It’s funny how returning from a big trip leaves me feeling energized and excited to plan for the future. I’d think I would feel tired, content and satisfied that I had ticked off of one of my travel goals When I got back from Japan all I could think about was my next trip! I have spent the past couple of weeks defining some goals for the blog and my future in travel. I don’t want to come here and portray myself as an expert when I have so much to learn. This trip cost much more than I would like and there were some clear mistakes that I plan to remedy before the next go round. I want this to be the type of place where we can learn together to make our trips affordable, enriching and memorable. So let’s get to the planning.
I have a travel bucket list that I have been working on for the past two or three years. Some of the places I have dreamed of going my entire life and others have just recently come to my attention. I am hoping to check off at least a few of these top 10.
- New Zealand
- The islands in Thailand
- Montreal Canada
- The Caribbean specifically Curaçao and the Bahamas
Domestically I’d like to visit at least one or two of these:
- New York City
- Portland Oregon
- Santa Fe New Mexico
- Nashville Tennessee
Transportation and Luggage
On our trip to Europe in 2014 we visited Ireland, England, France and then back to Ireland. We spent hours shuttling to suburban airports, getting through security checks, and then repeating the process at our destination. We all agreed that we want to simplify the process and save time to actually spend in the countries we choose. My answer for that in our Japan trip was to purchase a Japan Rail pass and take trains from place to place. It felt like a great idea at the time but I spent a lot of the trip cursing and wrestling my luggage. It turns out the train stations can be just as difficult navigate as airports. They just present different obstacles. Many had huge flights of steps which made my rolling bag a challenge to maneuver. I also had a lot of stress. In spite of the first class reservations, I was continually checking arrangements and making sure we were where we needed to be. Over the next couple of months I plan to work out solutions to these problems. I’m going to look into different styles of luggage that might be helpful and devise a plan for traveling from place to place that is less stressful.
The Affordability Factor
Yikes! When I look at what I spent for our trip to Japan I realize that we have progressively been increasing our expenditures over each vacation. I need to stop this and get my costs in hand. While this is not a blog about luxury or budget travel, in order to be able to continue the good times, I need to reduce costs. I plan to look at some of the different ways that other travel bloggers recommend and see if they are actually doable.
I’m going to investigate frequent flyer miles and rewards programs and see if I can work the system to save us on transportation costs. I’m also going to look into housesitting as an alternative to hotels and Airbnb’s. I think it will be a fun experiment to see if these frequently recommended travel hacks work for the average person. We’ve all read about the travel experts who have literally millions of frequent flyer miles and spend $10-$20 a day when they reach their location. I’m excited to look into each of these area in depth and share what my findings. Next vacation we’ll implement these plans. I hope you will stick around and see how we do!