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Facing my Fears: Afraid to Travel

Have you ever been travelling and when it has come time to move on you can’t or don’t want to? I am facing my fears on that at the moment.

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We are strong believers that slow travel is the best way to see the world. We don’t like rushing through every city and country gathering stamps in our passport.

That’s why we choose to work abroad while on our adventures. It allows us to travel for longer. It is why we lived in Jasper National Park for a year before choosing our European base in Edinburgh.

Edinburgh Castle Braveheart Scotland

Our original idea was to stay a few months in different places to experience a part of the globe before skipping off to the next destination.

That was two years ago.

Before I knew it our temporary destination has become our home away from home.  The driver on my bus to work knows my name. I recognize people in my local supermarket.

And now that we are facing the possibility of leaving I find myself scared. I am too attached to leave, but don’t really want to stay.

I am afraid to travel.

How did this happen to us? When did we forget our travel purpose of being temporary residents in a city?

In hindsight I made a few mistakes.

I found a really good group of friends. I am in a job I really enjoy and could easily see myself here in five years time. I have even scoped out a local coffee shop with a gorgeous chocolate cake on the menu.

Cake Edinburgh, Love Crumbs
Cake Edinburgh, Love Crumbs
Cake Edinburgh, Love Crumbs
Cake Edinburgh, Love Crumbs

In essence I have made myself a life here. And now I feel like I am going to be leaving home for the second time.

But as I sit here writing this post, I can see our motivation in the background. A giant map of the world. And I am reminded that Edinburgh is a very small part of that world. There are so many places I still want to see.

World Map

And moving isn’t all that bad.

Moving to a new place is exciting. Exploring new neighborhoods, eating at new restaurants and finding secret views for the first time.

It can be so easy to lose sight of your travel goals. That is why travelling as a couple is so great. We can remind each other of our purpose.

Cole is great at cheering me up when I start to get sad about leaving. But all it takes is a small reference to a city on my bucket list dream list and I am dreaming of the future in a new destination…

Three Valleys Sunset

This might become our next temporary home.

So as I finish this article I am happier than when I started writing. I cannot call myself a traveller if I am not facing my fears and I am reminded that the world really is our oyster. We have so many great adventures ahead of us to experience.

While it will be hard, it will be worth it.

All we have to do is take the leap.

This is a post from a series called Facing my Fears. It helps us to step outside our comfort zone, in comfort. Check out the rest of the series here.

Tell us about how you Face your Fears when moving to a new destination in the comments.

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69 Comments

69 Comments

  1. Annette | Bucket List Journey

    October 15, 2012 at 3:59 PM

    It would be hard to leave a place once you feel happily comfortable, especially hard to leave that cake! But, you are right, there is a whole big world out there to see 🙂

    • Cole Burmester

      October 15, 2012 at 4:49 PM

      Thanks Annette! We are taking the steps to make sure we get out there and see it all 😉 But you are right, that cake is delicious haha.

  2. Karen @ Trans-Americas Journey

    October 15, 2012 at 5:29 PM

    As fellow slow travelers we completely understand that comfortable feeling of having a temporary home on the road–and the reluctance to leave it! We’ve begun house sitting (which we love–post on that going up this week) and we’re currently back in Nicaragua at a friend’s house enjoying the comforts of home (doing laundry! cooking food!), at least for now. It will be hard to move on again, but exciting as well–especially with batteries fully charged by a period of non-travel. Can’t wait to hear where you guys are off to next!

    • Cole Burmester

      October 15, 2012 at 8:48 PM

      We keep looking at house sitting for our next option. Applied for a couple of them but then when it has come around to finalising the details we haven’t been able to make it. Next time for sure.

  3. Victoria

    October 15, 2012 at 5:53 PM

    I can relate to this. It’s hard when you find somewhere you love, but I guess you can always go back if you want to. I think it’s also important to not feel too much pressure to see it all. Staying for longer than you thought in somewhere you love isn’t always a bad thing. It’s a tricky balance sometimes. On another note, your next temporary home looks colder than Edinburgh! Do you brave the jandals in such cold climates?!

