How we Travel @ Gunters Abroad

I love this themed post for this week's Travel Tuesday which is "Travel Style"

Van and I definitely have a pretty straightforward travel style. We choose destinations based on the history and culture and we always balance our travels with learning and playing. We almost always have to fit in a round of golf whenever we travel and we love to experience the nightlife in different places. And last but not least, we try and eat everything!! Pretty good plan right?

I love planning our travels. I love it when I hit the 'submit' or 'confirm' button and book the trip that we have imagined in our dreams. It is a pretty awesome feeling! But I do have a pretty routine way I go about my planning that I am sharing with you today that may give you some ideas on how to book your next travel adventure!

1. Choose Destination: Price or Preference
Living in England, there are SO many places to chose to fly or drive off to for the weekend! It can be very hard to chose a destination for a long weekend. So we choose destinations either by price or city preference. By this I mean sometimes I literally just do a Skyscanner search to "everywhere" and choose the cheapest flight and build a holiday around the flight! This worked perfectly in Nice :)

But whenever we are choosing a specific city, I still use Skyscanner to search flight pricing for months at a time. I have found that this is my absolute favorite search tool to find the flight I am looking for at the right price!

2. Lodging...how to choose
I am extremely picky about where I lay my head down at night, but I don't want to spend a fortune. I want to have my cake and eat it too! So to get the best hotel or holiday rental for the lowest price, I use a few different search tools. Depending on the country and what currency we will be using, I set a roundabout figure for the lodging expense. My favorite lodging tools to use are Tripadvisor and AirBnb.

When choosing a place to stay, I rely heavily on reviews and look for a few certain key points.

-Location: how far away are we from the city center
-Breakfast: free breakfast is always a nice add on and may entice me to stay
-Cleanliness and Comfort: Do reviewers complain about it being dirty or have an uncomfortable bed? Then you can bet we won't be staying there...no matter the cost
-Atmosphere and charm: We have stayed at some incredible apartments, like these in Bath and Amsterdam. If I can find an older period apartment to rent for the right price, I am on it! Because what's better than visiting a centuries old city while staying in a house built in the 1700s???

My fave lodging spots thus far


3. Itinerary
I am BIG on having an itinerary, not so much for having a schedule but mainly to make sure I have a checklist and all required documents. It is never fun to arrive in another country to realize you have forgotten your check-in details and the person at reception can't find your details and they don't speak very good English! But also because while flying in Europe, you almost always have to print your own boarding passes, so I just make a habit of printing everything and keeping it in a folder. Also, it is always smart to have the addresses, or at least the postcodes, of each destination! We loosely follow our itinerary once we reach our destination, but it always nice to have a general plan.

4. Packing
Packing can be tricky while traveling in Europe. Most airlines require that you pay for checked baggage, which can usually run about 40-50 pounds per round trip (which is about $70-90 USD). Yuck. So if we are going on a short trip, we usually try a backpack it! This can be tricky in the winter time, but once you have a system, you find that it gets easier and easier.


Moral of the story- You don't need 5 outfits for 3 days! Learn to pack light and things will go a lot smoother, plan your outfits and stick with those.

5. Balance
With all of the planning and rushing to the airport and travel stress in general, it can be hard to relax at your destination. My goal is always to take the first day with lots of deep breaths. I don't let problems get to me! It always works out in the end. Also, if you have a strict itinerary, learn to loosen up a bit. Having a general plan can be just as fun....you run into unexpected attractions or pieces of history that you may have not found otherwise.

My advice for travel stress, especially in Europe, find your nearest restaurant or cafe and have them pour you something lovely to take away the stress!!



What are your best travel tips??

Travel Tuesday

23 comments

  1. I use a lot of the same criteria when looking for housing. Finding a place with breakfast included is a big bonus for us so we don't have to worry about that first meal and can just head out for our day. Thanks for linking up!

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  2. You've found some great places to stay - wow! I think my stinginess gets the best of me so we often stay at places are perhaps a little low end. That Liverpool hotel is adorable!

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  3. Cleanliness and privacy are pretty important to me when we travel--it's worth it to me to pay a little extra for that!

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  4. "By this I mean sometimes I literally just do a Skyscanner search to
    "everywhere" and choose the cheapest flight and build a holiday around
    the flight!" - What a great idea!!! I've never thought of doing something like that though I admire those people that just go to the airport and book a surprise flight. I would love to be able to do that :D

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  5. Yes...I love a good breakfast and it is always interesting to see whats on the menu in different countries :)

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  6. I always struggle between price and comfort! But I know if I search hard enough I will find my perfect place :) The places I have pictures of were all under $150 easy!

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  7. Oh yes! I made the mistake of going for a cheaper priced hotel in Nice and I will never do that again!

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  8. Oh you have to try it! I never book something less than a week in advance though...I'm not that adventurous. But searching to "everywhere" might bring up destinations that you never thought about before :)

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  9. I'm with you - I'm super picky about accommodations, probably more than anything. I also love your skyscanner way of planning, I may have to try it!

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  10. I totally do the same thing with Skyscanner when planning vacations! Most of our vacations were taken because the flights were cheap. It's the easiest way to pick a destination in my opinion!

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  11. You should! It works amazingly for us....we've gone to a few places that normally wouldn't have been on the top of our list and really enjoyed them!

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  12. I know right?! Sometimes I find choosing a destination to be overwhelming since there are so many choices here in Europe....so I let my bidget and Skyscanner make the choice for me :)

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  13. Oh man, I had to learn to backpack when I was in the UK as well because I didn't want to pay for checked luggage. I've become quite an expert as it though, so I'm very proud! :D I didn't even know about Skyscanner, and will definitely look into that! And I'm exactly the same, I don't want to overpay but I really want to be comfortable! Such a hard balance to attain sometimes!

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  14. It's such a hard balance isnt it? I sometimes want to give up if I can't find that perfect balance....but yes, look into Skyscanner....it's pretty nifty!

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  15. I have found that it is soooooo much easier to do all of the work before hand and just be prepared. And it is certainly OK to veer off schedule.....but I like to have it just in case! We are actually taking a road trip this weekend and my folder is going to be so thin without ALL of the boarding passes and parking passes, etc!

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  16. I love this! And we pretty much do the exact same thing you do! We pride ourselves on being light travelers and we always check everything on Tripadvisor, then take comments with a grain of salt! Some people expect the moon and the stars everywhere they go!

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  17. Yes, always take the comments with a grain of salt! You can always tell which people are just grumpy about everything!

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  18. Love this! I like to see the way other people go through stages of travel. I am such a fan of Skyscanner and I always use the 'everywhere' option to see where is cheapest. I also hate paying for checked in luggage (can't believe how expensive it is!), so I am forever trying to jam everything in to a backpack!

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  19. I agree that reading reviews is very important when choosing accommodation, somewhere might look good in the photos but if there are reviews complaining about the cleanliness then it a no go!!

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  20. I seriously can't get over how expensive it is!! I cringe whenever I know I have to book baggage and see the price...sometimes it's more than the ticket haha!!

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  21. You are right! I always love seeing "real" photos of the hotels. I never rely on a hotel's own website!

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  22. stopping over from TravelTuesday.


    I do as you do, except I haven't used skyscanner.. I usually check rome2rio.com and find the best option to get to a place, but I'll try skyscanner next time!


    :)

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  23. Discover how to book free flights with TRAVEL HACKING.

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