Travel Resources

You have always wanted to get to the top floor of the Eiffel Tower and contemplate the unique view of Paris. Or maybe you want to try how the original pizza tastes in Italy? Have you ever dreamt of diving with sharks? Or perhaps you prefer something less risky like taking a bath with a Thai elephant?
Of course, you do, But the travel companies packages cost a fortune. Moreover, it’s too hard to organize everything yourself, right?

Right?

Actually no.
Nowadays, self- arranged journies are getting more and more popular, and it is easier than ever to organize one yourself. You don’t need travel agencies telling you where and when to go, what to do and where to sleep, costing you double in the end.
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:

  • Unless you travel for a specific event, it is better to avoid any local holidays or festivals. Flights are overpriced, accommodation bill will be sky-high, and the best locations would probably be booked already.

    Sounds bad? That’s not even all…

    Regular transport may not work, the activities you have planned could be in vacation aaand the place would be overwhelmed by tourists.

    Here is a helpful site to check for national holidays.

  • Avoid the trap of traveling during the best weather season.

    Why is that?

    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 don’t have a specific destination? Check Scyscanners Inspire map or Google flights for ideas and best deals.

Step 2 – find the best flight

plan your trip - find the best flight

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.

  • Start looking three months before your departure. Check the prices every day for a week to see what is the average and set yourself a price goal – around 20% less than the average price. Make sure you check other airports in the area too.
  • Sign up for airline newsletter. For me, these are WizzAir and RyanAir for European flights. Qatar Airways, Etihad and Turkish Airlines for intercontinental flights. Air Asia and Cebu Pacific for Asian flights. Here is a handy Wikipedia list with all low-cost airlines by country.
  • Sign up for cheap fare alerts. Chances to get your specific route are slim but you never know, some offer there may change your mind about where you wanna go. Best ones are HolidayPirate, SecretFlying and my favorite- Scott’s cheap flights.
  • Check the birthday of the airlines offering your desired route. Flying companies always offer great deals on their birthdays and it would be a shame to miss it.
  • Use airfare search engines. It would be quite the hassle to check all airlines every single day so here comes the search engines. If you find a reasonable price on any of them, make sure to check the other sites too. You never know which one will offer you the most valuable deal. The best search engines are:
  • Extra tip – If you travel with a partner – pick the window seat and the aisle seat, leaving the middle one. Unless it is a full flight (rare occasion), no one would pick the middle seat, and you will have some extra space. If however, someone sits there, he/she would be more than happy to switch with one of you…no one likes the middle seat.
  • Flight searching myth – “Always use an incognito browser since airlines charge you more when they see you search for a specific flight ”. I have never seen a case like that, and neither of my travel friends has. No need to bother with this extra hassle.

Step 3 – plan your itinerary

plan your trip - plan your itinerary

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.

  • Start your search with TripAdvisor. They have the most prominent data and quite a convenient map. Also a ton of reviews from other travelers. Be careful about fake reviews though.Start your check from the 2 and 3 star ones.They are never fake and gives you most accurate data.
  • Check out what your favorite bloggers/vloggers have to say about it. This as close as it gets to inside information of the place. You can even find a day by day guide and not bother yourself with further research.Make sure the info you get is from a blogger/vlogger you trust.
  • If you are a photographer – check on Instagram (by hashtag or geotag) and find the most picturesque places.
  • Look up for in some guided tours sites. Even if you don’t book anything, you will get some example daily itineraries.
  • When you find something you like, do further research to see if it’s necessary to book it online. Most of the times, you can get the tours/tickets from your hotel, and it would be cheaper, but the most popular ones need a prior reservation.
see why

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

see why

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 favorites due to the vast amount of tour options they have.

see why

Viator is the other tour company I check. The more option you have, the better deal you get, right?

see why

I’ve found a lot of ideas and secret spots here. Search by hashtag or geolocation and take a look at the top posts.

Step 4 – find the perfect accommodation

Plan your trip - find the best hotel

You have your dates now, and you know your activities. It’s time to find your bed for the night.

  • Check out a map with the highlights you want to see  (TripAdvisor) and find a hotel in the nearby area. Best location is the cornerstone of your trip.
  • If it’s a big city, research the best way of transportation and book a place close to a metro station/bus stop.
  • For your last night in the city, try to find a hotel close to the airport.
  • When researching a place always go through the reviews, especially the bad ones. See what’s the worst you can expect and decide if it’s worth the price. If I see comments about thin walls or lousy view I ignore them but if the complaints are about gear gone missing or cockroaches, it’s a deal breaker.
  • Best places to find accommodation are:
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Booking.com is the worlds leading accommodation site. Infinite options, quite useful search by a map and nonstop offers. Always the first hotel site I check.

see why

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. If you’re new to Airbnb get 35$off your first stay !

see why

It’s hard to compete with booking.com but Agoda does it quite well. If booking.com is the best accommodation site in the world, I would say Agoda is the best one in Asia.

see why

If you travel on a budget or you just like the social environment got to offer, Hostelworld is the world number one hostel accommodation site.Great interface and even more excellent search map

Step 5 – get a travel insurance

Plan your trip - get a travel insurance

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. Ease your mind and protect yourself with insurance. Luckily, there is one brand without competition here:

see why

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.

Step 6 – pack your bag and go !

Plan your trip - pack your bags

You have any questions or suggestions?
Don’t hesitate to contact me 

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