    • Cole Burmester

      October 15, 2012 at 8:49 PM

      Haha we can’t go back because of the visa situation actually!

      We love the snow 😉 But might have to leave the jandals in storage while we are there.

  4. Laurence

    October 15, 2012 at 8:51 PM

    It sounds like you have a great life up in Edinburgh – but you’re right – the world is such an amazing place and there is so much out there to see! Change is always going to be a scary thing, however many times we do it – but I think you’e on the right path 😀

    • Cole Burmester

      October 16, 2012 at 9:39 AM

      Maybe we need to find someone that has a small campsite or something to relax on for a few weeks…

  5. Vera

    October 15, 2012 at 9:20 PM

    Adela -I left Rotorua although they had THE BEST chocolate brownies EVER on the weekly night market, and so can you;)!! …I’ve had a few places that I didn’t feel like leaving, because I didn’t have the feeling I was ‘over with it’ yet (and then I just got stuck there until I got more excited about leaving than I was happy with staying). I think that it is actually pretty awesome that you have had such good experiences with making friends, loving work, being greeted by the bus driver – and finding THAT chocolate cake! Locating good chocolate cake is never a mistake, it’s a talent, and you shall take it with you, to your next destination, so don’t be afraid;)!

    • Cole Burmester

      October 16, 2012 at 9:12 PM

      Thanks Vera, you are right I do look back on my time here with really fond memories which is great. And you are so right about not leaving a place and getting stuck there! And I have high hopes for finding a new coffee joint 🙂

  6. Lesley Peterson

    October 15, 2012 at 10:50 PM

    Does traveling mean never going back or retracing one’s steps? Is a place the same place once moved forward in time? I really enjoy revisiting places, again and again, for new art shows and architecture, to see what has changed and what hasn’t, just to enjoy what pleased me before: the food, the weather, a favorite painting. I get around pangs of travel regret by consciously saying ‘next time’. And surprisingly there nearly always is a ‘next time’ even if I don’t plan for it. Happens more often than not, even if it takes years. Love Scotland, it’s definitely on my short list for a revisit.

  7. Andy

    October 16, 2012 at 12:03 AM

    The old notion of the hardest step is the first one was never more true. It is extremely difficult to move sometimes especially if we have been stationary for a while. The longer you get to moving, the easier it becomes. Thanks for the cool post! Keep traveling and living the dream!

    • Cole Burmester

      October 16, 2012 at 9:14 PM

      Thanks Andy, I am hoping after I make the choice to move the actual move will be easy! As you said I have to keep living the dream!

  8. Jenna

    October 16, 2012 at 1:52 PM

    It’s tough to leave a good thing, no doubt! Though sometimes it helps to remind yourself that things rarely stay the same. The friends you have could leave, the job could change its home base, and the coffee shop could turn into a nail salon 🙂 I don’t mean to say you should expect the worst, but rather appreciate the moment without attachment, as Buddhists say. You have the rest of your life to move back if you choose!

    • Cole Burmester

      October 16, 2012 at 9:16 PM

      I so know what you mean Jenna, in fact a few of my friends are moving on not long after we are planning to leave – so that is a comfort! Thanks for the comment!

  9. Raymond @ Man On The Lam

    October 16, 2012 at 4:54 PM

    Just remember that great big wide world that’s out there waiting for you and I think you’re gonna do just fine. 🙂

    • Cole Burmester

      October 16, 2012 at 9:21 PM

      Thanks Raymond – I try to keep reminding myself of that! Or at least Cole is there to remind me 🙂

  10. Trudy

    October 16, 2012 at 8:01 PM

    Good luck with your next move – where are you off to next? We are leaving Holland in December after over a year and I’ve got mixed feelings. I’m totally ready to go but it takes this amount of time to really know a place and we have such good friends here. It’s hard also if you have a job you love cause that’s always something that’s hard to find. I’m glad you love Edinburgh though, I think it might be on my future home list!

