Wednesday, August 04, 2021

How do I plan my trips?

 

I often get asked how Rouven and I have been travelling around Europe: especially how we plan our trips and find the best spots and restaurants. 

So I decided it is time to share the step-by step of this process with you.

But first, it is important to clarify that this is very personal. There is no right or wrong and that's just the way we think it works best for us. Some steps also reflects the way we are doing right now with the pandemic. You may adjust it. 

1. Search for tickets to places you dream of visiting

We are always open to considering different destinations, so we start browsing for at least 3 different countries/ cities. 

We search most of our tickets on Skyscanner and buy from the websites they recommend. Most of these online travel agencies have bad reviews (in fact, it's always better to buy on the airline's official website, as you can reach them more easily if your flight has any delays, lost luggage, etc.), but for those flights within Europe – we never had any problems. 

We live 3 hours by train from Milan and flights from there are often cheaper than in Zurich. If there is a big price difference, we buy the flight from Milan. (This tip is interesting for those who live in Switzerland: I pay a monthly ticket 7/25 for 39 CHF, which allows me to travel all over the country for free from 7pm onwards. Since we got back from our trip at the end of the day, I don't need to pay transportation back home). *This ticket is valid if you are 25 years old or younger

2. Inform yourself about the restrictions of each country

With the pandemic, there are new rules to be followed. Before buying tickets, we have to make sure we are able to visit that country. If tourists entrance is now allowed, if a PCR test or just a vaccination certificate is needed and which forms must be filled out. Be aware of all this! They even specify how many hours the COVID test must be taken and, in almost all countries, they ask you to fill in a form (24-48h before the flight). If you have not filled out and generated a QR code, you won't be able to check in nor board the flight.

3. Search for nice spots/ style references

To get inspired, I create Pinterest folders with the tourist attractions, local food, and even the style of clothing people wear in that area.

To find the best places, I also type in the location and look for photos on Instagram. This way, I know the best angle and time for photos and visits. I also read many blogs to choose where to stay - either downtown or in popular neighbourhoods.

4. Check the weather forecast

So I will be prepared and wearing proper clothes. *Yes, it seems too obvious right?! But I've lost count of how many umbrellas I've bought or how much I sweat on a trip for not checking the weather forecast. 

5. Book the hotel

At big chain hotels, like Ibis, we usually book online because it's the same price/or even cheaper and we already know what it's like. At Airbnbs, we like to schedule and visit the room beforehand, so we can get the best cost/benefit deals. 

6. Pack efficiently

I style outfits with pieces that coordinate with each other and that I can wear in many different ways. I take pictures of the looks and put them in a folder. So, I don't take too many things or clothes that I won't know how to wear/style it. I carry a bag that matches the style of all the looks I will be wearing on the trip. In that case, I use the airport carry on as my everyday bag.

x Brenda Marie

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