Travel

Being your own travel agent.

Hello everyone!!

As you all know by now I’m sure, I love travelling. (Blog title gives it away, does it not?) But in fact, most people do enjoy travelling. The thing that puts them off, is all the research and planning that goes into it. On the other hand, no one wants to dish out lumps of money to a travel agent to book a hotel and a few tours either. It’s just so much easier to sit at home, watch TV and put “See the Pyramids” on your wish list, is it not?

Yes, they're on my list too. (Credit: iStockphoto/Karim Hesham)

Yes, they’re on my list too. (Source:Science Daily)

Sure, with the entire world to explore, hotels popping up like mushrooms everywhere and more tour companies than there are attractions to see, it is very easy to get overwhelmed and give up before you have even started. But with the internet at your service, and a little guidance on how to get started, you will be packing your bags in no time!

1. Inspiration: Chances are, you already have an idea on where it is you want to go. But unless you are ready to sling on a backpack and head off into the unknown, you will want to have a rough idea of the places you want to see. This is the fun part! Get a guidebook from your local library or have a look at the lonely planet website. A quick browse can give you lots of ideas.

2.Travel Companion: This is probably as important as the “where to go?” bit, as your travel partners can make or break your trip. This is strictly a personal choice, so have a good think before you finalise anything. I personally find travelling in a group quite daunting. Travelling solo also has its benefits (but I tend to reserve this for day trips). If you are travelling with a friend/SO, be sure to discuss a few key points with them first such as

  • How much are you willing to spend on this trip?
  • What level of comfort are you looking for? Walk everywhere and stay in hostels? 5 star hotels and taxis everywhere? Or maybe a mix of both?
  • To what detail are you planning? Is something scheduled for every minute or are you winging it?

3.Budget: Probably the first thing that springs to mind is “How much is this going to cost?” There are various factors to take into account.

  • Hotels/Experiences: I find hotels.com to be a great site. (I am not affiliated with them, just a very happy customer). They also have a loyalty programme where you get a free night for very ten nights you book with them. (Note, not all hotel chains are available using this service, Premier Inn and Travelodge in the UK for example.) Various tours and entry tickets can also add up soon, so keep that in mind as well.
  • Food: Eating out everyday can also get expensive. I find grocery shopping in other countries quite fun,so I set up a mini food station in the hotel room. However I do like to eat out in a nice place and sample the local cuisine as a treat while travelling.
  • Transport/visas: Consider various methods of transport such as driving,trains,buses,flights etc, and then shop around to find the best deal. Find out early if you need a visa for where you’re going, as these can be quite expensive as well.
  • Hidden costs: This category can add up alarmingly and overwhelm your entire travel budget if you are not careful. This includes pre holiday shopping, travel souvenirs as well as paying for excess baggage(Here’s a tip: Don’t).

4. Booking: While figuring out the costs in step 3, you would have come across various hotels and tours that you liked the sound of. Bookmark them for the future, and then read reviews, make sure the dates work etc. and then go ahead and book! Keep a separate folder (paper or electronic) with all your bookings for easy access, and don’t forget the travel insurance.

Happy travels!!

Until next time,Love, Me 🙂

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