Thursday, January 10, 2013

# January Joy 10: Plan a getaway

 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).
-Cyprus, maybe?
-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


  1. Yay, come to Cyprus!

    We have no trips planned for this year, maybe Belgrade in August depending on when my husband gets his home leave.
    I miss travelling without much notice...
    As for I would like to go: Florence (haven't been there in several years and I miss it), London (never been there), Paris (always), Bangkok (my aunt is there and always dreamed of visiting Thailand) Montréal, Québec, Prince Edward Island (because they are beautiful, and because I lived in Québec 12 years ago), NY, Prague...the list never ends ;)

    1. Bangkok ! Thailand along with Vietnam and Cambodge are so so high on my list. Canada is also interesting. And Prague, after reading Kundera's book I have been wanting to go for so long. The list really never ends.

  2. London is great! I can attest... let us know if you make it over here! I know very well the not being able to make travel plans pains (for us all of last year) so getting away for weekends seems to be the key.

    1. We WILL make it over there (that is the one trip we had planned since 2 months ago). I tried to look for a contact email on your blog but couldn't find it. Where can I contact you?
      (Also some of the girls from Any other woman are also planning on meeting, we are thinking 21 or 22 January).
      Otherwise email me at . So exciting.

    2. I can get to London. My email is on my blog page.

      We have been skiing every year for the last few years which has really helped me but this year because of having to pay for treatments we have had to let that holiday go. We are planning on crashing the in-laws villa holiday in Portugal in June though, as we will only have to pay for our flights. I love to travel, but it can so easily get pricey if you are not careful.

    3. Portugal in June sounds lovely, and time goes super fast anyway. I remember last year, May came so fast, I was like "Wow, didn't the year just start?".
      I am sorry about the ski holiday, but hopefully it will all work out real soon.

      I am emailing you now :) So exciting.

  3. We are planning our honeymoon at the moment New York, then Cancun - Panama..... so exciting!! Haven't been on a big trip like this since I finished uni. Unfortunately it leaves no holidays for any little breaks, but I'm sure we will cope.

    1. Oh wow that is one long honeymoon. When you are in the Cancun area make sure to visit Tulum, Chichen Itza (the ruins) and Merida (a small authentic Mexican town). You could also go to Playa del Carmen and Isla Holbox. This last one is really not to be missed, it 's an island in front of Cancun where you can see the whale-shark, flamingos... The beauty of the place is breath taking and it is one of the few virgin places left.

    2. Argh there is so much to see, we are away for 7 weeks and from looking at the guidebooks I could easily do 7 months there so will have to be quite picky, plan was to get out of Cancun quite quickly and head to a beach to chill out for a couple of days, maybe Holbox would be good for that. Sounds lush!! xox

    3. Oh yes, definitely, go chill to Holbox, and if you can, avoid Cancun. I think they have some pretty good places to stay there, you'd be more in touch with nature and still get good service.

  4. Oh I'd love to plan a trip somewhere! Since we're going to Boston at the end of August and we want to visit NY and Toronto while we're there I think all trips will have to wait until after the summer though... but the KLM prices are very tempting!

    1. They are super tempting I love when they come up with these deals. Maybe you can plan a weekend somewhere in Europe? You don't even have to go far, just go somewhere you have never been too.
      But anyhow, Boston, NY and Toronto all sound great and you will be there in no time, given how fast it goes.

  5. On our list: Paris (to meet my mother-in-law who's never been), Lisbon maybe, Oslo maybe. London - because we always travel through it but have never stopped there together. Oh and a weekend in the Champagne region in France...

    We have a kitchen renovation to do and pay for this summer so big trips are out, but smaller weekend trips and looking out for good deals will help us still make it to some of these places. We try and find flats now too, instead of hotels.

    And YEY Luxembourg!! Free accommodation with breakfast included awaits you here :) Also, if driving to Switzerland makes sense, Luxembourg is probably about half way, right?...

    1. Paris is always magical, I've heard Lisbon is one of the most beautiful cities ever, and Norway must be quite magic too. France I am in love with, so anywhere is fine by me.

      Yay to weekend trips.

      And of course if we go to Luxembourg, we would be driving. Are you serious on the accommodation? That'd be really nice but we don't want to abuse.
      Anyhow, if you come to Holland of course you can stay with us (there is an extra studio / guest room with a sofa - bed for too).

      So exciting.

    2. Lisbon is really great, definitely go there!! We did a holiday there a couple of years ago, I wrote about it here xox

  6. Munich is a fantastic city. I went there three times as a teenager on choral exchange trips and I still keep in touch with my exchange partner. I'd love to go visit her as a grown up rather than having to sneak in to beer gardens and clubs like we used to!
    Priorities for travel in 2013 are New Orleans to stay with friends and get to know the city. Hopefully for jazz fest at the end of April but in December if not. Other than that I'd really like to get the ferry to Orkney and Shetland in the far north of Scotland, and a week somewhere hot and cultural with the boy would be nice - we're thinking Turkey.

