My Travel Personality
Being a new blogger I am just starting to get up to speed with the huge community that this corner of the internet brings; I read some amazing travel blogs by other people and some of the recent posts that have really stuck in my head were through the travel linkup started by Adventures of a London Kiwi and others. This post on my travel personality is a bit late to their July link up but I wanted to do it anyway in preparation for the August linkup which is on Travel Contrasts, this should be up by the end of the week all being well.
Fail to prepare and prepare to fail. I like to plan, I love making lists and time managing different aspects of my life; this of course helps with my chosen career but it also means that whenever I book a trip anywhere a huge amount of planning and research will have gone into just booking the flights. In some ways the preparation and research into a destination is almost, not quite but almost as exciting as being on the trip itself.
My first point of call when planning is to buy a reliable guide-book, even though most of the information is readily available online I really like being able to use post-its and flick through the book to looks for key areas I want to visit or must sees and dos. I find this then makes it easier to hone in options for what we want to do and I can create a little post it/map collage. This technique proved key in planning our epic Indonesian adventure two years ago.
Another way I like to plan is to use the stash of travel porn I keep in our spare room. If we are trying to choose between a few different destinations then I like to have a little look through my collection for ideas and normally find this helps with the decision making process. I also find planning with a glass of vino helps massively! Once I have a destination and area chosen then I take to my favourite planning tool of choice, Tripadvisor to flesh out the details. I like to look at all the different options for accomadation, what to do and where to eat and always have a read through the forums to get up to date information.
I don’t always stick to my plans as I still like the chance to be as flexible as possible when travelling so that if needed we can change things around a bit, I learnt this after the Indonesia trip mentioned above. As we travelled during peak time I made sure I had pre-booked all our accommodation so we would have somewhere to stay on each leg of trip, however looking back I wish we hadn’t have booked everything up as we left ourselves no wiggle room when we wanted to stay on the Gili Islands for a few extra days. Yet there was always the risk that if we didn’t book in advance we may not have had anywhere to stay once we reached the south of Lombok.
The Bargain Hunter
Being a teacher means I get an awesome 13 weeks of holiday a year but the downside of this is that I have travel during the most expensive times as I can’t take holiday at any other point throughout the year. In the almost 8 years I have been teaching I have learnt a few tricks on how to maximise the holiday time I have but within a reasonable budget. My post on how to travel during the school holidays goes into detail on these hints and tips so I won’t list them all here but it’s safe to say my bargain hunting continues whilst I am travelling too. I like to make sure I get value for money rather than choosing the cheapest option, this goes from accommodation to activities and tours to food so I will often go for mid-range choices rather than the top luxury option so that if a completely unmissable luxury experience does comes up then have enough in the budget to cover it. This technique has paid off on so many occasions and makes me feel like we get the most out of every place we have been to. In Vegas earlier this year we didn’t eat at any of the top rated restaurants as I was desperate to see Cirque Du Soleil and as a theatre lover I wanted to sit in really good seats which of course came at a bit of a premium but because we knew we wouldn’t be spending an insane amount on our meals we could push the boat out with the show tickets and get really near the front for ‘O’ at the Bellagio.
Not to be confused with ‘thrill-seeker’ as you will most certainly not find me on any rollercoasters or jumping out of a plane anytime soon. I like adventures where I am somewhat in control of what I am doing, this could be scuba diving, horse riding, trekking, white water rafting, quad biking…the list could go on. Scuba diving has of course become a mainstay of our travel plans and we always look to have at least one scuba travel trip a year but this doesn’t mean the adventuring has to stop there, I’ve already done everything in the list above but I really do think my next accomplishment needs to be some kind of height based adventure so maybe I will start with something tamer than throwing myself out of a plane!
I have no shame in admitting that I like to be a tourist when visiting destinations, there is such a huge debate on whether your choice of travel style makes you a traveller or tourist and a bit of a stigma attached to being a tourist. I really don’t have a problem with being the latter. In fact I readily embrace being a tourist, the reason I am visiting somewhere is because more often than not I want to see the major tourist attractions, these places are popular for a reason. Of course I want to embrace some of the aspects of being a traveller such as getting accustomed with local cultures and getting to know people and I like to travel off the beaten path from time to time but at the heart of it my time in any destination is fairly short-lived and I want to see and do as much as I can whilst there.
So there we have it, the main aspects of my travel personality, I of course have many other facets to my travel style for instance my love of prosecco and cocktails! For some reason these always taste better abroad.
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