My guide to boss travel: Step 6 – Your trip, your way

Edi Portobello Beach

Portobello Beach, Edinburgh. Yes, Edinburgh.

Relax.

Are you relaxed?

Good.

 

First, I’m going to lay down some truth. You’re not going to have fun 100% of the time.

Sometimes you’re going to be bored. Sometimes you’re going to be tired. Sometimes you’re going to have a headache. Sometimes you’re going to have a hangover. Sometimes things will go wrong. Sometimes you might disagree or argue with your travel mates. Sometimes, no matter how carefully you’ve picked good restaurants and cafes, you’re going to end up ‘hangry’ and eating at a fast food chain.

You might even have a bit of a meltdown. Mine were related to my anxiety issues and tended to be closely tied to the magnitude of what we were doing: how long I was planning the trip, how much it cost, how much I’d been looking forward to it, and whether I thought I’d ever make it back to that place again.

I don’t have them anymore since we’ve shifted our lives to England, and one reason was to make short, breezy trips much easier to take. But you’d better believe I had the mother of all meltdowns about 10 days after we moved here from Canada. ‘What did we just do?!?’

If you struggle to relax while travelling, I’ve got a few tips for that too.

My list of absolutions

  • It’s ok if you don’t like or want to taste that country’s must-try food or drink.
  • It’s ok to go off the beaten track. That’s how we once ended up at a chill pub overlooking Portobello Beach on a sunny day in Edinburgh instead of joining the crowds walking up the Royal Mile.
  • It’s ok to sleep in if you want.
  • It’s ok if you don’t see everything. Our first time in Paris coincided with a city-wide museum and gallery workers’ strike. It was a blessing in disguise – the weather was great, we wandered the streets, explored the parks and cathedrals and felt way less pressure.
  • It’s ok to set foot in McDonald’s. They have toilets, wifi, coffee and bottled water. I won’t notice if you end up getting a Big Mac too.
  • It’s ok to ride a hop-on-hop-off bus. I can’t think of an easier way to cover a lot of territory in a short time, get tons of interesting facts and find out which neighborhoods seem the coolest. They are great in huge cities. Not really necessary in smaller, more compact ones, obviously.

So worth it

  • Hire a professional tour guide, especially if you have a special interest.
  • Take the tours on offer at museums, galleries and cathedrals.
  • Take taxis.
  • Take public transit.
  • Ask for a quiet room.
  • If you’re heading straight to your hotel to store your luggage ahead of check-in, ask nicely if you can check in early. Might be possible on a slower day.
  • Ask locals for restaurant recommendations.
  • Duck into stores for toiletries and groceries – make your errands fascinating.
  • See what’s around that corner and get a little lost.
  • Use your hotel’s concierge if it has one, or
  • Ask the front desk for help with general stuff or quick recommendations.

It’s all about the timing

  • Find out when restaurants are actually serving food. Many places close their kitchens, if not shut down and lock up, between lunch and dinner.
  • Relatedly, do some research on what time most people eat dinner in that part of the world. It might be later than you’re used to in North America.
  • In Spain and Italy, many businesses observe siesta or riposo. Not much, if anything, will be open during that time in smaller towns. Best to stay poolside or take a nap yourself. It’s hot out.
  • Find out when attractions aren’t as busy – usually first thing in the morning or right before they close.

And that’s it! Be safe and have a wonderful holiday.

Previous posts in this series
My guide to boss travel: Introduction
My guide to boss travel: Step 1 – Deciding where to go, and when
My guide to boss travel: Step 2 – Who’s joining you?
My guide to boss travel: Step 3 – Time to dream
My guide to boss travel: Step 4 – Sorting out the boring stuff
My guide to boss travel: Step 5 – In transit

#myguidetobosstravel

 

My guide to boss travel: Step 5 – In transit

Flying

Flying over the Alps

Finally! The big day has arrived! 