    • Cole Burmester

      October 16, 2012 at 9:26 PM

      You should definitely put Edinburgh on your “to live in” list Trudy, its a great city 🙂 We have a few options in mind for our next destination; France, Berlin or maybe even Spain. Holland will be great though – good luck with the move I am sure you will do great 🙂

  11. Juliann

    October 17, 2012 at 2:44 PM

    I love moving to new places. Until I met my husband, I moved every year or so. But he likes being near family, and I’ve come to value that more and more, too. Now we just take move vacations to quench my wanderlust. But if he ever says, “Let’s move,” I’ll have our bags packed and ready to go within minutes.

    • Cole Burmester

      October 17, 2012 at 7:19 PM

      We do miss our families a lot! But luckily with Skype and cheaper travel we do get to see them lots to keep our homesickness away 🙂

  12. Pete

    October 19, 2012 at 4:33 PM

    I think we all have the same feelings at times, but for they immediately disappear once I step foot on that plane, train or whatever and know that I’m going somewhere else. It’s the challenge that I strive for. Staying put for too long and having a routine is what scares me. Best of luck and hopefully our paths will meet up sooner or later 🙂

    • Cole Burmester

      October 28, 2012 at 11:46 AM

      The act of travelling is definitely a great motivator to keep on moving. We have just become too relaxed with our slow travel way of life. Need a good kick up the a$$ to get going again!

  13. Cathy Sweeney

    October 19, 2012 at 8:01 PM

    I always get a little sad whenever I leave a place — whether I’ve been there a short time or a long time. But I get excited as soon as I think about the adventure ahead! However, that chocolate cake does look like it might be just enough reason to stay in Edinburgh. Happy travels!

    • Cole Burmester

      October 28, 2012 at 11:46 AM

      I think on our last day in Edinburgh we will be visiting the cake shop 😉 We have too many other places to visit to get tied down for too long, that’s for sure!

  14. Laurel

    October 19, 2012 at 8:22 PM

    I like having a base too and exploring from there. Looking forward to seeing where you next adventure takes you.

    • Cole Burmester

      October 28, 2012 at 11:47 AM

      It is a bit scary that we still haven’t organised where our next adventure will be. Hopefully in the next 2 weeks we will have it confirmed!

  15. Mikeachim

    October 20, 2012 at 1:31 PM

    I love travel…except when I’m about to do it. There’s something in me that digs its heels in and has a Little Madam (Little Mister?) hissy-fit. Confuses me no end, because once I’m off, I almost always love it, partly because I have no choice by that point, but partly because of the excitement you mention…

    I’ve concluded it’s not travel that I’m afraid of, it’s uncertainty, and the more predictability I have in my life, the more difficult I find it to handle leaps into the dark. When I’m ready to move, my mind is coming up with all sorts of excuses as to why I need more time. I haven’t got x done. I haven’t taken advantage of the local delights of y. I haven’t properly said goodbye to z. But what I’m really fighting, I think, is my mind having grown accustomed to predictable routine. It’s not the place – it’s the certainty of being here tomorrow, and the day after, etc.

    Wherever we stop, we are surrounded by routines. People making grooves in the world by doing similar things day in, day out. This is how societies survive and the world would fall over if people didn’t set down habitual roots like this (travelers being freakish in this respect. If everyone decided to hit the road, governments would collapse overnight. Discuss). And it’s not about “good” or “bad”, it’s how almost all of the world works. And partly because of that, and partly because of thousands of years of cultural conditioning, we settle into routines so very easy, and we grow comfortable with predictability.

    (Disclaimer: I may be talking out my ass, you’ve met me, you know what I’m like – but also, I’m reading a very good book called “Uncertainty”, by Jonathan Fields. Much food for thought on this topic).

    Here’s a really interesting read on travel and stability – where the author is making a case for constant movement being as difficult to get out of as constantly staying in one place: http://www.ribbonfarm.com/2011/07/31/on-being-an-illegible-person/

    • Cole Burmester

      October 28, 2012 at 11:51 AM

      Brilliant points Mike. You should probably start writing or something as I think you have a great way with words…

      Totally nailed it though and it is amazing the comfort we all get out of having a set routine. Whether it is being able to visit your local coffee shop every morning or knowing that the Formula 1 is on at 2pm on a Sunday, it just works. I guess that is why we love travelling so much. We love to step outside our comfort zones, but I think humans can only handle so much unpredictability for so long. It is why everyone suffers from some sort of “travel burn out” after a while.

