especially if you are traveling abroad. Some of them may be very nice and allow you to meet many new people. There are also options to have a safe to lock up your stuff or a private room if you don’t like sharing. Use the reviews to ensure that the customer service is good, room is clean and the area is safe.

Pick a few top sites that must be seen.

You want to make sure to plan in advance so you don’t end up regretting missing something you really want to see. Read up on the place(s) you are visiting to make sure you are aware of important sites. Use Yelp, Tripadvisor or Pinterest to find these sites and reviews for each site. Be sure to consult with other travelers to see where their top sites are. This will help for better communication on the trip and help prevent fighting. This way, it will be easier for everyone to compromise and feel that their opinion matters. Be sure not to expect to see too many things, since that could lead to disappointment. Make sure to have your sites ordered from most important to least.

Put aside extra funds just in case.

You might end up overspending, so make sure you over-save. No one wants to be caught broke while traveling, since there are many things you will need money for.

Do research if you are traveling to another country.

Some countries may have laws that are very different than the country you live in. Despite ignorance of laws, you could still be fined or arrested for breaking the law. In places like Dubai, it is forbidden to show affection in public (even hand holding is frowned upon) and women may need to completely cover their heads, shoulders and thighs. Also in the Middle East, there are certain prescription drugs that are prohibited. Littering will cost you about $2000 in Singapore and chewing gum is illegal. It’s better to avoid any mistakes by researching these laws beforehand. There are also common scams in each country that you should know about in order to prevent falling for them. These scams could leave you broke or hurt, which is never a good thing.

Don’t book the first flight you see.

If you frequently look up flights, you will notice that the price will change depending on the day you search and the day you book. Use these tips to help ensure the best price.

Make sure all important items are in order.

That means passports and IDs are checked, current and accounted for in advance, currency has been exchanged if needed and banks have been called to ensure that your card will not be cut off during the trip.

And most importantly…

You can’t plan for everything.

As a person who loves to plan, I have learned the hard way that you cannot plan for everything. Make sure to keep a positive attitude and go with the flow. Don’t get too upset because life happens. Just work through it and continue to enjoy your time!