  • Give yourself lots of time to get to – and be at – the airport. Most of the time you won’t need it, but there will be that one time that you’ll be glad you did. That chunk of hurry up and wait, do-nothing time is why books and airport shops exist.
  • Cutting it close is a great way to create drama and possibly even ruin your trip before it’s begun. 
  • Take advantage of online check-in.
  • When checking in online, find out if you need to print anything out. Some airlines flying within Europe have fiddly rules, like RyanAir and Jet2, and require travellers with NON-EU ID to have your PRINTED boarding pass stamped after an airline staff member inspects your travel documents and passport. It’s confusing and the rules keep changing, best to just confirm with a member of that airline’s staff when you first arrive at the airport, even if you’ve checked in online in advance. Don’t find out the hard way at the gate right before you board that you should have done that. They will not let you on the flight and you will be shit out of luck. I’ve read forum threads, people.
  • Remember to make sure liquids either comply with carry-on standards or are safely stowed in your checked bag before you go through security.
  • Relax when you’re going through security. Wear unfussy shoes or boots in case you have to take them off, and don’t pin your hair up with a metal clip – that is an easy thing for everyone to overlook, including security, and will slow you down. Ask me how I know.
  • Even if you’re flying within Europe you’ll probably have to go through passport control after security. Always best to assume that it’s necessary and make time for it.
  • Bring a pen on your flight and fill out the landing card handed to you by a flight attendant (when necessary) while you’re in the air. It will give you something to do for a few minutes. Have the address of where you will be staying handy, as well as your passport number. You can google images of landing cards for the country you’re visiting so you can see what information they’ll be asking for. Completing it ahead of time means you can breeze past all the dummies who didn’t bother when it comes time to queue for passport control.
  • And if ever this travel nugget was ever more worth mentioning – never pass a toilet without using it, especially if you’re part of the tiny bladder club like me.
  • Bring a travel scarf – with airlines cutting down on perks like pillows and blankets, a large, thin scarf can serve as either.
  • Those donut-shaped pillows are cumbersome, but they do work. I had the best airport nap of my life using an inflatable one – sat down at an empty gate, put my feet up on my suitcase, and the donut pillow kept my head from lolling.
  • This awesome post just showed up in my world this week : 10 Things I Do To Survive Airplane Travel. I have a feeling that Joy and I would get along well on a flight. We’d exchange pleasantries and then just get down to the business of ignoring each other unless one of us needed to get out of our row.
  • Before you’re all jet-lagged and bleary, figure out how you’re going to get into town from the airport. It might be as simple as getting into a taxi and telling the driver the address (write it down if that’s easier), but consider finding out the best way locals use, whether it’s a rail line or bus combined with un peu voyage à pied. If you’re heading somewhere remote, ask your contact person for specific driving directions.

 

Previous posts in this series
My guide to boss travel: Introduction
My guide to boss travel: Step 1 – Deciding where to go, and when
My guide to boss travel: Step 2 – Who’s joining you?
My guide to boss travel: Step 3 – Time to dream
My guide to boss travel: Step 4 – Sorting out the boring stuff

Upcoming posts in this series – published on Fridays 
My guide to boss travel: Step 6 – Your trip, your way

#myguidetobosstravel

My guide to boss travel: Step 4 – Sorting out the boring stuff

Leela

She saw the suitcases emerge from the cupboard. She knows.

Sorry, this one might be a bit of a slog, but these are the details that can keep you up at night if you don’t take care of them.

