Step by step trip planning. Part 1.
Welcome to my first blog post. Since this is the first blog post I struggled with what to actually start with. Cue lengthy procrastination! I eventually decided that since this is the start of the blog why not start at the start!
I love travel. For me travel is not just about the actual destination. I love the whole planning process. The planning of the trip for me is almost as big a part as the trip itself. I LOVE researching my destination, what there is to do there and the history.
I suppose the first part of planning a trip is deciding where you want to go. For me this is never an issue as I have a huge list of places I want to visit. Considerations I would make are more around the destination, time of year, weather and how long I have in terms of time to be able to go there.
My two main go to sites when booking my trips are Skyscanner and Booking.com. Over the years I have found that these two sites are really all I need. Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with these sites and have not been paid to write a post. I am simply offering them up as my preferred sources after many years of planning trips. I’d love to hear what you use though if you have found something better.
Skyscanner is really straightforward and easy to use and searches a large number of airlines. From past comparisons I’ve done they do seem to offer a good range and at reasonable prices. I tend to use the Skyscanner app on my iPad and there are a couple of annoying things about it in terms of the search facility, but not enough to the point that it would drive me elsewhere. For example, it would be really useful if you could just see what flights fly from a certain airport. As I said I have a list of many places that I would like to visit, therefore if I have two or three days free and can a get cheap quick flight from my local airport this would be ideal. In that case it would be great to just be able to click on Newcastle airport and see what destinations were available. As I said though this is not a deal breaker and is something that can be easily achieved by an additional Google search.
Booking.com is simple, straightforward and easy to use. Just putting in your travel dates and destination will bring up hundreds of accommodation options ranging from hostels to the most luxurious hotels. Again, based on past searches of alternative sites this one seems to offer great rates. Also the more you book with them the more access to offers you have such as Genius Discounts. Additional features on the site that I find particularly useful are the map and user reviews. If you have an area in mind where you would like to stay you can also search for hotels within that postcode or area. The map then also allows you to see where the hotel is in relation to other landmarks in the area. Having the reviews available within the hotel’s page also saves you the Trip Advisor search! (Keep your eyes peeled as I plan to write a post about reviews).
As with most sites such as these you can also filter your searches based on your criteria. For me, with flights it’s usually price or length of flight and with hotels it’s usually price again or location. I usually hold off on booking my hotel until I’ve done a bit more research (see step 2)
Once the flights are booked I get down to the good stuff! I’ll tell you all about that in the next part of the post which you can find here.