Travel preparations… Half the fun!

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Anyone that knows me just a little bit will know that I love to travel. And for me part of the fun is the planning and preparations for a trip.

Where will we go, which route will we take, where will we sleep, which are the local must-see’s and must-do’s… Can we go on our own? Do we need a guide? What are the admission fees/transportation costs/hotelcosts etc. etc. I can spend hours browsing sites like Trivago or yes, even the airline site!

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  •  First of all you will need to find out where you want to go. That decision for us depends on lots of things; what did we see, what is still on our wishlist or it could be a spontaneous decision (I’m a spur of the moment kind of girl) For inspiration I like to look at various travelblogger I follow, I google a bit on destinations or check various review sites for info on countries and cities.
  • Once we have found the destination the hardest bit follows; when do we go? I am ofcourse a freelancer, so a lot more flexible than Tom is but even I have to take certain busy periods into account or already outstanding assignments. Short trips are easier to plan than longer ones, which require a bit more time and preparations.
  • Because we travel to far away destinations quite a bit one of the first things I do is to check out the site of the GGD (who handles all travel vaccinations here) Most of the vaccinations are valid for many, many years but it’s still always good to be aware of the situation in your chosen country. Is their malaria or not, what other things do we need to take into account. Some injections also need to be done way in advance, so that is why we check early on in the process.
  • Suitcases or backpacks… That will always be one of those ‘things’. Did you find the ultimate suitcase or backpack? When going far we usually have a so called travel backpack. You can carry that on your back but the zipper goes all the way around so it opens like a suitcase. We always try and bring as little as possible, but sometimes you have lame stuff like a mosquitonet you have to bring. Those take up a lot of space. Same goes for sleepingmats and such, which you need if you go camping or go for a jungle hike. I’ve heard of plastic bags that suck themselves vacuum in some way. Have you ever tried that? I’m curious to know if that would work at all. (or would you even be more in danger of overpacking!) Another item which we always bring when traveling with a backpack is an overbag. One of those nylon bags that you put your backpack in. The reason for that is that all those straps and belts on a backpack run the danger of getting stuck in a conveyor belt in the airport. It might get broken or – even worse – somehow come undone. In order to prevent that we have those overbags, which are also waterproof so while traveling make for great raincovers when your bags are strapped on top of a bus or boat during the monsoon.. 😉
  • Rugzakken nog in overtassen bij aankomst in Costa Rica

    Backpacks still in their overbags upon arrival in Costa Rica

    Than there is the moment that you need to find a hotel or other place to stay. I like to use Trivago when I am looking for a hotel for a citytrip or for booking a single hotel when on a roundtrip. The nice part of a site like that is that it takes away the hard work by searching close to 200 various bookingsites for you and giving you the best pricedeals. Type in – for instance = Amsterdam and you’ll see the best deals selected for you and the price you’d pay per room per night. That saves a lot of searching on sites like Expedia or hotels.com or booking.com or whatever you have these days. It makes it easy to find what you need, you can save hotels as favorites and check reviews of all the sites combined.

  • The travelroute – that should have come before finding a hotel ofcourse.. hahaha. Because travelroute you obviously do not know where you’re gonna stay right? I always try and limit the number of travelhours in any given day. You need to have some time to visit nice things along the way. Nothing is more boring than sitting in a car all day and seeing nothing at all… So we don’t do that… Map in hand, lonely planet in the other and go route mapping.. 😉
  • If you go by car it is easy; you get in the car in the morning and start driving and you’re on holiday. When you’re flying you need a bit more preparation. We like to use the long parking option when going away for short trips. That is comparatively cheap. You can park at SkyPark for 30 euro for the day and 45 euro for the entire week. So the longer you stay the cheaper it becomes. You park your car and a van brings you over to the airport. Keep into account that you need some extra time with taking the car away so calculate a bit of extra time for that.
  • If we have to fly on a very inconvenient time we sometimes book a hotel in the area of Schiphol. And with inconvenient I don’t mean very early but for instance when you have to be at the airport at rush hour 7.30 am or so. That is a nightmare with traffic and that makes me nervous. And that is not what we want. Not a good way to start the holiday! So I book a room at for instance the Ibis budget hotel (check here) That is very cheap (around 36 euro) and you know at least that you do not have to worry about the traffic in the morning. I really like that… Saves me a lot of headache!

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  • Books and magazines! I’m a Lonely Planet fan so any destination we visit I want to have a lonely planet. It’s also a kind of souvenir at the same time… Haha… I think it is the best travelguide out there, although there are a couple of really good ones now out too but I remain faithful to LP. Maybe also because I am used to it by now. For the rest I read just about anything and everything I can about our chosen destination.

And than finally the moment comes that you wait, you wait and wait some more until you go! Our next upcoming trip is to Sumatra! I can’t wait for that to arrive but until than I will enjoy myself with the preparations!

What is your next travel destination?

En route in Madagascar

En route in Madagascar

 

En soms vind je bijzondere dingen in je hotelkamer.. ;)

And sometimes you find interesting scenes in your hotelroom (lizard catching a cockroach).. 😉

Disclaimer: This post has been enabled by Trivago. All opinions expressed are my own

Simone van den Berg

Food- and travelblogger from the Netherlands. Loves good food. Loves to taste good food the world over. She also loves to share travelstories, delicious recipes and ok, cat pictures too. She sometimes feels the need to get really healthy for a while, always mingled with periods of insanely delicious sweets and other decadent treats. Lives together with Tom and their two cats; Humphrey and Buffy. Profession: Food photographer

4 comments

  1. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the planning too! Even a weekend festival demands I prepare for weeks before hand 🙂
    I backpacked for 4 years in my 20’s, loooong before the internet happened. It must be so much easier now.
    Janie x

  2. We do our travels by bike and I always love to look at http://www.cyclingeurope.com or europafietsers.nl to look if there are any nice routes we can maken in the time we have.

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