Packing and luggage

  • Any hotel worth its salt will store your luggage before you check in, and after you check out. No need to picture yourself dragging your suitcase around your first day’s walkabout. Airbnb hosts will have also anticipated this question and will have good recommendations or solutions too.
  • As I mentioned in Step 1, British and European cities usually have some sort of luggage storage, so research options for your specific cities. London’s King Cross has a Left Baggage service right near their silly but fun photo-op, Platform 9¾. Amsterdam Centraal has luggage lockers. And sometimes the best solution can also be a bit unexpected: Ned Kelly’s in Dublin is a 24-hour sports club and casino that also cheerfully handles bag storage for reasonable prices. It’s right next to a popular O’Connell Street stop for coaches going to and from Dublin Airport.
  • Check the climate and weather overview before you pack. Layers are always the answer in Europe. Pack something cooler than you think you’ll need, as well as something warmer. Something waterproof for misty, drizzly days. And a swimsuit, just in case you come across a beach, pool, hot springs or spa. Remember you can always buy something if you need it.
  • Consider travelling light with a carry-on suitcase. It can be done. And you’ll thank me when you’re sprinting through an airport someday.
  • Rehearse what you’re going to pack. Try it all on, choose stuff that doesn’t wrinkle. Ladies, jersey material is your friend. There are many resources online for packing tips, techniques and wardrobe planning. How to wear all of your holiday suitcase is a recent fave.
  • Dig into the specific etiquette of your destination. For example, you need to be garbed respectfully in religious buildings like the Vatican. More specifics, especially outside of Europe, in this fab post: How to Dress for Conservative Countries: Modest Clothing Essentials.
  • Find out the baggage guidelines for each flight you are taking. Your trans-Atlantic flight will probably be more lenient than your wee hop between European countries, so keep that in mind when deciding whether to fly or take trains within Europe. No point bringing a huge bag overseas only to have a low-cost European airline charge you a tidy sum to check it.
  • If you aren’t checking any luggage for your flights, remember to look into all your airline and airport rules for carry-on bag dimensions, maximum volumes for liquids and the size of the clear ziploc bag they need to be kept in.

Money

  • Xe.com for currency conversions.
  • Euro (EUR) €: This one should be straightforward, but isn’t. Most EU countries, including the Republic of Ireland, use the Euro. However not all of them do, and some countries that aren’t in the EU do use it. Have a look at this detailed map from 2016 but it’s probably not a bad idea to check each country you’re visiting to confirm.
  • British Pound Sterling (GBP) £: in the UK, including Scotland. Here’s where it gets a bit confusing. Scottish banks print their own notes of GBP, but it is still the same currency. I haven’t had any problems using them here in The North (of England), but I’ve heard anecdotes of English establishments further south that don’t recognise them or try to not accept them. So when Robert the Bruce shows up on your £20 note, keep this in mind:

  • Have a 4-digit pin for your bank card. If yours somehow still has six digits, you’ll have to update your pin.
  • Find out if you need to advise your bank and credit card company that you’re travelling, and be prepared to give them specific dates and cities.
  • Rather than stuffing your wallet with a dangerous wad of euros and pounds before you leave, consider getting a modest amount of cash for the first few days and then using ATMs and credit cards as needed. Or, if overseas ATM and credit card fees have you spooked, at very least consider what one of my friends calls a ‘geek wallet’ for safely storing the bulk of it, or taking advantage of your hotel room’s safe.

Safety

  • Don’t spend the whole time worrying about pickpockets and thieves, but at the same time, keep alert and aware of your surroundings. When I worked in a downtown Toronto office near one of the most touristy bits, I was gobsmacked every time I went out for lunch by how casually visitors treated their money and property. People with fancy DSLR cameras slung over their shoulders. Men with fat wallets stuck in their back pockets, women with open handbags nearly dragging on the ground, wallets in full sight. Almost lost my mind at a Starbucks once while watching someone pay for a latte from a dripping bundle of bills, loose in a trouser pocket. All good ways to become a target.
  • I’ve only been approached once in Paris by someone operating the ‘Ring Scam’ and I simply ignored him and walked away, but Rick Steves has rounded up the most common Tourist Scams and Rip-Offs.
  • Please use your best judgement, keep your wits about you, and don’t give into fear and panic.

