I love to travel and can’t believe that I have only been doing it for12 years. Just as incredible is the choice of my first destination. I had planned a trip to Maine for years, it kind of became a calming hobby. When my James and I first met he asked if he could take me on a vacation, anywhere in the world, I said Bar Harbor, Maine. He was amazed that I answered so quickly (AND) that I said, Maine. He repeated, I did say anywhere in the world, I acknowledged that I had heard him properly and said again, Maine. Once returning from Maine, whale watching, sea kayaking, and a 100-year-old lobster (viewing, not eating), I was hooked on traveling.
I share with anyone and everyone that I can about traveling. I think that I like to talk about it as much as I like to actually do it. The number one response about traveling that I hear is that they would like to travel ‘someday’. A lot of people say that they have always wanted to go to Greece, Paris or Italy. Some locations can be expensive to get to and some can be expensive while you’re there. The magic of traveling is not magic at all, it’s merely teaming yourself with the tools to make it happen.
When planning a trip, it’s important to look at a few of the essentials details. Don’t stop reading, this process will never be like studying or taking a physics exam. The most important thing to look at when you decide to put your dream into motion is when you’d like to go, and for
We like to travel in the shoulder season. The most enjoyable time to travel is in September. We like to travel in late spring, late summer, or early fall because you will still have many of the amenities available to you. Most shops are still open, transportation continues to run quite frequently, and the restaurants, as a whole, are still open and serving delicious foods. We have found that the most enjoyable time to travel is in September.
In 2017, we took to the skies for Paris. We found round-trip airfare for $350 each. The fare was too incredible not to take advantage of and although we hadn’t really decided exactly what we wanted to do or where we would want to spend our trip it seemed like the thing to do. See, we were to meet my James’ brother in Greece. It was actually the cheaper route to fly into Paris and grab a flight to Greece from there for $135 per person. Once we had gotten our fill of sand, sun, and 4-wheeling all over Mykonos, we set our sights on Italy. The fare from Mykonos to Rome was stupid silly, $66 per person. As you can see, with fares like this to get to Europe and the low fares to travel within Europe once you are there, there is no reason to keep pushing this travel thing off.
Airfare seems manageable, or so it seems from what I have said before, but what about the nuts and bolts of the whole deal. Once you’re there, you’ll likely want to eat and possibly sleep. How does that compare and can it be affordable? It is completely affordable to eat in Europe. If you have a high-end palate, whether you are in the U.S or Europe, you may find a high-end bill at the end of it, however, there is hope for good food at a reasonable price. A croissant and espresso for breakfast, a Croque Monsieur for lunch, French onion soup and a baguette for dinner, not to mention a street crepe filled with strawberry jam or Nutella while out touring during the day. You will likely be able to eat in Paris for about $25 bucks per person. Of
Now that you are well on your way to Paris or parts unknown, what about lodging, where do you stay without breaking the entire travel budget? If you get a Hostel International card you can cash in on some really great room prices. Hostels are very safe, clean and a reasonable way to stay in your new favorite areas. You won’t need a membership throughout the world, but some places do require it. Just click the link above to see if you would need one where you are going, if going to France, you will need one. If Hostels are not your thing, have no fear, you can still find affordable rooms and pensions, (a small hotel). Staying in Paris can be as low as $41 a night. A good average, for easier travel planning, is about $120 a night, and that is for a decent place that serves a very good breakfast, saving you, of course, on your daily food allowance. The sky is the limit with lodging in Paris, use your imagination, stay affordable most of your trip and splurge on a night or two (some places require 2 or more nights) in a ‘fancier’ place. At the end of the day, however, it’s Paris, most of what I have found is pretty fancy.
There are apps that track prices, bloggers that do a lot of the research for you with tips and websites that are very helpful. Some that I have heard good things about include, Scott’s Cheap Flights, and Matt’s Travel tips. Not all are free and not all charge for their services, pay close attention to the button you click. I had to say that because sometimes people just buzz through the mumbo-jumbo and get charged, don’t want that happening to you.
Bottom line, stop writing notes, dreaming up the ideal situation, pack your bags and get out there. It’s time to explore.