My way of planning for trips

The mere fact that summer is shockingly close to the present day has inspired me to write about how I plan for the trips that I’ve yet to take. Unlike other travel bloggers, I like to think that for better or worse, I have a relatively chill attitude towards this.

First of all, the process is simple: I just think about countries I want to visit, especially if there’s a specific set of locations that have attracted my interest. Certainly, I can be swayed by pretty pictures (Montenegro, as a good example) but I do my best to making shallow decisions; I have to have, at least, a basic understanding of the culture and will do my homework on this. From there, I can narrow down the feasibility of my trips to these locals. As the majority of destinations tend to within a three hour flight in Europe, logistics often are a piece of cake and I’ll even have the luxury of being able to jump right in to exploring. However, the trick is being able to combine my vacation time I can take off from my blessedly flexible schedule while attempting to avoid the inflation that comes with the high season. So, how do I do this? Once I have my vacation time set in stone, I do a cursory glance of airfare, which, thanks to the ever-fluctuating ruble, is a very painful thing. Most flights from Moscow run about 20K (~$322 as of this writing, post-newer sanctions), which, while not super cheap, aren’t too bad all things considering how friends back home can pay up to twice that amount for flights to the continent. On the flip side, the aforementioned flexibility causes me to make the odd decision in the presence of can’t-miss ticket prices.

For those of you in the know, these won’t come as much of a surprise, but if you’re not, I highly recommend sites like Expedia and Skyscanner. Sure, there are other aggregators, but I constantly utilize these two as I’ve found them to be the most reliable ones. My only gripe is that sometimes, you think you’ve hit the jackpot and have a good price, only to be redirected to the carrier’s site and pay a small fee on top of that. This admittedly doesn’t deter me, since I’ll be ready to pull the trigger on booking my flight time by this stage. Despite that, I have no qualms in rerouting my destination should better prices be available. Visiting Amsterdam for New Year 2016 absolutely epitomized this switcheroo, with absolutely zero qualms how it turned out. Originally, I was pushing hard to go to Slovenia, a place I’ve sadly not yet been able to visit, but a friend casually suggested to look into Amsterdam. My memory of that was something around the lines of, “Ha, might as well look into prices and-oh wow, I’m going to the Netherlands!”. So, you never know what bargain might just fall into your lap; you’ve honestly got to love it when you know you’ve been blessed by Lady Luck!

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How is your travel planning different? Do you share the same style as mine? Let me know!

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