Power

  • We have used this particular travel adapter set by Kikkerland for years, but you can get good ones virtually anywhere.
  • Probably best to purchase them in your own country though, as one of my Canadian visitors wasn’t able to find a North America-Europe adapter in the UK. There were all sorts for UK-North America, UK-Europe, and North America-UK, but he had to wait until he arrived in France to get what he needed.
  • And I found this out right before a trip to Dublin – although the Republic of Ireland is in the EU and uses the Euro, their plug type is the same as the UK.
  • Plug, socket & voltage by country

Health

  • See if your workplace benefits include emergency medical coverage abroad, or consider buying short term travel medical insurance.
  • If you have severe food allergies, do what a friend of mine did – he had his list of food allergies translated and printed onto a card that he then had laminated, and simply handed it to everyone he ordered food from.
  • I memorize ‘I can’t eat eggs’ in the language of where I’m going. Ik kan geen eieren eten. Je ne peux pas manger d’oeufs. Non posso mangiare le uova. Nem tudok tojást enni. Ich kann keine eier essen. Jag kan inte äta ägg.

Admin (see? I told you this was boring)

  • Create a folder in your email for everything to do with your trip: hotel reservations, museum tickets, train tickets, boarding passes.
  • Find out when you can check in to your flights, and whether you need to print out boarding passes or if it’s enough to have an electronic version on your phone.
  • Having trouble determining the correct international dialling code prefix? Visit Country Calling Codes and simply choose your ‘from’ and ‘to’ countries from the dropdown menus and click submit. I’ve got this one bookmarked for emergencies.
  • Make a packing checklist. Sounds dumb, but make sure you have your wallet, passport, keys and phone, and anything else unique and difficult to replace – glasses, contact lenses, custom mouthguard, medical prescriptions…
  • Make a photocopy of your passport and pack it in a different bag from the one containing your actual passport.
  • Tripit.com is a great website and app for keeping track of your entire itinerary. Might seem a bit tedious at first, but it’s worth it to have everything available at a glance. And maybe this is just me, but I get a frisson of delight when I see my finalized itinerary come to life.
  • Make note of whether or not the hotel(s) you’ve booked include breakfast in their price. With a multi-city tour it can be easy to forget.
  • Find out if your overseas flights include meals or not.
  • Buy tickets to museums and galleries in advance – sail past the lineup of people buying tickets for a boost of smug satisfaction. And for next-level brilliance, find and ‘star’ restaurants a few blocks away from sites so you’re not stuck in the overpriced onsite cafeteria or tourist traps mere metres from the exit.
  • Think of buying tickets for popular day trip tours in advance as well.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch

  • Arrange for housesitters or kennel time for your furry friends.
  • Put some of your lights on timers if nobody will be home.
  • Can a neighbor or friend grab your mail, water your plants, take out your recycling bin?
  • Clear your fridge, cupboards and bins of anything that might go off, and consequently begin to smell terrible, before you leave.

 

Previous posts in this series
My guide to boss travel: Introduction
My guide to boss travel: Step 1 – Deciding where to go, and when
My guide to boss travel: Step 2 – Who’s joining you?
My guide to boss travel: Step 3 – Time to dream

Upcoming posts in this series – published on Fridays 
My guide to boss travel: Step 5 – In transit
My guide to boss travel: Step 6 – Your trip, your way

#myguidetobosstravel

My guide to boss travel: Step 3 – Time to dream

Clifford's Tower

Clifford’s Tower, York

This is when you can start having a little more fun. Let out that breath you didn’t know you were holding in while you were buying your plane tickets. Let your imagination run riot, like the little girl in the bottom right corner of this photo about to run up that hill.

  • Before you even think about googling your destination or cracking open that city guidebook, close your eyes and think about what you’d like to do. Write everything down – sites, food, drinks, shopping. These are your must-dos. Ask your travel mates to do the same thing. Now you can look at travel guides and round out your list.
  •  ‘Star’ points of interest in Google Maps. You need a Google account for this one, and in my opinion it’s worth it, for this functionality alone. Google Maps is a wondrous thing, but even more so when you take advantage of all its handy features. Directions are provided for driving, transit, walking (and cycling and flights); great for judging distances between two points.
  • But take it one step further and start ‘starring’ everything you want to visit – restaurants, museums, attractions, anything that has an address, really. You’ll get the bird’s eye view on your computer, so even if you don’t have a smartphone it’s worth it to determine where everything is and get a sense of where you’ll be spending your time. But with a smartphone it becomes a truly potent tool for transforming your trip planning. And even if you turn off your data and use only wifi on your trip, the maps can be downloaded into your phone and used offline. You’ll have a bit less functionality – oh how I rely on that live blue dot to tell me where I am – and less information will appear for each item, but it’s still better for navigating than anything else I’ve ever used. ‘Past You’ is the best travel guide and personal assistant that ‘Travel You’ could possibly have.
    York Google Maps

