If you have flown with Cebu Pacific, you probably have read their Smile magazine tucked in passenger seat’s pocket. This mag has a section named “Trip Journal” where simple and straight-to-the-point basic needs about dozen of cities are shared. There are also tips from frequent travelers and a few words you can use.
A number of people I know often rely on their friends who are used to managing itinerary. And a majority of them will postpone travel because they don’t know the “how” of traveling. I think in order to start off you can ask first people who have managed a travel or two (of course, people who don’t always rely on tour packages). Aside from knowing the “how” of traveling, you will also learn how to discover the real and best places in a city that tour packages usually miss out.