I have been seeing tons of posts on Facebook groups of people asking the same questions over and over again and it seems some people don’t have a clue from where to start when starting to plan a trip. I have decided to collect the most common questions and tried to give some answers with the best resources on the web that are currently available. Obviously this is not an exhaustive guide and I would be happy to receive more suggestions if you know of any other websites relevant to this topic.
1. What is the best or cheapest way to get to … ?
It is pointless asking this question to individuals, as it all depends on the dates you wish to travel. Flight schedules change from time and what was valid a month ago may no longer be valid today. The same goes with prices, a flight might be cheaper via point A today, but may become cheaper via point B in a couple of days. There are several ways to check flights and my top 3 are Skyscanner, Momondo and Kiwi.
✓ Very user friendly and conveniently shows results on a map
☓ May not always be the cheapest option
Tip: If undecided on where to go put ‘Anywhere’ in the ‘To:’ field and let the magic begin! This my favourite website for starting to plan a trip, I hope it becomes yours as well 🙂
2. Finding the best accommodation
When booking a flight your next step is finding accommodation. Usually I search for accommodation before booking for the flights as I need to know how much will be the total cost of the trip. You need to find accommodation that is worth your money, clean and in a good location. If with your money you can afford something that is nice than it is even better. I usually set a budget for a trip since I travel very often. However on the flights there is usually no way you can save money as the fares are decided by the airlines. On the other hand with regards to accommodation there are a lot of options. The threshold I usually try not to exceed is the amount of Eur 60/70 per night in Europe. In some destinations, like Switzerland, this may be a little difficult so I usually spend less nights in an expensive location and compensate for the extra amount spent in another cheaper destination. Here are my favourite websites for booking accommodation:
✓ Usually best price on the web for hotels
☓ Other types of accommodation are not very popular yet
Tip: Make sure to tick all the correct boxes on the left side to find the perfect accommodation and check on the map whether the location is good
✓ A site that is ideal for larger groups who still want to stay together
☓ Holiday homes are self-catering, so if you’re used to breakfasts and someone doing your bed and cleaning this may not be your ideal option
Tip: Read reviews well and contact the owner to ask for any extra fees that may not be listed
✓ The best option for those who want to live the life with locals
☓ Some destinations may not be present and choice of accommodation may be limited
Tip: Once again read reviews and contact the owner beforehand. You may be sharing the home with the home owner in some cases.
3. What to do
This is my favourite part of planning a trip. I give a quick look to the things to do before booking my accommodation so that I can decide better the amount of nights to spend in a specific place. When it comes to plan things to do I am very meticulous, usually with walking directions and exact timings. I do this to take the best photos possible, but if you are not a photographer you do not need to go in such detail. Here are some of the sites I use to see the top attractions in a place.
PS. Cheeky passports Travel Blog (below) is the travel blog of another Maltese couple who I tend to follow a lot! I love reading their stories and if you love to travel you will surely want to follow their adventures. Don’t forget to check out my blog section with all the guides of the destinations I have been to.
✓ The most popular site for travel reviews
☓ Top attractions may not be to your likings and may not be the best places to visit since ranking is based on people’s reviews.
Tip: Keep scrolling down away from the most popular attractions as the less popular places to visit may be down in the list
✓ Very user-friendly site that makes up an itinerary for you and gives you detailed instructions of how to get from a place to another
☓ Works only for the most popular cities, less visited places are not yet present on this website
Tip: Use this website for the city part of your trip. Not very good for finding stops on a scenic route.
✓ First hand experience who someone who has been there with detailed descriptions and for some of the most remote destinations blogs are your only online resource
☓ Finding travel blogs relevant to your destinations may be tricky
Tip: Don’t get discouraged when you read about the mishaps of other travel bloggers, we tend to write everything on our blogs to provide our readers with the most truthful accounts 🙂
Next up will be another blog post with a more detailed guide to planning a trip for the most demanding travellers.