In this destination guide, I would like to work out an example on how I start planning my next trip.
If I go on vacation, these are the questions I ask myself:
Where do I want to go? Do I want to relax? Do I want to see some historic places, experience the culture…? Do I want to combine the two? What type of weather do I want?
For example I want to have good weather, see things (culture, do some shopping…), but at the same time I want to have the opportunity to take a walk at the beach, in a beautiful park,…
Than I would suggest BARCELONA. You have nice weather from April until November, lots of things to do, little cozy marketplaces, mediterranean food, city near the sea … a PERFECT combination!
Once decided on the destination, you want to look up when the best period is to go: How’s the weather? Is it peak season? (Lots of things to do, BUT lots of people AND higher prices!).
As soon as you know your dates, you want to check the prices on the flights to your destination! If you are flexible in dates during a certain period, it will give you the opportunity to find a good deal!
I always search the booking engines for the cheapest flights. AND I check the prices from the local airlines too. (for Barcelona, the Spanish airline Iberia or my local one, Brussels Airlines) This is to have a comparison to the prices I found. How else can you know if the booking engines are giving you the cheapest tickets?
Sometimes it’s also good to check if the cheapest tickets aren’t with too many stopovers or bad hours during the day. If that’s the case, sometimes it’s better to spend a bit more money on a flight that’s non-stop with hours leaving in the morning and flying back in the evening, so you can save on hotel costs.
For example you have 4 days to go to Barcelona, if you leave the first day at 8.00, you’ll be there by noon and still have half a day to spend. If you have a later flight, in the afternoon and you won’t be there until early evening, you already lost a day. And are paying for that extra hotel night!
So don’t be blindsided by cheap flights, there is a catch sometimes!
Next step, you want to check the best hotels in town. Which hotels offer the best quality/price deal? And get good reviews! For more information on this, read ‘How about booking your accommodation?’ ]]>
If I’m visiting a city I check for a good location rather than luxury, but that’s my opinion. (If I go to a resort to relax, I check for 5* hotels ;o)
If you know the date and hotels that have your preference you can OR book it yourself online through a booking engine OR go to a local travel agent and let them book it for you (for a fee, of course).
If your flight and hotel are booked, you can get started on preparing yourself for your trip. Buy a book, write to embassies/visitor’s centers or read about it in my travel guide!
For a city trip, ask at the visitor’s center online or when you first arrive, a little map of the city. Get yourself informed on what there is to see, to do… (Use the links filled with information I put in my travel guide.)
As soon as you get on that plane to your destination you’re well prepared and ready to … ENJOY!