    Desktop version – map of York

     

  • Not a bad idea at this juncture to find out which days different sites and attractions might be closed, especially outdoor markets. Google Maps can help you there too, providing the website address, hours of operation and peer reviews.
  • Grab a calendar – online, paper-based – whatever you’re more comfortable with, and start figuring out the internal itinerary of your trip. Are you travelling from city to city? Or are you going base yourself in one place that’s also handy for day trips? Or a combination of the two?
  • Find a hotel that is convenient to something – the rail station you arrive at, the part of town where you plan to spend the most time, or perhaps something more affordable that’s a bit further out but quieter and near excellent transit. Trawl through TripAdvisor, scan the reviews, and find a good blend of affordable and location. Do this as soon as possible after you’ve booked your flights – this is another area where the early bird truly does get the worm. I’m not trying to make you panic. I use Booking.com most of the time, and start by booking a good place that doesn’t ask for any money up front. That becomes my ‘safety hotel’. It might end up being my final choice too, but at least now I know I’m not homeless on that leg of the trip while I spend more time looking for a great deal. Also, consider Airbnb too, especially if you’re staying in the same place for a few nights.
  • Learn key phrases in the language of your destination. ‘Hello. Please. Thank you. I would like a glass of red wine, please. How much does that cost? Where is the toilet? Can we please have the bill? I will not buy this record, it is scratched.’
  • Bone up on history or fill yourself with anticipation with films, TV or books. Visiting Paris is cool. Visiting Paris is even cooler when you walk past a statue of Henri IV and remember that he’s the well-loved ‘Good King Henry’ who came up with the phrase ‘a chicken in every pot’. Don’t be that guy who didn’t know what Ellis Island was (or represented) when he cruised past it on the Staten Island Ferry.
  • If you don’t already know, find out what will make the best souvenirs, or the best shopping a city is known for – sometimes clichés are clichés for a reason. Think leather goods from Italy, perfume from Paris, whisky from Scotland. More ideas here.
  • Ask people for recommendations. But don’t feel like you have to actually follow their advice. If something sounds good, star the place right away. I usually whisk out my phone on the spot so that I don’t forget and can confirm that I’ve found the right place.
  • Ruthlessly cut anyone out of your life who tries to guilt trip you if you didn’t make it to that nice restaurant they told you about.
  • My favourite resources are a combination of books and websites. I can’t possibly list them all here, but I owe a lot of smooth, happy travel to Rick Steves, The Guardian’s Holiday Guides and Lonely Planet for dreaming and planning. I seek out and watch any travel show with Richard Ayoade or Anthony Bourdain in it.
  • Adjust your trip’s internal itinerary if you haven’t locked down your hotel dates and rail tickets… is Paris taking up more days than Amsterdam? Now’s the time to sort that out.

 

Previous posts in this series
My guide to boss travel: Introduction
My guide to boss travel: Step 1 – Deciding where to go, and when
My guide to boss travel: Step 2 – Who’s joining you?

Upcoming posts in this series – published on Fridays 
My guide to boss travel: Step 4 – Sorting out the boring stuff
My guide to boss travel: Step 5 – In transit
My guide to boss travel: Step 6 – Your trip, your way

#myguidetobosstravel

My guide to boss travel: Step 2 – Who’s joining you?

Edinburgh

Calton Hill, Edinburgh

Choose your travel mates wisely. No pressure, but this one is right up there with budget concerns as the biggest maker or breaker of a great trip. You want someone to laugh with, be at your side when outlandish things happen, keep an eye on each other, decipher directions, and finish off each other’s drinks.

