So after hours of figuring out and organizing this travel blog, I think I’m ready to start actually blogging!
Julio and I have a lot of trips coming up in a short period of time, so I can’t stress enough how important it is to stay organized. That way we know in advance exactly when we will be gone, which days we need to get covered at work, and what we need to schedule around. It may seem pretty basic (and in addition to this I also keep our trips in my phone calendar), but we just have a dry erase board on our fridge. It’s a constant reminder of what’s coming up, and keeps us looking forward to the days and months ahead.
First thing is to decide where you want to go. It may seem easy enough but when it comes to making that big decision to purchase, you might want to keep it flexible. When Julio and I were deciding where to go for my 29th birthday last year, I was flip flopping between New Orleans and Miami at first. I use Travelocity.com and Southwest.com primarily in finding flight prices. It surprised me to find out how expensive flights to Louisiana and Florida were, even in February. I thought, if we are going to be spending $800-900 on flights alone, and then hotels for $150-200 a night, we can only stay for 3-4 days!! That all brought me to Groupon.com. I started browsing the getaways and found some great vacations! I started considering London, Paris, Brazil, and then I found one for Thailand. Southeast Asia had never even been a blip on my travel radar before, but doing a little research on the destinations included in the tour made it sound very interesting and fun. Plus, the full 13 day trip (11 nights and 2 travel days) including airfare, hotels, all breakfast, half our lunches and 3 dinners, and excursions cost $1600 a person!! Doing the math on the New Orleans trip had already brought me to $2000 and that wasn’t including food or anything else, so I was sold on the total package. People are surprised to find out that you can travel and stay away longer if you leave the country than staying in the United States, if you book smart.
The main thing when starting to think about booking a trip is to keep your calendar as flexible as possible. Flights leaving and returning in the middle of the week are usually cheaper than the weekends. Check alternative airports in your area- leaving from LAX is always cheaper for us than leaving from San Diego. Also, book when flights are the cheapest, which is usually Tuesday or Wednesday. Keep your eye on flight websites for a few weeks before you want to purchase; prices go up and down, and you want the cheapest price you can get. Change your departure date by a day or two during these searches as well; a specific flight’s price may have dropped while the same flight leaving the next day is more expensive. Eventually you will have to decide when to take the plunge and make the purchase, but knowing you did your research beforehand goes a long way. And you never know where you might end up!