I know, my posting to this blog has been sporadic at best. I’m sorry! I’ve been busy lately, and when I haven’t been busy, I’ve been procrastinating. One of the things I’ve used as a procrastination tool, is planning my overseas trip . I’m kind of obsessive about it – I have pretty much been planning my trip (I’m hoping to go to America early next year) 24/7. I’ve been doing it so much that I thought I might share the tools I use to help me plan (and go crazy from trying to make everything cheaper!)
1. Plan your ‘ideal’ trip.
Plan your ideal (within reason) trip. For my first trip plan, I had the mistaken belief that I was Daddy Warbucks and planned a twelve week trip which included visiting Los Angeles, San Francisco, New Orleans, Florida, Boston, Minnesota, Washington, New York, and Toronto. How misguided I was… My trip budget is more along the lines of ‘scrounging beneath the couch cushions for spare change’ than ‘here, fill up my crystal water glass please, Jeeves’.
2. Edit that trip.
Needless to say, I winced at the amount that my ‘ideal’ trip is going to cost me. From here, I started making it cheaper – firstly, by the places I wanted to stay at. For about a month, I thought about staying in hostels, until I realised that a five star hotel in Boston was only going to be $50 more than a private room in a hostel – and from there, it escalated until I was staying in hotels everywhere. Also, it didn’t really help that some people in my life didn’t take well to the fact that I was thinking about staying in hostels, and I really didn’t want to hear about it from now until when I leave.
The total cost was still way over my budget, so I started cutting places. My final trip plan, now includes only San Francisco, Boston, New York, Toronto and Orlando. I cut it down to the places I only really wanted to go to – here’s the reasons why I left it with this itinerary:
1. San Francisco – I love San Francisco. Some people do yoga to feel calm; for me calmness comes in the form of walking down Fisherman’s Wharf. Someday I plan on moving to San Francisco.
2. Boston – I’ve never been, and I really want to.
3. New York – I would feel betrayed to NY if I ever went to America and didn’t visit New York (more specifically, The Strand! The Strand is my favourite place in the whole entire world).
4. Toronto – to finally meet my penpal!
5. Orlando – Disney World is the place I worry less when travelling overseas by myself. I like knowing that travelling everywhere is taken care of for me. In my opinion, it’s the least stressful place to travel to by myself.
3. Start a new trip plan with your final destinations.
This is a never ending process of finding hotels you like (on your budget), writing your itinerary and finding cheaper substitutes for hotels, transportation and activities. I’m exceptionally geeky in the fact that I love trying to make my trip cheaper – it’s incredibly frustrating, but also really satisfying. My final trip plan is only a month long, but I’m happy with that – it’s all about compromising with what you would love, and what you can settle for (as long as it won’t impact how much fun you’ll have on your trip).
Below are all the tools I use to (constantly) plan my trip – feel free to ask any questions!
Have you ever travelled alone? Do you like planning trips? Where would you love to visit? Let me know in the comments!
Websites I use:
Skyscanner (a hotel and flight search tool)
Expedia (another hotel and flight search tool)
Google maps (to see the ‘street view’ of hotels I’m thinking of looking at)
Trip Advisor (a review site where you can check out what others have thought of places you want to visit)
I use this template to help me map out my trip:
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