Don’t travel with friends if you’re wildly incompatible. It will end in tears. Yours, or theirs. Trust me. Bojack Horseman should never travel anywhere with Mr. Peanutbutter.

Ok! You’ve chosen good mates, with similar

  • travel sensibilities
  • budgets
  • likes/dislikes
  • priorities

Even still… you want to keep those friendships, relationships and trip memories beautiful.

  • Build in little breaks from each other. Make sure everyone knows in advance if you need time on your own and that it’s not personal. On one trip, my friend and I agreed to part ways between 4 and 6 each afternoon to chill and get ready for dinner.
  • Morning larks can travel with night owls, as long as you realize you’re not going to spend the whole day or evening together.
  • For the love of all that is holy, if someone tells you they aren’t a morning person, believe them and leave them alone until they’re ready to face their day.
  • Give everyone a task they’ll like doing. Who is best at navigating? Who has a knack for finding great restaurants? Who’s calm under pressure? Who picks up languages easily? Who is outgoing and likes to ask questions? Who’s good at math?
  • Have a system for communicating – Facebook Messenger and What’sApp both work on wifi and you can have as many group chats as you want.
  • Before your trip, meet up a few times as a group to plan together and get psyched together.
  • Are you doing a group trip where you’ll only meet the rest of the group once you’re actually there? You’ll have to strike a balance between being polite and friendly, and making sure you get downtime, especially if being ‘on’ around new people makes you tired. There’s nothing wrong with calmly telling someone that you’re going to sit something out, or catch up on your reading.

Travelling as a couple can have its own special rewards (hotel sex in a new city!) but it can have its own challenges too. Here’s one of my bona fide little tricks that dumbfounds baristas with its simple brilliance:

My husband likes to sleep in, no matter where he is. I burst out of bed early, filled with excitement for the city I’m in, and very, very hungry. That’s a marital spat brewing, right there.

This is how we’ve solved it:

I get up, shower and dress, and make sure he’s awake as I head out for a cup of tea and a pastry. He gets ready in his own time, I have breakfast #1, check my phone and make a plan for the day (and nail down our second breakfast location). On my way out of the cafe, I buy him a takeaway coffee. By the time I return to the hotel, he’s awake, showered, dressed and ready for that coffee. Marital bliss achieved.

Previous posts in this series
My guide to boss travel: Introduction
My guide to boss travel: Step 1 – Deciding where to go, and when

Upcoming posts in this series – published on Fridays 
My guide to boss travel: Step 3 – Time to dream
My guide to boss travel: Step 4 – Sorting out the boring stuff
My guide to boss travel: Step 5 – In transit
My guide to boss travel: Step 6 – Your trip, your way

#myguidetobosstravel

My guide to boss travel: Step 1 – Deciding where to go, and when

Berlin

Television Tower, Berlin

First step – are you ready?

Dream a little dream – there will be much more on dreaming in Step 3 of the series, but you can’t have a plan without a dream. Maybe you already know where you want to go. Maybe you’ve got a friend living someplace wonderful. Maybe you haven’t been able to move past the simple thought, ‘I want to travel’. All good!

It may seem obvious but you do need to have a general idea of where you want to visit so you can figure out how many days you want to spend in each place. Fire up Google Maps (more on my love affair with Google Maps in Step 3), and see which cities, regions and countries speak to you.

