HOW TO PLAN A TRIP
Welcome back to LIFE HAPPENS #LM STYLE!
Worldwide home restrictions and lockdowns have meant travel-loving wanderers have had to re-evaluate the months ahead in 2020. I don’t know about you, but if you are anything like us at LM Style, even though we haven’t been able to travel (or have had to cancel upcoming travel), that hasn’t stopped us thinking about where we would like to go when the world opens its doors again! And with an upcoming milestone birthday to celebrate in 2021 (eeek, we’re turning the big 5-0!!), what better way to celebrate than by fulfilling a dream and ticking off a bucket list adventure!
A post Covid-19 world has given all of us an appreciation of, not only the people in our lives, but the time we spend outdoors experiencing the world. Of course, while we should all expect certain changes to our future travel habits (think airport check-in and boarding procedures, temperature checks and hand sanitiser to name a few), whether your ultimate bucket list includes driving Route 66, scaling Mount Everest or simply lazing by the Mediterranean Sea (swim, drink, eat and repeat!), now is a great time to start thinking about that adventure!
Ever since studying Art History in school, we have harboured a love of architecture and art. And top of both of our Ultimate Bucket List Adventures is the mecca of all ancient architecture and art - Egypt!! The lure of ancient Egypt has enthralled each of us for as long as we can remember. What better way to celebrate our milestone birthday’s than by experiencing Egyptian pyramids, tombs and temples? Time to start dreaming, planning and making this happen!
That is the question! Female tours? Group tours? Private tour? And cruising the Nile – a must! But how ... By traditional felucca? Cruise boat? Luxury small group charter? You get the picture, there’s so many decisions to make when starting to plan a trip! The answer? Research, my friends!
Research is king when it comes to planning that once in a lifetime adventure. And possibly your budget too!! (But more on budgeting next time…) At LM Style, we love the thrill of the plan!! We’re very much do-it-yourselfers when it comes to planning (we prefer not to use agents) so we research like a boss!
But where to start?.......
Ask a friend. Is there someone in your circle of friends that may have been where you are headed? Why yes, there is! A fellow adventurer took her family (including a young daughter) to Egypt some years ago and can offer some insights.
Hot Travel Tip!!
Kid alert! To us, the pyramids are an amazing feat of engineering from an ancient culture. To the young? Well, don’t you just love the contradiction of the lure of modern technology over interest in an ancient pile of rocks? (Pictured below: Jen is more interested in listening to an ipod than looking at the pyramids!)
The Egyptians are a warm, friendly people who adore children and we’re told that our little friend was uber-spoilt by the charming locals wherever she went. Egypt is a great destination for the young and not-as-young!
Do-it-yourself, research like a boss!
Don’t know any friends that have been to Egypt? Or (like us) you just love to research for yourself? Head straight to one of the best research tools that won’t disappoint - YouTube!
Travel Vloggers are in abundance on the video sharing site and you’ll find that, wherever your destination lies, a vlogger is sure to have been! Watching various video accounts of travel to your intended destination will give you a great feel for what to expect and what type of travel you may want to plan. Now onto some of the nitty gritty of the trip …
A travel holiday starts with an airline ticket to your bucket list destination. Air flights are one of the leading expenses when considering a trip and can be quite intimidating when searching for the best deal. Research confirms that travel in low or shoulder seasons will nab you the best value for your flight dollars so it’s important to know when to travel. If you don’t have that kind of flexibility with your travel dates, sites like Skyscanner and Hopper can be used to predict when to buy and when to wait. We often find great prices for flights through sites such as I Know The Pilot and Trip.com but always cross-check directly with the airline too - booking flights directly could mean you have more flexibility if your plans change. Don’t forget to book your travel insurance as soon as you have finalised your flights. Even if you have insurance included through your credit card, it’s best to check exactly what you are covered for when you travel. Check out the rates that Fastcover can provide, its quick and easy to get an instant quote online!
One of the most exciting parts of planning a trip is starting to make reservations! One of the best ways to keep track of all your bookings is to get a planning app - and one of the best we’ve found is Tripit. We just love the way Tripit can automatically collect and collate all our travel bookings and information in the one place for flights, travel, accommodation and tours. Your entire itinerary is listed chronologically with all the booking reservation numbers you need at the tip of your fingers! How cool is that? (Yes, we are detail oriented and just a little OCD when it comes to being organised!). Want to know the best part? It’s completely free! Check it out for yourself and make your planning easy.
When it comes to accommodation, good information is the key! We like to stay in central locations, where possible, so that we can easily get out and about and walk the streets and Tripadvisor is always a great place to start. It offers a dedicated travel community contributing a wide range of reviews and the ability to compare accommodation prices from various sites at a glance. For accommodation bookings, our favorite sites are booking.com and trip.com for ‘book now, pay later’ options (although often you will find better deals and pay less for non-refundable options if you can), and Airbnb for accommodation options suited to longer stays or for bigger groups. And just as with flight deals, don’t forget to check directly with hotels and chains for deals that aren’t offered through third party websites!
A Hot (Tasty) Tip!
We love to choose Hilton Doubletree when we travel because of their chocolate cookies (and their great value room rates!!). Ask the staff at the front desk whenever you’re heading out and grab a freshly baked cookie to go. So yum! Or have a go at baking you own fresh batch! Get the Cookie recipe.
* Visit a City
* Rome 2 Rio
Although most cities lend themselves to being explored by foot, it’s always great to be close to public transport for those longer journeys, harder to reach attractions or if you have small children. And don’t forget the trip to and from the airport with all your luggage! Look to apps such as Rome 2 Rio and Youtube for info on getting around and between your destinations. Major cities around the world have great infrastructure in place so that you don’t have to worry about taxi’s if that not your thing. Whist taxi rides are sometimes unavoidable (on a recent trip to Vancouver in 2019, Maz was dismayed to hear Uber would not be operating in BC until 2020!) or you just don’t like riding in a taxi (Lol hates them – who knows why?) we prefer to use human-powered transport – our feet!!
(One Last) Hot Tip:
Don’t forget, sometimes it’s the things that go awry that give you the best travel story! You can plan and be prepared when you travel, but allow space to get lost wandering the streets, ask for help, people watch in the park, or to meet someone that becomes a friend for life. You never know what (or who!) you may find!
What are your favorite travel apps? Tune in next time for an update on our Egyptian progress planning!
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