  16. James Shannon

    October 20, 2012 at 10:49 PM

    Sweet ski photo near the end of the post … where’s it located?

    No worries guys, I’m sure you’ll find aspects of your new destination that will hook you just as you found those things about Edinburgh that appealed to you…

    Facebook is a wonderful thing … you and your new friends will make plans to link up again, somewhere in the world, before you even realize it! 🙂

    • Cole Burmester

      October 28, 2012 at 11:56 AM

      The photo is from the 3 Valleys ski resort in France. Epic area and about 20 times larger than Marmot! No joke.

      Cheers for the reassurances too 😉

  17. D.J. - The World of Deej

    October 21, 2012 at 4:05 PM

    This is definitely one of my biggest concerns with venturing out long term. I’m afraid that every place I’d land would start to become home. But you’re right…they’re just small pieces of a big world that needs exploring…

    • Cole Burmester

      October 28, 2012 at 11:57 AM

      Nowhere will be exactly like home, but when you get into a routine it is really hard to break it! I guess that is why so many people don’t find the time to travel ever in their lives!

  18. Stephen Schreck

    October 22, 2012 at 4:02 AM

    I have moments like that, usually about a month before I am due to leave until my first day traveling. Once I land in a place I have never been all those feeling are replaced by the amazing feeling you can only get while traveling. That being said I challenge anyone not to spend a long time in Edinburgh and not want to leave.

    • Cole Burmester

      October 28, 2012 at 12:00 PM

      Definitely agree Stephen! Once we step onto the plane on our way to a new destination all our fears evaporate and the sense of adventure returns. Pity we all like routines so much.

  19. Peter Lee

    October 22, 2012 at 1:30 PM

    I think it is really difficult to move from your comfort zone to a another place. But it all depends on you, if you like changes than it would be the best thing you can do yourself. Moving to a new place is great way to meet new people, experience their culture and explore new places.

  20. flip

    October 23, 2012 at 4:56 AM

    moving to a new destination is exciting for me as I’m motivated in seeing new things and trying new stuff… but after being on the road for quite some time now (18 months).. i’m thinking of staying put in just one place for a few months to rest and just to chill and do nothing 🙂 thanks for sharing your insight on this topic…

    • Cole Burmester

      October 31, 2012 at 9:21 AM

      We all need a little bit of routine in our lives every now and then. It is amazing how quickly the itch to travel comes on though after just a few days or weeks in one spot!

  21. Pola (@jettingaround)

    October 23, 2012 at 10:19 AM

    I can understand getting comfortable in a place and attached to friends, favorite hangouts, the daily routine. I hope that your fears soon give way to the excitement of exploration you describe. Best of luck and enjoy!

    • Cole Burmester

      October 31, 2012 at 9:22 AM

      We are getting excited about moving on now that we have a plan… all will be revealed soon! 🙂

  22. Angela

    October 23, 2012 at 11:47 AM

    I understand your fear of traveling and leaving the places you love, I have it too sometimes, but the fear of not traveling is bigger 😉 Probably the most painful time for me was when I left China, I’m almost afraid to go back because I don’t want to feel the pain of leaving all over again!

    • Cole Burmester

      October 31, 2012 at 9:23 AM

      Totally agree that the fear of NOT travelling scares us more. Not sure what we would do with ourselves if someone ever told us we could never travel again!

  23. Lijiang

    October 25, 2012 at 8:23 AM

    I also love to travel from one place to another places, that is so exciting. Always imagine about next destination. I like relaxing pace, not to rush.

