Monday, 30 March 2015

Why plan your summer now? What can you do at this stage?

My article, also featured in the Warwick University paper 'The Boar'.

Example of my tripline route for this summer.
Why? PRICES! If you book this early ahead flights are significantly cheaper. This year I managed to bag a return to Rio De Janerio for only £515! If I had left it to the last minute I was looking at £900 and upwards. Flights are definitely cheaper booked far in advance, so planning now allows you to save those hard-earned pennies. Not only flights, if you are on the e-mail subscription for hostelworld or hostelbookers, they often have great sales this time of year, allowing me to save 60% on my first 3 nights accommodation in Rio.

What can you do right now? Plan! Grab the nearest Lonely planet and hit up those travel blogs and get researching. Again, this can help you to save money as research in advance will allow you to find out the cheapest ways of getting from A to B. Not only that, it allows you to see how long you can have in each place. I always write down the main places I want to go and use to plan my route. I then pencil in rough dates and the minimum time I could spend in each place to work out how many ‘spare’ days I have. ‘Spare’ days are useful for when you fall in love with a city and aren’t ready to depart just yet, these let you know how long you have to spend there before you really must leave. Planning your route in advance also gives you a rough idea of budget. In Lonely Planet there are often bus length times and a rough estimated of prices. This year, for example, to go through South America I have worked out my bus and train fair will come to around £400. Assuming roughly £10 a night for a hostel too, I have worked out how much I need to approximately save which means I know how many hours on average I should be working a week.

If you a travelling independently, or want to add more people to your existing group, planning in advance may also be of benefit as you can connect with other travellers to the same destination. Planning in advance is also particularly useful if you are going in peak season to avoid disappointment from a lack of hostel space such as during the Full Moon Party in Thailand or Carnival in Rio. This may also give you time to find a contact on to hook you up for the duration of the stay and giving you a chance to get to know them beforehand.

So there we have it – plenty of reason you should plan ahead, and what you can do now to enjoy your summer to the max and on the cheapest of budgets!

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