This might be my favorite # January Joy prompt yet. It is no secret that we both love to travel, that we want to see the World. So many places to explore. In order to get organized I thought I'd make a list of the places we really want to go to this year, and then, make it happen. I spent quite a while yesterday looking at airplane fares, apartments and the such. This year we'd like to make it to:
-California (I think of Yogi bear saying this, does anyone remember that episode?)
-Marseille and Côte d'Azur, this one might be a road trip.
-Switzerland (I haven't visited my family there since 2009, oops. Maybe we can drive there for once)
-Barcelona (it feels like home) and Madrid (I yet have to reconcile with the city, I was there only a day and a half and the city didn't do it for me).
-Milan (a very good friend is there right now, I really want to see her)
-Insbruck / Münich (another high school friend lives in the area, really want to meet again, after 12 years)
-London (the boy and I have both been there separetely, and we love it over there. We want to explore it together now)
I do realize this is already a long list and we might not be able to go everywhere this year (specially because with fertility treatments you never know exactly when you are going to need to be at the hospital, or else you loose a cycle). Planning is key, and to start what better than to budget and to search for offers and ways to save. Also, not to sound like a commercial*, but KLM has just released its annual "Wereld weken deals" (World weeks) where you can often find very good prices: I'm talking Middle East destinations starting circa 360 EUR, Asian for 500 EUR, Mexico for 600 EUR (for this one prices normally start at 900 EUR and that's if you're lucky prices didn't go as high ad 1200 EUR) and most European destinations for 99 EUR.
If you really want to cut costs some tips that we've learnt along the way are:
1. Stay in apartments or rooms with a kitchenette. You will be able to cook some meals and not eating out all the time will save you some pennies.
2. This one goes together with tip 1.: go to the supermarket. It is a great way of experiencing the local everyday life, you'll find new products and you will get cheaper stuff.
3. Try staying outside the city, or in the surrounding metropolitan areas, but do research and make sure you're in a safe place and public transport is available. You might want to investigate the price of public transport too, because if it is crazy expensive (like in London) it might not be worth it. You'll need to calculate if the difference in price + cost of transport compensates or not...
4. Depending on how long you are staying you could maybe rent a car for a couple of days: you'll be able to road-trip a bit, which is an experience on its own.
5. If you don't want to rent a car, find out if there are buses / trains or other means to get to places of interest. Think of using the transport as the locals would, and not services oriented for tourists.
6. If you know anyone who has been to your destination, or who lives there, by all means, ask for tips, they will know better than anyone.
7. East Side Bride -approved destination city guides are both hilarious and informative. They give a good idea of what to expect, at least as a first approach.
Do you have any trips planned already for this year ? Where do you dream of going?
* PS: This is not a sponsored post. KLM did not pay me to write this, it's just me giving you a tip I find useful. Though if they feel like buying me a plane ticket or two I wouldn't complain either.Given that we met on one of their airplanes and all...
* last image found on Pinterest