  24. The Time-Crunched Traveler (Ellen)

    October 25, 2012 at 1:32 PM

    I understand your mixed emotions. Traveling the world is great … but it’s also good to have a home, to see friends regularly, and to have a job you enjoy (though this can be on the road, too!). We recently moved from the U.S. to China for at least a year. There were mixed emotions as we had to give up a lot and bid farewell to a lot in order to come here, but we’re very glad we did. And I’m sure in a year or two when it’s time to move back home, we’ll face similar emotions about moving back! Good luck with your decision, guys!

    • Cole Burmester

      October 31, 2012 at 9:38 AM

      Thanks Ellen for your support! It is always hard to say goodbye, but so exciting to go to new places. But as long as we keep reminding ourselves of that, then we will be fine 🙂

  25. Ali

    October 25, 2012 at 9:02 PM

    No matter how exciting change can be, it’s usually scary too. I like the comforts of home too, but I know I *need* that change. You keep in touch with friends and make new ones, and suddenly you have friends all over the world even if you can’t see them often. Good luck with the next step!

    • Cole Burmester

      October 31, 2012 at 9:42 AM

      Cheers Ali. It is definitely the excitement of meeting new people, eating new foods, and trying new adventures that keeps us going after 3 years on the road!

  26. Mary @ Green Global Travel

    October 26, 2012 at 6:41 PM

    I can relate to your fears. As an adult, I’ve never lived outside of the Atlanta area. For now, Bret and I both function best when we have a stable home base with friends, family, and our dog Huckleberry. Unfortunately, having a permanent home base has it’s drawbacks as well- more expensive to live, more expensive flights, less time to explore a new place. Good for you for facing your fears and moving on to the next phase in your travel life. Best of luck!

    • Cole Burmester

      October 31, 2012 at 9:45 AM

      I never knew you had a dog called Huckleberry! Cute 🙂 We do like having a base, and that is part of the reason we have enjoyed living in Edinburgh so much. We can pack up for the weekend and in 2 hours be in another country with different cultures, food and adventures. Makes life very simple. But we do need another challenge now I think 😉

  27. Michael @ Changes In Longitude

    October 29, 2012 at 2:01 AM

    We’ve had similar feelings on our RTW, but the excitement and anticipation of seeing a new place outweighs the thought of staying put, at least so far.I guess in the end you just have to do what feels right to you. I think travel is turning us into unstoppable nomads.

    Cheers,

    Michael

    • Cole Burmester

      October 31, 2012 at 10:36 AM

      Totally agree with you there Michael! You will reach a point one day where you will feel burnt out. That is when you realise you need to slow down. It happens to everyone, no matter how many years you travel for 😉

  28. CreditDonkey

    October 29, 2012 at 9:59 AM

    Hi Cole and Adela,

    Every travel blog I read fuels my desire for travel. Fear is in there too, and I have yet to take my first step but once I do, I also plan to take it slow like you do and savor the experience.

    Best of luck in your new adventure!

    • Cole Burmester

      October 31, 2012 at 10:37 AM

      Thanks Theresa! Once you take that first step, all you will want to do is start running and never stopping 🙂

  29. Abby

    October 31, 2012 at 5:47 AM

    It is never a mistake to make great friends!! I love moving and thrive on that excitement. But I have now stayed put for two years myself. It is amazing. It was a fear I needed to get over, and I can’t believe how much I’ve learned about myself during this time period. It’s strange where life can take us!

    • Cole Burmester

      October 31, 2012 at 10:48 AM

      But you are still getting the crazy adventures in Vegas so that is alright 😉

  30. Steve

    November 3, 2012 at 5:33 AM

    It’s really hard to leave the place which you have fallen in love with. You’ll miss the place, people, cuisine and culture. This makes us afraid to travel and try something new. Just be brave enough and think that something better is coming!

    • Cole Burmester

      November 3, 2012 at 4:48 PM

      Everywhere that we go we seem to fall in love with. We just hope our next move will be just as good 😉

  31. Kieu ~ GQ trippin

    November 3, 2012 at 4:23 PM

    Yum.. CHOCOLATE CAKE! You know.. I think I suffer from the opposite – fear of staying put. The last year, all we’ve known is travel and being on the constant move. I always admire those who can stay in one place and truly absorb it all in but am afraid that I’ll want leave the moment things get comfy. Let’s trade places and conquer our little fear together, shall we? 🙂

    • Cole Burmester

      November 3, 2012 at 7:36 PM

      Sounds like a grand idea Kieu 😉 Would be great to finally meet you guys somewhere!