  • Two words: Off Season. Travelling at less popular times of year can be a very rewarding experience. Think Venice in January. Scotland in early April. Budapest in the run-up to Christmas.
  • A good rule of thumb: spend at least 2 or 3 nights in each city you plan to visit. That way you get to sleep in the same bed for more than one night and you can enjoy at least one full day without arriving or departing from somewhere.
  • Consider reverse engineering your trip. Rather than thinking about a destination, have a look at offers and deals from your home airport and make a snap decision. So it’s not on your bucket list? You might have an even more wonderful time without being weighed down by a lifetime of preconceptions and cultural references.
  • Research the best timing for purchasing flights. Someone once patronised me at a party for booking flights from Toronto to London six months in advance. It’s not adorable, it’s what we hoi polloi do to scoop up the best deals. Having said that, the cheap flight game rules change constantly and it’s worth seeking out current trends and tips. Late last summer, I snapped up cheap flights from London to Toronto for October, so the six month rule doesn’t always apply. Skyscanner is a great starting point. If specific dates aren’t important, try doing your search with their handy ‘whole month’ option – you will be able to see at a glance which days (and months) have the cheapest tickets. Skyscanner also published a fantastic article back in January 2017: 6 secrets of finding the best low cost flights. Have I mentioned I love Skyscanner?
  • Consider flying ‘open-jaw’: fly home from a different airport than you flew into.
  • It’s best to buy your UK rail tickets for popular destinations up to 12 weeks in advance, and save even more by committing to specific train times. The Man in Seat 61 knows everything about getting around the UK and the rest of Europe on rail. Listen to him.
  • Rail stations in the UK and Europe usually have lockers or ‘left luggage’ services to store your bags. Perfect for those smaller cities that don’t warrant an overnight visit. We once visited York, a small, compact city, for about three hours in the middle of our rail trip from Leeds to Edinburgh and used Left Baggage. I’ll provide more detail about what to do with storing your bags in Step 4, but it’s worth a brief mention at this point, when you’re figuring out your rough itinerary.
  • Don’t forget about travel agents. Some people think they’re dying breed, but they know what they are doing and have tricks and contacts that you can’t even imagine. Use them, especially if your multi-city itinerary is getting a little intense, it’s a special occasion like your honeymoon or a milestone, or it’s adventure travel. Even if they charge you a fee, which not all of them do, it will be worth it.
  • Research your chosen destinations to find out what events might be taking place. Do you avoid festivals? Do you run enthusiastically towards festivals? Good hotel rooms and restaurant reservations will always be harder to come by during busy times. And even if you don’t care about that particular event or festival, anyone who IS there to check it out will annoy you and make everything busier. And yet, you’ll be the one in their way.
  • This may sound stupid – but – you have a valid passport, right?

Previous posts in this series
My guide to boss travel: Introduction 

Upcoming posts in this series – published on Fridays 
My guide to boss travel: Step 2 – Who’s joining you?
My guide to boss travel: Step 3 – Time to dream
My guide to boss travel: Step 4 – Sorting out the boring stuff
My guide to boss travel: Step 5 – In transit
My guide to boss travel: Step 6 – Your trip, your way

#myguidetobosstravel

My guide to boss travel: Introduction

Trevi Fountain, Rome

Trevi Fountain, Rome

When you’re stuck at your desk at lunchtime, it can seem like half of the people you scroll past in your social media feeds are travelling somewhere amazing. The other half are squee-ing over a kitten, puppy or child, but that’s another thing entirely.

If you want to travel more often, but don’t know where to start, buckle up. As someone who isn’t truly happy unless I’m planning my next trip, I’ve got some tried-and-tested tips to share with you. Soon you’ll be posting your own fab photos of your next big adventure or little getaway.

I can’t do anything about your budget, but I can help you break trip planning down into manageable steps so that you don’t have to feel overwhelmed by logistics, discover tools to find good deals, and give you ways to cut the drama and enjoy yourself.

Over the years, I’ve noticed that many people (who tell me that I travel too much) tend to completely dismiss the idea of travelling without doing any research or math – they just tell themselves it’s impossible and leave it at that. That might be true, but have you ever thought to create a breakdown of the actual costs? You might be surprised. Or you might not be, depending on your obligations and other priorities.

This weekly series will walk you through everything you need to know and do for a great holiday. My travel focus, and true love, is the cities of Europe, so most of my advice will be geared towards North Americans travelling to the UK and the continent. But a lot of this advice will also be handy for shorter trips closer to home.

Keep an eye out for posts on the next six Fridays, including:

  1. Deciding where to go, and when
  2. Who’s joining you?
  3. Time to dream
  4. Sorting out the boring stuff
  5. In transit
  6. Your trip, your way

#myguidetobosstravel