Before we get started though (here’s a heads up), you need one thing if you’re gonna do it this way – flexibility. (You’ll see why later).
I’m not talking about flexibility in the sense of being able to do whatever you want, whenever you want (let’s face it, most of us have work or lifestyle schedules which requires us to be in certain places at certain times) – I’m talking about flexibility in a more ‘mental’ sense of the word. The openness to new experiences and venturing out to a place you perhaps never thought about before or hadn’t even heard of before. Once you’re on board with that – this’ll work for you. 🙂
The Best Way To Travel As Often As Possible:
1.) Make a note of your free time. Pretty easy if you have a work schedule (you can probably skip this step) but even if you don’t, try to just write it down on your laptop/piece of paper/calendar.
2.) Head over to Skyscanner (this is not a sponsored post by the way) and search from all flight leaving from your city/state/country (depending on how easily you can get around), going “Everywhere” (yes, there’s an option to search for flights going everywhere in the world) and for dates, search for the entire year (not for specific dates or the entire month – the entire year!).
3.) You’ll get a results page sorted by the cheapest flights available for the year. Now here’s the tricky part – try matching your free times, to the cheap flights available (like I’ve mentioned way too many times on here, we’ve found return flights as cheap as £8 like this before – the more ‘regular’ price we’ve found using this method is around £20 return which is still a bargain).
4.) The results page is where you need that flexibility I mentioned earlier. In Europe, for example, most people want to head to London, Paris, Lisbon, Berlin… etc (you get the drill) but there are so many other places in Europe that are equally as exciting (check out some of them here). Be open to going to see these new – you’d be surprised at how much richer your travel experience will be (and I’m not just saying that in some obtuse or pretentious way – going to see other places you’d probably have missed otherwise will actually leave you with a more well-rounded experience as a traveller than a one-sided one of seeing the same thing over and over again). Some personal favourite places I’ve discovered this way include cities like Nimes, Bratislava, Gothenburg and Porto.
5.) The sweet spot here is when you find a price that is wallet-friendly and flight times that work for you (some might have to be as early as 6.00am). The location no matter how unfamiliar you are with (as long as it’s safe) is a new place for you to discover and I imagine the prospect of travelling somewhere different will speak to the traveller in you. 🙂
N.B.: The sweetest spot in the search results will be the flights that are leaving within around 6 – 8 weeks from the dates you’re looking at so if you need to plan a specific holiday in advance, try bearing that in mind.
How Do We Tend To Book Our Travel?
This tends to be very unplanned and sporadic. I’d literally done this blog post about places we have planned to visit this year and within two hours already added an extra 3 to the list (I need to update that list – will do so in a blog post soon!). The general process for us here is that we meet up with friends for dinner and a general catch up (usually at one of our houses) and somehow someone brings up the idea of travel (which happens a lot) we look quickly at deals, give each other a cheeky but knowing look and before you know it, we’ve booked 3 holidays! (I think we booked Palermo, Norway and Iceland like this – all from looking at things to do in South America). There’s no real pattern to the short term bookings, it just involves constantly looking out for good deals whenever any one of us gets a spare moment.
Typically, someone mentions a destination and we all get very excited (and animated) about it. You can usually tell when it’s an idea that sticks as we agree almost instantly on it. Nothing gets done for another week or two until one of us suggests meeting up to look at deals (which is usually very impromptu). Typically, armed with laptops and travel booking apps (we go on Skyscanner, Expedia, Opodo, Trip Advisor, LastMinute.com and pretty much everywhere and anywhere) – we converge and over glasses of wine or vats of beer and some excited barking from Senor Baxter (he’s always present for our bookings), we end up booking as much stuff as we need to do in advance (typically the flights) followed by excited cackling as we start to plan activities to do on our trip.
Most of the other parts of the planning happens over the following days/weeks/months (depending on how far in advance we’ve book) and by the time the long haul trip comes around – we’ve sorted all the planning we need to do. The biggest tip here is to lock in those deals that you know will change over time (like flight prices) and those that won’t as much (like hotel prices or car rentals), you can leave off till you have a clearer idea of what you want to do on your travels. Also – map out a timeline – the last thing you wanna do is try to do last minute bookings because everyone’s forgotten to do something small like booking a taxi to the airport or arranging for someone to come round to water the plants while your away…
And there you have it! This was meant to be a quick post but it’s turned into a rather ‘wordy’ one instead. Apologies! 😉 It’s your turn though – what does your typical travel planning look like and how organised are you typically?