September 6, 2013

Travel tricks / Where to start

I love to travel and I'm a huge planner, so I thought it was only fair to share some of my tricks for all things travelling. This time: Where to start?


A walk around the neighbourhood
There is one thing I always do when I'm planning a vacation and that is using Google maps to walk around in the city I'm planning to go to. That way you can find out where the main street is, where all the shops are, where all the hidden boutiques are and at what restaurants you would like to eat. This way you already explored the neighbourhood, which really helps when you're searching for the perfect hotel for example. 
Just casually looking around for hotels and airplanetickets
After my walk around the neighbourhood, I always go looking for hotels and flights (which I usually book together, unless it's cheaper to book separately). When I'm browsing different websites, I look for some specific things: When do I want to go and what is the price of the hotel at that moment? What is the location of the hotel? How many stars does the hotel have? Does the place look ok at first sight?
Deciding on your budget
Now you've walked around the neighbourhood, you've seen some hotels, flights and prices, it's time to decide on your budget. You can go all out (5 star hotel and first class flight) or you can go really cheap (hostel and low priced flight). You can go during the summer or during the holiday season (when the prices are usually high) or you can go off season (when the prices are probably lower). It's all up to you, but it's important that you decide how much money you want to spend.
Seriously looking for hotels and flights
Now that you decided on your budget, you can go look at hotels and flights more seriously. When a hotel fits your budget, just write down the name and the price. When you have a list of ten or so hotels, go look for reviews on www.tripadvisor.com (my favourite!). Find out what people think of the hotels you wrote down. Don't forget to look at the photos, which are more real than the ones on the website of the hotel. 
As for the flights. Just choose the times you like best. Don't forget that you need time to get to airport in morning and that you may not want to spend your whole last day waiting for you flight home.
Time to book your hotel and flight
When you've seen all the prices, read all the reviews it's time to make a decision!
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