  32. Maddy @ I'm Not Home

    November 4, 2012 at 2:25 PM

    I am in Asia atm and those pictures of chocolate cake are just too much!

    I know what you mean – it’s hard to leave somewhere you’re so attached to, especially as you know you’ll probably never live there again. At least if you stay in Europe you know you can pop over for a visit! I’m thinking of making a base for myself next year so it’s good for me to hear the perspective of someone who has done it. Good luck with the move!

    • Cole Burmester

      November 4, 2012 at 6:03 PM

      Sounds like we might be swapping places as we want to hit up Asia at the end of next year 😉 Need to swap some ideas etc

  33. Reena @ Wanderplex

    November 12, 2012 at 11:35 PM

    I think it’s really natural to crave familiarity and a sense of routine which is probably why you’re so afraid of moving on. But I think you can get that “familiarity” on the road too – you just have to travel more slowly. I find after I’m in a place for a couple of days, I start to feel more “at home”. You’ll be fine!

  34. Victor Tribunsky

    November 13, 2012 at 1:16 PM

    There are some sities in Europe where I know I could live, but I know there are some places that will be more interesting. So – constant search! 🙂

  35. Alexandra

    December 11, 2012 at 5:40 PM

    I’m nearing 20 months on the road with the longest in one spot my boyfriends home of Germany. It’s funny I never really feel at home here I actually feel more homesick when I have a base that isn’t my home. Maybe I’m crazy but I’m happier when I am on the move! Less than a month to go before another crazy 6 months of RTW travel and at least 13 new countries to visit!

    • Cole Burmester

      December 12, 2012 at 1:37 AM

      Totally agree with you Alexandra! When we are travelling I often find we are too busy to think about home because we are having so many adventures! But as soon as we slow down and stop for a bit, that is when we get home sick.

  36. Teresa

    January 18, 2013 at 12:03 PM

    I completely understand how you feel. I have been back home for a couple of years and am planning to head off again in the next few months. I did it before so I know I can do it again – rent out my house and go – but… I didn’t expect to be dragging my heels (which is what I am doing). It is important to remind yourself of your goals and the reason why you are living this type of life.

    • Cole Burmester

      January 19, 2013 at 9:33 AM

      Well said Teresa! There is a much bigger picture that we sometimes forget to look at when we start staying for too long in one place. Not that staying in one place is bad necessarily, but to achieve all our dreams and see the world we really need to move around 🙂

  37. Mingma @ green lotus trekking

    August 29, 2014 at 8:05 PM

    I like your information which is very useful for me. Thanks.

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Travel Tips

Cheap Flights:  When To Get The Best Deal

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Whether you fly once a year or are regularly jetting off on your holiday, you always want to be getting the best prices for your flights. If you’re looking at your next break and wondering when the best time to book flights is, then you may be in luck, as online travel agents Opodo have just released their annual findings. So not only can you find cheap flights, hotels and car hire with www.opodo.co.uk, you can also make a more informed decision as to when to click that ‘booking’ button. So if you’re hoping to get the best deals on the best holiday, check out the key times when buying your tickets will get you ultimate in cost-saving travel value.

Getting the timings right

It used to be that in order to get the best flight prices possible, you’d either book well in advance, or take advantage of those last minute deals that were all the rage. However, if you’re still using that strategy, you may be spending more money that you should be. According to the research findings by Opodo, the optimal time for getting the best deals is by buying your tickets six weeks in advance. There’s a six to seven week window, where flight prices are consistently lower than at any other time, so if you’re hoping to pay less for you travel, that’s the best time to aim for.

What if you miss that window?

