Friday 12 May 2017

How I Planned a Two-Week Trip in Months.

A lot of my friends probably think I am loaded to be able to afford a 16-day European adventure, thrice. Not everyone knew however that it took me months of endless meticulous planning, researching, and saving to be able to make that happen. It all began in April last year when I was in the middle of planning a DIY backpacking adventure to Laos. I am one biggest fan of The Beatles (next to my father). It’s always been my dream to go to London to see and cross Abbey Road. On that same month, I ditched (or more of like postponed because I’m going there (hopefully) sometime next year) the DIY backpacking plan to Laos and started planning and saving for Europe instead. I will never ever regret that decision.

I checked airfares on a daily basis and was lucky to bag a ticket from Singapore to Athens and London to Singapore for $1,047.00 via Qatar Airways. From there, I started to make travel plans and plot an itinerary. Planning was crucial when preparing for any journey, but I’ve already decided on which places I wanted to see earlier so it went on pretty well. Basically, I just needed to look for cheap tickets for flights and trains within Europe. I spent $645.00 for the tickets but still think that was a pretty good price since I went to a few countries. The toughest part was looking for a place to stay at considering that I was traveling alone. Even though cost of the hotel didn't bother me that much, but rather the location and distance from the city centre, train stations, and the airport, I am not proud to say that I’ve actually spent $1,460.00 for hotel and airbnb accommodations (average of $91.25 per night). On top of that, I also paid  $90.00 for travel insurance, $90.00 for Schengen Visa Application and $161.00 for the UK Visa Application. I didn’t stop setting aside a little money from my monthly paycheck and put it into my travel fund account though even after paying for the essential stuff. I’ve got some of the attraction and tourist card tickets pre-booked too to avoid the crowd and waiting in lines. To make sure I will be packing the right clothes, I constantly checked the weather and printed out my personal travel packing list and ticked every item on it, to ensure that I’ve got everything I needed on hand - from medicines to flashlights, extra memory cards, travel adapter and even a book and my ipod to kill time for when train and flight ride get boring.

I don’t consider myself as a museum type of person. I prefer to spend most of my time wandering around to take photos and admire the beautiful architecture of buildings and landscapes. I like the city life but I also see myself spending some time in a countryside, perhaps that was the reason why in every place that I’ve gone to, I opted to spend at least a day away from the city. And I loved it - I loved every moment I spent sitting at a cafe while watching local people going about their daily lives. I loved every moment I spent sitting on the bus or on the train watching the beautiful scenery. If it was my normal daily life I would have looked at my phone to kill time. It was one of the rarest moments when I actually put my phone down and just enjoyed the view.

I will be sharing a lot of information about the entire trip soon - tips, advice, itinerary, and more!

Ciao for now!

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