SO, you booked the time off work, you have saved up every last penny, you have rallied up your fave travel partner and are ready to book your next adventure! What’s next? Oh yeah, the best part- deciding where to go! If you are like me, you have a never ending bucket list sorted by continent, country and city. Although the list may be long, deciding where to go can often be the hardest part. You want to make this trip count, because it may be the ONLY epic vacation of the year. Here are a few tips I have used to make my trip planning easy!
Okay, so I’m not going to lie, I LOVE a good deal! I mean, why would I want to pay $1000 for a flight I can get for $500? More money for shopping and excursions of course! I recently booked a flight for my next European adventure (Location: You will have to wait and see!) AND I found the best price on www.skyscanner.ca. I almost exclusively book my flight and hotels on www.expedia.ca but I recently discovered this site and am finding the prices are almost always the cheapest on here. It compares prices for numerous airlines and shows you the best value. Check it out!
Have you ever noticed that after you casually looked up flights to Hawaii (you know, in case your boyfriend wanted to take you for your anniversary?) that on your Facebook feed Honolulu hotels JUST HAPPEN to pop up in between posts? Or when you open your email, and Flight Centre sends you updated flight prices for that direct flight into Maui (HOW DID THEY KNOW!??) Well, nothing is a secret anymore, your computer history remembers what you are looking for and surprise, surprise if you continuously look up flights or hotels into the same place, chances are prices wont drop since it is has tracked you CLEARLY want to go! Do yourself a favor and turn your browser to “Private” (If you have a mac, it should be in your main drop down menu) This way, your searches aren’t remembered and you will have a clean slate each time.
Are you planning to jet-set from place to place within one trip? Check out the smaller airlines that are based out of either Asia, Europe etc. You will most likely find cheaper fares, rather then large airline companies who usually have a higher price tag. ALSO when looking for flights within a specific area, chose an airline that is based out of the place you are flying in and out of, chances are there will be more flights available and at a lower cost.
Flying within Europe and The UK:
Ryan Air: Based out of Europe www.ryanair.com
Easy Jet: Based out of The UK www.easyjet.com
SAS: Based out of Scandinavia www.flysas.com
Norweigian Airlines: Based out of Scandinavia www.norwegian.com
Wizzair: Based out of Eastern Europe www.wizzair.com
Aer Lingus: Based out of Ireland www.aerlingus.com
TAP: Based out of Portugal www.flytap.com
Flying within Canada:
Porter airlines: Based out of Canada
Flying within Asia/Australia
Peach Airlines: Based out of Japan www.flypeach.com
Jetstar: Based out of Australia www.jetstar.com
AirAsia: Based out of Japan www.airasia.com
Flying within South America:
LAN Airlines: Based out of Chile www.lan.com
If you still can’t narrow down your options and need a little inspiration, try searching location images on pinterest. This is a great way to see other people’s photos as well as links to travel advice on these places.
Consider the time of year you are traveling before making any rash decisions. I have traveled within Europe both in the summer and the winter and they were completely different experiences. Every country has different things to offer through out the year, and if you are looking for tanning weather, Portugal in March may not be the best bet! There are a few things I like to do when considering travel options. Firstly, I always check www.weatherspark.com because it tells you everything from average highs and lows for the month, daily sunrise and sunset and cloud coverage. It also includes a lot of fun pie charts and graphs, which make it obviously seem more legit.
Secondly, I think about what I am looking to do when on vacation. Every country has markets, festivals and events each month of the year, so do your research on what it is that you want to do or see. Obviously no one likes to freeze while on vaycay, however a lot of places have enchanting winter festivals, which are worth the trip in the off-season. (and the money spent on cute new boots!)
Speaking of “Off-Season” If you are wanting to travel but you are on a budget (you know, the classic case of champagne taste on a lemonade budget) Why not visit in the off season? Typically the “on-season” is summer vacation, winter vacation, march break. If you can avoid those times, you are most likely to get more bang-for-your buck. Hotel and flight prices are slashed due to lower demand and shorter lines at attractions. Hey, you never know what will happen-I visited Amsterdam last February and the highs reached 12 degrees Celsius!
Take into consideration WHO you are traveling with. Are you compatible to go on a full out European amazing race, jetting from city to city OR would you rather get some good old R & R and work on the tan? I often like to book my travels where I am able to see the most places in the period of time I am gone. If the person you are going away with isn’t overly punctual, sleeps in til 1 in the afternoon and is on the lazy side, your better bet is either an all inclusive vacation, a cruise OR visiting maybe only one or two countries. (If in Europe, for example) BUT if you and your sidekick love adventure, share the same lengthy bucket list and are true go-getters- you will probably want to plan a whirlwind vacation your other friends will envy when seeing your insta-posts.