It’s very easy to miss that six-week mark, but if that’s happened then don’t worry too much, as there are still options available to you that will still get you a better chance of getting those low-cost tickets. As well as the advanced booking, you can also take advantage of the slight dip that occurs in the two-week window before take-off. That window between 8 and 14 days before travel is definitely the best time to buy if you’ve missed the 6-7 week dip in prices, so don’t put it off in the hopes of grabbing those last minute deals in the week before. Those last-minute offerings are not the deal that they used to be.

Even your choice of day helps

You’re sat at the computer, and you’re ready to book your flights. You’re in the right week and you’re all set up for the best deal, but before you make your flight decisions, it might be worth checking what day of the week you’re on. That’s right, buying your tickets on a Monday is a big blunder, with cheaper prices for the same flight available if you buy on a different day. Depending on your flight type, you may find that booking your flights on a Sunday, Tuesday, or Wednesday will get you a much more satisfying price, and make it more likely that you’ll have a little extra spending money while on your travels.

With a little bit of knowledge and a minor amount of planning, you could find that the possible savings can be quite substantial. If you want to get the best prices for the cheapest prices, then check out the handy infographic, and make sure that you’re buying your tickets at the times when prices are proven to be the lowest.

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Travel Tips

The Perils Of “Cheap” Holidays (And What To Do Instead)

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When it comes to travelling the world, there is one potential downside that stymies even the most determined of travel plans: the cost. Travelling is undoubtedly a very expensive hobby, which means if your wanderlust is biting and you can’t wait to travel the world, the idea of a cheap holiday is incredibly inviting.

However, cheap holidays are rarely a good idea— in fact, they can be incredibly problematic, and can cause you untold stress. If you’re currently being tempted by a cheap and cheerful vacation, then there are a few things you might want to bear in mind…

The perils of “cheap”

Why is cheap so damaging? Well, it tends to mean that every aspect of the holiday has been chosen not for how beneficial it is to the customer, but to how cheaply it can be obtained for the provider.

This means that you could find yourself at a hotel with malfunctioning electronics, bed linens so uncomfortable you can barely sleep, and just a generally poor level of service.

Cheap flights could mean that you are a victim of overbooking, or that the flight will be landing a huge distance away from the city it claims to be landing at.

Finally, cheap deals — such as sightseeing tours — will often be cut short, poor value, and even fail to deliver on what you have been promised.

Taking all of the above into consideration, does that mean that trying to book anything related to a holiday means that you have to pay over the odds just to ensure your safety and security? Not quite…

There’s a difference between “cheap” and “low cost”

Low cost, on the other hand, means that the hotel or deal is being provided with the budget traveller in mind. Yes, the provider wants to keep the costs down, but that’s not the only factor in the decision making. While holidays with low costs providers and hotels won’t be a byword for luxury, they shouldn’t be unpleasant or outright dangerous.

So, the key question: how can you differentiate between “cheap” and “low cost”?

The signs of a “cheap” deal

Learning how to spot the difference between “cheap” and “low cost” is incredibly important.

Signs of a cheap hotel  

  • Very few reviews of the hotel on the website
  • Limited number of photos on the site— or worse yet, the only photos on the site appear to be stock images. You can use a reverse image search to see if this is the case for a hotel you’re considering.
  • Little to no social media presence
  • The website doesn’t use a secure protocol

Signs of cheap deals:

  • Vagueness when discussing travel arrangements or requirements; information is never clearly presented.
  • The deal keeps dropping in price, with often only a few days in between the price drops.
  • There is no set itinerary for what you should expect

Signs of cheap flights  

  • Cheap flights will usually be just that— cheap. They are otherwise indistinguishable any other flight.
  • If you spot a particularly cheap deal, you need to do your research. Don’t take the destination city as read. Let’s say, for example, that you’re planning on flying to Rome. This is the destination that the flight is going to, so you might be happy to make the booking. However, a little research will reveal that Rome has two airports; one of which is convenient, the other of which is nearly an hour from the city itself. You will likely find that a cheap flight provider will be flying to the distant airport, while low cost will be flying to the main airport.
  • So always check out the airport that the flight is travelling to, rather than just the city, if you want to be cautious of cheap flights.

So what are the other options?

You want to travel, but your budget is compromised. The only types of deals that you can find within your price range appear to be alarmingly “cheap”, and you’ve decided not to take the risk… but you still want to travel. What are your options? Here are a few suggestions you may want to consider…

Change your destination  

While travelling is often about exploring foreign lands and delighting in other cultures, you can have a wonderful time in your home country if you’re on a budget. Pick an area that you have never visited before and that you know relatively little about, then visit using public transport and your own knowledge of securing good deals in your home country. It might not be the far-flung foreign travel you dream of, but it should be enough to keep your wanderlust under control until you can afford your next big trip.

Lean on your reward points 

If you’re a frequent traveller, then chances are you have amassed a few reward points or frequent flyer miles. If you can add some funds to your reward points, then you might be surprised by just how fantastic a holiday you’ll be able to afford. As inspiration, consider how Alex Miller from Upgraded Points was able to cover the cost of an incredible trip with relatively little financial investment— the rest was covered by his reward points. This is a great choice if you have some money to spend, but not enough money to spend on an entire holiday— use your reward points to make up the difference and secure yourself a great deal.

Wait

Yes, it’s the option that no traveller truly wants to consider; if you want to travel, then the idea of waiting for a trip can feel extremely stifling. However, it’s better for your financial situation and your own well-being to opt to stay home rather than take a risk with a cheap deal. As you wait, you can keep scouring the internet looking for low cost, rather than cheap, deals that might fit into your available budget.

In conclusion 

So while you may be desperate to travel, it’s important to be careful. Hopefully, one of the alternatives above may help to settle your wanderlust… for awhile, at least!

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Travel Tips

How to Spend a Weekend In a New City

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So, you’ve either planned a mini-break or else you’re stopping over in a nearby city to see the sights while you can. Either way, two days in a city you’ve never visited before may not seem like much, but you can definitely tread some serious ground while you’re there. Whether you’re the outdoorsy type or you prefer perusing art galleries, it’s important to soak up as much culture as you can from the experience, so you don’t feel like you’ve missed out. With this in mind, here are five tips to help you make the most of your weekend in a new city.

Dine In the Best Restaurants

Before you land in your city of choice, do some online research to determine the best restaurants in the area and make some reservations. You can check out the Top 10 lists on Trip Advisor and read customer reviews to find the top picks. If money is an issue, you might want to avoid the pricier options, but you should aim to try as much as you can of the local cuisine especially if it’s food you wouldn’t normally eat.

Take a Historical Tour

If you’re visiting a big city like London or New York, there’s bound to be plenty of history to fill the gaps in your knowledge. Most touristic places offer guided tours of or bus-top tours that show the local highlights, so book yourself on one of these and try to see as much as you can while you’re there. You can also visit local monuments, museums, and landmarks where you can take some great photos of your trip.

Book an Escape Room

If you’re looking for that extra bit of excitement to get your adrenaline pumping, an RVA Escape Room could the perfect way to while away an afternoon. These crop up in most major cities and they’re increasing in popularity all the time. Whether you’re traveling alone or with a partner, you can call upon your inner sleuth to solve clues, crack codes and work on puzzles to break out of the “locked” room.

Stay Somewhere Unusual

Whether you’re a full-time traveller or a summer vacationer, chances are you’ve stayed in your fair share of hotels. Why not switch it up and try something different, such as a Botel (hotel on a boat) in Amsterdam or an undersea lodge in Florida. Staying somewhere new and exciting will give your weekend trip an edge and make it even more memorable.

Fight the Jet Lag

A weekend in a new city often isn’t long enough for you to explore properly, but for this time at least it’s all you have. Therefore, you don’t want to spend the whole period jet-lagged and not be able to enjoy it. If possible, avoid jet lag by selecting a flight that lands early evening, and try to stay up until at least 10pm to keep your body clock on your side. You should also avoid alcohol and caffeine on the plane and drink plenty of water when you arrive. Take short naps if you must, but don’t let jet lag overshadow your experience!

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Meet Cole and Adela

Cole and AdelaWe have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...

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