Don’t Wait – Do it Now
Everyone has a travel philosophy – even if they don’t realise it. It could be “do it as cheap as can be” or perhaps “hop on a plane and figure it out when we get there”. Our travel philosophy probably reflects our stage in life as well as our desire to see a lot of the world while we can. Here are some thoughts that illustrate our attitude and approach to travel.
We have all seen too many people who waited until they retired to start travelling – only to discover that their health didn’t support travel. Or worse… they didn’t live long enough to retire. For many people walking or climbing steps is a challenge, thus greatly limiting sight seeing opportunities. That could be us one day, so let’s do the travelling now while we are healthy!
It’s a big world and we want to see all of it
The best we can do is to “dip”. We simply haven’t got time for full immersion by staying in one place for a week or two. We really want to see as much of the world as we can. Being 50 somethings means we have to keep moving or we’ll grow old before we finish. We can always go back to places that appeal strongly.
Look at the value not at the price.
Let’s face it, the cheapest is never the most comfortable or the most convenient. We can’t afford to waste money on over-the-top luxury but we recognise value when we see it. For example, we sometimes book a private limo for a full day because you can cover a lot more ground on your own than with a bus load.
Research and Plan for every day
Planning to get the best and most out of your trip is half the fun. The world is your oyster and Google is your shuck knife. A travel agent simply cannot create an itinerary as fabulous as the one you do yourself. A great trip needs a bunch of homework. To arrive and then ask the concierge what to see or do means getting about half the experience that you can enjoy by planning ahead.
You’re on vacation – don’t kill yourself
Sure you want to see as much as you can but you don’t want to go home exhausted. Who wants to get up with the birds on holiday so they can pack 12 hours of tripping into a day? We plan for most of our tourist adventures to be between 10am and 4:30pm. With good planning you can get a lot in and still feel like you’ve had a holiday.
Different Cultures are the spice of life
We’re Aussies but we have never been to New Zealand. We also haven’t been to North America yet. Why? The people there are a lot like us. We enjoy discovering different cultures and people. History going back thousands of years easily trumps a few hundred years in the new colonies.
Dine for experience not just nutrition
Sitting in a street café in Europe watching the locals. Bangers and Mash in a London pub. Sushi in a tiny Tokyo bar. Ultra fancy meals in a premium restaurant on a cruise ship. These are experiences that really make a trip. Plan to dine. Finish tourist activity around 4:30pm. Relax, freshen up and head out somewhere interesting to for the evening meal.
Comfortable accommodation is worth having
A decent size room, a comfortable bed and a bathroom that you don’t have to go out the door to turn around is not too much to ask, is it? In Europe such hotels are the exception not the rule. We normally stay in 4 and 5 star and generally favour brand hotels for very good reasons. Find out more under “picking a good hotel”.
Book flights and hotels well in advance
We generally book 10 to 11 months in advance. Every hotel room is booked at the fully cancellable rate. By the time most people book (up to 3 months out), the rate we secured by booking early is cheaper than the “pay in advance, no refunds” rate. And if something happens that we need to delay or cancel our trip, it doesn’t cost a cent.
Always buy Skip the Line tickets
Your vacation time is strictly limited , so why on earth would you spend 2 hours standing in a queue when buy paying a bit extra you can breeze straight in? The kicker is that you generally need to buy fast track tickets online and ahead of time. Hence our travel philosophy is to plan for each day.
Experiences make the trip
Cossack dancing in St Petersburg, exploring Copenhagen on a Segway, learning about tapas in Barcelona, riding an elephant in India, visiting an onsen (public bath) in Osaka… these are memories that will never leave you. Look for unique experiences wherever you go. Try to do or see things that you simply cannot do anywhere else.
Fly Business Class when you can
Sure business class costs more, but what a difference it makes to the trip! It isn’t just nice comfortable seats at the pointy end of the plane, it’s priority check-in, express lanes at security, a nice lounge to await your flight, luggage coming off first, being early in the queue at immigration and much more. And if you do it right it doesn’t cost much extra. See Fly business class – it’s worth it.
If you can relate to our travel philosophy, then you’ll find a lot on this site over time that is of interest to you.