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You have always wanted to get to the top of the Eiffel Tower and contemplate the unique view of Paris. Or maybe you want to try how pizza tastes in Italy? Have you ever dreamt of diving with sharks? Or perhaps something less risky like taking a bath with a Thai elephant?
Of course, you do, but these things cost a fortune, right? And you can’t just organize it yourself.
Nowadays, self- arranged journies are getting more and more popular, and it is easier than ever to do it. You don’t need travel agencies telling you where and when to go, costing you double in the end.
Arranging the journey yourself, would not only save you money but would also give you a tailor-made experience. Trust me on this one. It may sound difficult but all you need is a working phone, an internet connection, and some comfy shoes.
See the way I do it and go bath that elephant yourself!
Since you are reading this, you probably have a destination in your mind already. If your schedule is flexible, there are some overlooked checks you should consider:
While you’re researching your dream destination, thousands of other people do it as well … and (unless they’ve read this post too) they’ll pick the best season suggested online.
Unless you want to meet more tourists than locals, you will have to pick something a month before or after the best period. Be wary not to choose too bad of a month though. You don’t want your trip ruined by any weather conditions. The most popular months are usually the summer ones and around the holidays in December.
Here is a great site to help you avoid any wet seasons.
You have your destination now, and you’ve picked your travel month, It’s time to find a way to get there. Searching for a good flight is trickier than it sounds, but follow these tips, and I can guarantee you’ll find what are you looking for.
If your time is unlimited, you can just wing it and skip this step. If you are on a time-budget though, here is my way to research a destination.
You need the: Things to do in (fill in your destination here) category. Scroll down and see the highlights of your destination. Be careful of fake reviews though. In most cases, something generic that is written by someone with Russian or Indian sounding name is not a geniune one
Not a fan of guided tours, but when my time is limited, I often have to book a day tour to a nearby place. GetYourGuide is my favorite due to the vast amount of tour options they have.
I’ve found a lot of ideas and secret spots here. Search by hashtag or geolocation and take a look at the top posts.
You have your dates now, and you know your activities. It’s time to find your bed for the night.
Booking.com is the worlds leading accommodation site. Infinite options, quite useful search by a map and nonstop offers. Most of the offers also have an easy cancellation option. I use Booking or Airbnb in almost every travel.
Airbnb gives you the option to rent or share a local apartment. It’s often cheaper than a hotel and gives you the chance to interact with a native host and get some insights.
Airbnb is incredibly useful all around the world. Make your pick carefully and you would not only save money but would also have the chance to interact with a knowledgable local.
If you’re new to Airbnb get 40 USD off your first stay!
It’s hard to compete with Booking.com but Agoda does it quite well. The user interface is not as good, but Agoda has a great Asian database and it’s not that rare to have better offers than booking.
Leaving without travel insurance is not a good idea. Let’s just say like it is: It’s a very very dumb idea. There are so many things that can go wrong abroad and end up costing you a fortune. Insurance would ease your mind tremendously, and even if you don’t end up using it, it would’ve done quite a lot for your travel. I’ve used only one provider who has proven to me over the years.
Recommended by National Geographic, Lonely Planet and hundreds of bloggers, World Nomad insurance is not only going to cover you (and your gear) from various misfortunes but is also cheap and easy to get. I use them every time i travel ,and I’ve never had an unresolved issue.