    1. Oh that sounds like fun, Munich. Choral trips as well (I was on a choir, but we never went anywhere).
      New Orleans sounds like a great destination, with all the delicious food and the French influence. And trips by Ferry as well.
      I wrote about Istanbul here, and if you click on the label Travel, there is a post on Istanbul's cats, Ice-Cream and the Florence Nightingale museum.

  7. Travel has been one of those goals for me that keeps getting pushed off. Most of our vacations end up being camping or going to the family trailer, which while a lot of fun gets a little repetitive. I'm trying to make it more of a priority in my budget this year to do actual travel (although mostly that means squirrelling away my fun money, which is slowly adding up). Bunny and I have two trips we're really pushing for.

    One is a getaway to somewhere vaguely tropical to spend a week or so on a beach just relaxing, and that's the one we think we might be able to fit in this year. All inclusives are relatively affordable for us and seem to be a doable goal while our big budget priority is saving for a house.

    The other is what is looking to be a very delayed honeymoon to Spain. It's our top joint destination, and it's been long decided that our first "big" (aka, overseas/relatively spendy based on hotels and airfare and activities) trip together needs to be to Spain. We also have this idea that we're going to base our vacation time around some motorcycle racing events that we love together, and luckily our league holds a couple of races in Spain every year.

    Over the course of our lives, we'd also like to hit the Egypt, Greece, Italy, England, India, Hungary and the Netherlands. Once we manage Spain I think the next on the list is the Netherlands and we'd ideally like to be able to bring his mom with us. (She was born there, but hasn't been back at all since she left at two years old.)

    1. Yeah I totally understand. But camping can be lots of fun, as well as road-tripping. As long as you go someplace new you get that "vacation" feeling.

      And all inclusive resorts can indeed be very relaxing and they have some good offers every now and then. Mexico has a lot of nice ones.

      A honeymoon in Spain will be lots of fun, specially if you can travel around a bit. In Barcelona there is this day in June I think where all the Harley Davidson motorbikers get together and race the city it's nice to see. And you could also rent Scooters, Barcelona is a great city to do that.

      Oh all those countries. Greece is high on our list too. If / when you come to the Netherlands do let us know, we have enough space and you could stay with us. We'll show you around. And that'd be interesting for your mother-in-law to come back. Mine just went back to Surinam for the holiday period for the first time since she moved here 30 years ago as a 25 year old. She never went back for Christmas because the whole family moved together, so there was no immediate necessity, but she still has lots of friends, extended family there... She was very nervous and excited.

  8. La ventaja de vivir en Europa son las distancias cortas, qué emoción! Londres me encanta, mi hermana vive ahí y las veces que he podido visitarla, no me canso de los museos y de comer fish and chips. Yo también estuve en Madrid una vez y por más que traté, no le encontré el encanto y de ahí no me quedaron ganas de regresar más. Cuando vayan por Münich podrían aprovechar para conocer Salzburg si no han ido, parece que estás metida en un cuento de hadas o en el set de una película.

    1. Sí, totalmente, puedes básicamente manejar a todas partes, en 12 horas estás en España desde el Norte de Europa, pasando por todos los pueblitos / ciudades en Medio se pueden hacer unos super road trips. En México en 12 horas apenas si llegas de Querétaro a Yucatán (o creo que hasta te tardas más) pero también hay muchos lugares que visitar.
      Y esos jardines de Salzburgo de verdad parecen mágicos.
      Londrés a mi también me vuelve loca, podría vivir ahi, aunque es carísimo.

  9. All I can say about this post is... yo soy completamente celosa de tu vida. Viviendo en EEUU es demasiado lejos de todo. *sigh*

    That being said, I do that one small trip planned to Mexico and may be planning another trip to Napa...

    1. Oh... bueno, pero EEUU es muy variado como país. En un viaje a Europa, si puedes tomar vacaciones puedes hacer un recorrido. Pero sí, es una de las ventajas que más me gustan de Europa, puedes simplemente ir a donde sea.

      Mexico yay ! If you need any tips just let me know. And Napa looks beautiful, at least in photos which is all I've seen.

  10. Dat is nogal een lang lijstje, haha! Ik zou willen dat ik zo vaak in een jaar op vakantie ging... Bedankt voor de tip van de wereld weken deals!

    1. De wereld deals zijn de best aanbieding ooit !
      We willen op vakantie gaan, maar ik ben niet zeker of we alle plaatsen in de lijst kunnen bezoeken dit jaar. Voor de europese steden we willen met de auto gaan.


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