I hope you are all well and getting ready for another weekend ahead.
This year I had decided I wouldn't travel outside of the UK as the stress and hassle of it wasn't worth it for me personally.
Things didn't really go according to plan, however. Yesterday, as I unexpectedly flew to Greece, I tried to figure out different aspects of my stay, which I didn't have the time to plan.
And while this was happening, I wondered what key factors you consider when making your travel plans and arrangements? Is it the location? Nearby attractions? Pricing?
What are the most crucial factors when making your travel plans, and what, if anything, you don't mind leaving to chance?
Are there any tips and tricks you'd like to share?
@Nick Greece seems like a fantasy for me at this point! I look forward to traveling outside of the US again one day...
But in general, I usually make a decision for a fun trip overseas somewhat impulsively. My last one (that never got taken) was due to inexpensive flights to Copenhagen on Kayak's price tool. Sometimes its finding an incredible place to stay or some attraction I really want to visit. So my factors are really about something that catches my attention first.
Then its planning-- how much do I want to see, how much time do I have? Where does my husband want to go if he is coming? Then its plugging in places to stay along the way. Price comes around that same time as we figure out how much we want to spend.
Unfortunately is not for a good reason, but I'm hoping everything will work out fine. This is also why it was sudden with no planning. I am about the same typically. Work out what I want to do most and take it from there. Other factors might factor in whether I have a car or not, and thus how to move around, but it all starts with proximity to what I want to do while there. @Laura2592
@Nick the accommodation's bathroom is definitely something I can't leave to chance hahahah
If there isn't a picture of it, it's a no from me 😂
Also, I usually like to reserve some time to walk around aimlessly in the city I'm visiting. I love unexpectedly coming across hidden gems I'd probably miss if I were to follow tourist routes only.
this is why we are friends - lol @Liv In seriousness, when I was studying tourism (before journalism), about a century ago, one of the initial tips/advice on getting to know a place and get a sense of the culture was to get lost in a big supermarket or better yet market.
Gives you an understanding of the place's real-life of locals and the place way better than any tourist attraction. Leave everything touristic for your second or even later visit. It has worked great so far and of course, this "aimless wondering" turns out to be right on point to perceive the places real vibe. I love getting "lost" in a new place and just exploring with no specific route/place I'm going to. Normally do it after getting there and freshing up - which takes us to the bathroom. Couldn't agree more! hahaha
For me gotta be the location, price and accommodation itself. Being in Thailand for more than half a year, I am moving places at least 3 times per month. It's nice to be able to try different areas. These days most accommodation offer better deals for weekly/monthly. I foresee slow travel as something everyone going to embrace. Rather than staying one or two nights in one town/city, people are going to spend a week or two at a place.
From experience, always book directly with the airline because if there are any changes, the airline going to prioritize those who booked directly with them. So I do not mind paying a bit more even though the third party site is cheaper.
As I love coffee a lot, I usually search all the top cafes, and from there I explore the area. Most of these nice cafes are located in more quaint and hip areas.
And sometimes no plan is the best plan 🙂
I actually flew in from Greece (Mykonos) yesterday, @Nick, and the hassle-factor, certainly on the return leg, means I'll think very carefully again before flying Internationally. Incidentally, the island was chokka with both those from the USA and Canada.
Things I don't want to get caught out on when travelling is cleanliness issues. Like @Liv says, no bog-shot, no stay (although her description was a little more eloquent). Location is up there too (in Mykonos our hotel was at the top of a crazy (but normal for the area) hill). Price is important, but - thankfully - we don't need to scrimp too much (thanks - in part - to Airbnb).
If I had to fly again now, we'd pick our airports carefully too - Heathrow arrivals are queuing (in line) for 2+ hours, whereas we were off the aircraft and at the DLR in under ten minutes yesterday.
Oh, and make sure you print off your (UK) PLF and test results, @Nick. We relied too heavily on technology to show these and, you've guessed it, the computer said no. Sweaty palms galore, but we did get back.
Did you had a good time, @Gordon0 ?
The return is something I am dreading now that I read this. I'm going to Heathrow, you see 😫😫
This is a piece of good advice for the PLF - I've also booked my test earlier today, and I will ask them to print the results, so I'm going to have them handy. Thanks for that 🙏🏻
Have a great time in Greece @Nick .
Usually it's what friends are also intending to do for travel plans, with our mutual interests and holidays together.
There's always a browse first of what great little historic places we can visit along the way and the surprises that go with it to make it that much more enjoyable.
Which Greek Isle are you visiting?
wow, holidays with friends, how I've missed that @Helen427 The last year there's been no travelling, and last summer was the fewer, the better as a way to protect everyone.
I am not visiting an island, nor is holiday per se. I had to travel hastily as there was a health issue with my father. I'm logged in now as he is having some tests. I wanted to follow up on any replies this might have (and it takes my mind off things).
I let Henry do all of the planning...... Henry is the type that doesn't like to leave anything up to chance 🙂
My travel style is probably similar to @Yuan100 and @Liv in that I like to explore and wander around a bit.... so Henry always includes time to let me wander. Also because I tend to be more spontaneous, Henry will have several back up plans up his sleeve. Sort of like those books where the reader chooses what happens next. Henry will let me choose..... but he has thought it all out 🙂