I guess some might call it passion, others may see it as stubbornness maybe even overkill and I do know that I tend to investigate things I am passionate about to the endth degree, particularly when I am trying to plan or organise something which is really important to me. And there is nothing at the moment more important to me than putting together a trip of a lifetime that will be happening in just over 7 months from now.
When making a big decision in my life or a working through change, I tend to not go directly to the end result but have habitually gone round and round exploring all available options until I am satisfied I have explored them all, then come to a final decision. I think I mainly do this as I love to research but also to make sure I have explored absolutely all options.
My upcoming trip has been like this. Which is probably why I have been a bit absent on this blog for a lot of this year. Our trip began with a cruise to Hawaii and then has expanded, blew out of control, then retracted to what can only be described now as a melting pot of both Bill and my bucket lists combined which incorporates places like Disneyland, San Fransisco, The Grand Canyon, New York City, London, Scotland, Belgium, France & Singapore, away for three luxurious months of holidaying!
I like to add a little fun along the way so am busily planning surprises or a “wow” moment for Bill in each city we visit. He does not know I am doing this and unless he reads every word of this post, he may find this little snippit out but not what each surprise will be, I will be keeping them all to myself and only reveal them as we get to them 🙂
So the countdown is definitely moving along, we have now have 224 days, 32 weeks or 7 months to go (I am not counting much am I).
The last time I flew to Europe was in 1987 as a young 22 year old fresh faced hadn’t even left home youngster. The way I planned it in those days was to visit the local travel agent in my home town for various appointments before finally picking up my ticket and flying British Airways to Heathrow airport and I still remember that ticket cost me $1500 return. I promised myself on that trip that the United States would be next on my list and that I would get back to Europe too one day. I did manage to get to the United States in 2011 which was a most beautiful & memorable trip on the East Side of the US.
Turn the clock to 30 years later you can see why I am so excited to be finally planning another trip back to Europe, its been a long time coming.
Thought I might like to share my favourite tools which are currently helping me decide where to go, where to stay, how to get around etc and have found them invaluable while planning ahead. Travel forums in particular are an absolute must if you want to go straight to the source and ask, someone will always come back with an answer for you and suggest even better options as well.
Not in any particular order, my favourite travel tools are:
Trip Advisor https://www.tripadvisor.com
I use trip advisor for any hotel I find to see how others have viewed them. I know many take these reviews with a grain of salt but for me, if any accommodation has 3 bad reviews then its off my list. Its my go to guide when deciding if to book or not.
These two accommodation booking sites I have found invaluable. I can book ahead and many of their listed properties have a no pay until you stay and free cancellation so you can book and lock in some accommodation while you are waiting for funds to pay (as in my case) or while you are researching other areas and changing your mind/plans until you have your trip dates set. For instance I have only been able to pay for my airfares this week however needed to be securing places in New York, Paris and London back in March and April if I wanted to find anything available at a good price. They also are both very easy to use, itemise all your bookings in date order and let you know if you have more than one booking on each date. So all my bookings are in order and can be on my ipad or phone for easy quick reference.
And the last invaluable resource I have been using is:
The community forums within these internet walls are full of honest, helpful and sometimes blunt travellers who tell it how it is. Whatever you need to know, there is someone on there to help give advice, refer you to where you need to go or just offer friendly tips. I love reading through the forums and usually someone before you has already asked the very question you need to know and if not, ask away and check in the next day for your answers. A lot of my Arizona leg has been planned with the help of people on this site 🙂
I know they say, dont wish your life away, but I have not been this excited about something like this for a very long time and am just wanting it to come now! To finally be travelling out of the country with my hubby of nearly 28 years is just the icing on the cake after bringing up our family! We are treating it as a thankyou to each other and have decided if not now, when?
It was Hans Christian Anderson who said: