Hostels? Hotels? B&Bs? Our travels will include just about everything!
As many of you know, I'm a bit of an obsessive travel planner. Part of it is just who I am, and part of it is because planning is how I get the most enjoyment from my trips. I might only have a few days in a destination, but I can have several months of enjoying it. I love planning in advance, reading about a city's unique history, enjoying novels set there, and then have more fun playing with photos when we return.
With my list-y tendencies in full swing, I've already started looking at accommodations for our round the world trip that's scheduled to start in November. It's a short trip -under a month - and I want to make sure we enjoy every day of it. And, frankly, I want to get great value!
We've already accomplished that on our flights, as we cashed in our points and strategically staggered flights to minimize taxes and airport fees. And now I want to get the best possible value from inns, bed and breakfasts, hostels, hotels and more. And the more I look into this, the more I realize that there is more to accommodations than just the sticker price.
Even a budget traveller can use a splurge now and then!
I focus a lot on value travel and that often translates into budget travel. But my intention is really to focus on getting the best possible value for money, and sometimes that translates into well placed splurges. These are a few examples of when I spent much more than my average budget, but it was worth every penny.
For every travel success, there's a failure.
As 2013 gets into full swing, and we start looking forward to new trips - both big and small – I've been taking some time to reflect on what worked well for us when it came to travel finances in 2012.
Several key things worked really well for us. We were able to use our American National Parks pass to the absolute max, and we employed it several times when we visited Hawaii in February. The card not only paid for itself several times over in the 12 months we had it, but it also encouraged us to visit locations we normally would not go to and to take full advantage of park services, including special lectures and nature walks.
Driving Maui's South Shore is not for the faint of heart or weak of stomach.... Here's how to plan a Hana Highway roadtrip - and explore beyond.
The road to Hana, in East Maui, is frequently described as one of the most beautiful drives in the world. We joined this familiar tourist trail when we visited Maui in 2012 and were not disappointed. While it's common for guidebooks to suggest the best stops, scenic vistas, and waterfalls along the way, they leave out many other practical tips. My suggestions your Hana Highway roadtrip will therefore not focus on which kilometer markers to stop at on route but rather on how you can have a more economical, relaxed, value packed day.
How we maximized our status miles to book the world's cheapest round-the-world flights. (Updated 2022!)
My husband and I are about to undertake an incredible journey. We've cashed in every frequent flyer point we've ever had and spent 80,000 points each to purchase tickets to Australia. Except we don't really have tickets JUST to Australia - we have tickets around the world. And while we spent 80,000 points, we really got 200,000 plus points worth of tickets. Confused? So were we - at first.
Every pet needs a packing list!
In my last post, I gave 7 tips for traveling with your dog. I have put together a packing list for road tripping with your pooch.
Every passionate traveler needs a packing list -both human and canine!
Here's what we always pack for our pets - and sometimes I think we put more effort in making sure their suitcase is in order before our own! Such is the life of a pampered pooch!
Travel safely with your dog
Of all the trips I've taken, some of my absolute favourites have been road trips with my beloved Chester, a now 9 year old black lab mix that my husband and I adopted nearly 5 years ago from our local Humane Society. Chester has come a long way in his travel skills over the years. His first car ride with us - was a reluctant affair, as we had to hoist his rump into the car as we left the shelter! Within 48 hours, however, he was a pro and will now come running at the slightest hint of a ride. We've taken Chester along for over a dozen camping trips, long haul rides to Northern Ontario, and a couple of week-long tours throughout the Canadian Maritimes. Just like travelling with kids, travelling with a dog is a constant learning process. Here's some of the knowledge we've gained along the way!
Traveling to Maui on a budget? Here's how to have an amazing first day.
It’s no secret that Hawaii is a favourite destination of mine and I've been thinking back fondly about our recent trip to Maui, in February 2012. I wish we were going back sooner as opposed to later! Getting to Maui is no small feat – it required about 20 hours of travel: Arriving a few hours early at the airport, two 6 hour flights, a 4 hour break in between, an hour plus drive when landed. But despite travel fatigue and general jet leg, I think we did a great job of managing our first 24 hours in Maui.
We arrived in Lahaina just as the sun was setting. While it was only 7pm or so there, we felt like it was 3am our time! We found our lovely rental apartment easily and took a few minutes to check it out. A previous guest had left behind some local coffee and we brewed it up to get us going.
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