I travel a lot and for me key for successful trips is a good travel guide book. A number of them are available in book stores, some of them focus on places, some others on budget and some others on accommodations only. All these things are important to know when planning for an exotic place. So, first of all decide the place or places you are planning to visit and then gather as much information as you can, surf the internet and read about the place. To cut down the budget I often consult the library for the fresh issues of traveling guides and travel related magazines. Following few tips might help you in making your traveling plan.

You have chosen your destinations and after getting all the possible information, you have to manage it properly, for this purpose a detailed map of that particular place is a good choice. You can mark the important places, residential options and eating points on map. It will help in spotting the staring point.
Next part of planning is when to go. For this decision first of all you should know about the weather of your destination, visiting Europe in winters and Asia in Monsoon season is of course a bad idea. But on the other hand, visiting a place in peak season is also not good enough because in this case you might not get room in your chosen hotel and visiting places will be crowded with tourists. Personally, I plan two weeks before or after peak season, at times I have to face some problems but at least I can enjoy the place.
If you are visiting a place to participate or enjoy a particular festival like Christmas, Eid or Dewali, try to reserve the room as soon as possible. Because on festival time, all hotels will be packed and you will be in trouble.