I have always wondered how some people are in Bali, next month in Australia, in December in Hong Kong and so on.
Until now I never found the answer how I should redo my life in order for me to travel every month, but I found the perfect recipe for me to see the world with my limited budget.
I’ve always been in love with other cultures and meeting new people because this is what makes me happy: experiences.
Travelling assures that you gain a lot of new hand on experiences from being with yourself to understanding what someone can say without speaking. A new city or a new country means new people and new habits so whenever I am feeling down, I try to escape a little from my current environment even though this sometimes may mean that I am just heading to the mountains, where I have been in the same place for so many years, but that places bring me peace and fulfillment – some nice houses, fresh air, fewer people and no stress.
Once a year I take a long and exotic trip, somewhere far away from my country.
My budget is limited and I am also a hopeless adventurer. I consider that life is meant to be lived in some new locations as much as you can so that you can learn more, discover about yourself and what you like. Cut the story short, how do I do it?
Since I have in mind the fact that every year I will go to some new exotic place, I make a list with places that I like to visit: Macau, Maldives, Cook Islands, Rio de Janeiro, Bali, Georgia, Gili Island, Colombia and so on.
I usually travel in the periods that people don’t go on holidays so much, like April-May or September-October because it allows me to take off from work not being afraid I will match my replacements holiday, prices for airline tickets and accommodation will be cheaper and the weather in most regions will be “monsoonal” but in reality it only rains 30 minutes / day, if it does.
There is also a rule that 6 weeks before your departure on a Tuesday evening the airline tickets will be cheaper. I always buy tickets with at least 2 months ahead (it also gives me the opportunity to put some money away) and mostly on evenings because that is when I have some free time for myself.
My next step is stalking :))
I always have on Facebook the see first option on different places that provide me with the best deals: Secret Flying, Fly 4 Free, Tedoo, Alitalia, Qatar, Ponturi Avioane, Ryan Air, Travelator, Lipa Lipa and Tarom.
Sooo….basically, nothing gets by me :))
Sometimes it is best to buy airline tickets when you see a promotion (like Qatar or Airitalia do) and sometimes it is best to wait until the last minute if you have more flexibility and patience.
Until now I never had enough patience: for example, Qatar puts in February a promo for destinations like Hong Kong, Borneo, Vietnam, Tokyo to but now and use them in October. One of them could be my next dreamed vacation, not necessarily the one that I settled to visit this year so I impulsively buy it and don’t wait for the dreamy location of the year to come up on promo.
This is what happened last time: I was set on Puerto Rico and bought some tickets to Borneo (because hey, you never know when Borneo will be on promotion again because it is such a non-touristy location).
Once I have my destination bought, it is time for some proper documentation.
I usually try to find information on other travel blogs because I like reading about true experiences and most importantly, I look for fresh information!
I am looking for this to do, things to avoid, routes, transportation tips, accommodation tips, how to get there, when to get there, what to eat and where what I shouldn’t do and so on.
This is PRECIOUS information in order for me to have an awesome vacation and to see as much as I can from that place – I can make a daily schedule, I can estimate a budget and cut some costs before leaving, I can arrange to have some days only for relaxation and improvise, I can arrange transport (car/scooter hire) and I can find more people that will be in that place at the same time as I will and hang out or maybe share accommodation which can make things even cheaper.
After the documentation part, accommodation comes in.
I’ve reviewed the places I need to see and where are the best places to stay, so now I only have to find the right price-quality balance.
I usually look for a place with great position (central preferably or within walking distance), clean, safe, with a lot of good reviews and preferably that has Wifi so that I can stay in touch with my family, download maps or make more travel routes and most importantly, BUDGET WISE. I never spent a lot of money on accommodation simply because I don’t spend the fair amount of time in that room as I pay for it. Yes, I stayed in honeymoon resorts in pristine islands as well, but most of the time I got the cheapest room (with no A/C, only a fan, no TV a just a bed) which suited me best and gave me full access to the resort amenities like staying 16 hours out of 24 at the pool right beside the ocean on a golden sand sipping a Hugo.
I know this checklist seems impossible, but believe me, it is POSSIBLE. I’ll never stay in a hotel/house in a bad neighborhood or one that’s dirty.
I search on booking.com or airbnb.com for good deals and most of the time I find them, not to mention that the apartments/houses on Airbnb are from scrap to luxury.
If I use booking, I try also to find a room that can be paid later or at my arrival so that meanwhile, if I change my itinerary, I can modify or cancel.
Another tip: for example if you are going to Borneo like I did, it’s a pity to miss out on Bali or Gili or Singapore so do your homework ahead and see if you can buy tickets prior to your arrival or on the go (due to the fact that some airlines like Air Asia have express promotion for last minute sales). If you do this you catch at least 2 rabbits with a shot 🙂
This is my main “HOW TO” manual that I apply every time I go on an exotic holiday and if you need more support, write me! 🙂