As I set off for another few months of travelling through Europe, I wanted to share with you how I plan and choose my desired trip because after all, planning is half the fun of travel. In fact, it is scientifically proven that planning a holiday can boost happiness for 8 weeks. I want to show you my process of planning my European adventure and how you can do the same for your next holiday.
Choosing your destination can be the most difficult decision to make. There are so many wonderful places I want to visit. It feels like every time I read a new article or glance at a new picture on Instagram I add another country, city or region to my never-ending list. Here are some deciding factors which help me decide on the destinations I visit:
Weather and climate
I am totally a summer person but now it’s winter in Europe and there is no escaping it. Instead, I’m prepared to embrace the wintry weather as Christmas is coming and this means a lot of European cities turn into scenes from a fairy-tale. With the abundance of Christmas markets, festive food and cheerful vibes, if there’s one thing that Europe does better than my home New Zealand and that’s Christmas.
I always have a quick look at Hotels.com and check if there are some great options for accommodation in the area I am looking to visit. You can find some unique and beautiful hotels around the world. Countries like Thailand and Indonesia have some beautiful luxury retreats for which are incredibly cheap, so that’s always a positive when choosing a destination in Asia. Another thing I love about Hotels.com is the reward program. For every 10 nights you book, you get 1 free!
This is a key factor for me when deciding destinations. As I’m a full-time traveller I must make sure my money goes further than if it was just a holiday. If I do decide to choose an expensive destination, I will consider spending less time there and more time in a cheaper country. Everyone has a different budget so considering which destinations are within your budget is a great idea.
A vast variety of food
I’m a foodie at heart. Everyone must eat, so why not enjoy it and hunt down all the best food that the country has to offer. As it’s going to be Christmas time I’m most looking forward to mulled wine and Christmas mince pies. As I am only planning to visit within Europe due to budget and time constraints, I want to try some new cuisine so Eastern Europe looks promising!
Making sure that it’s easy to travel to the destination I pick is also important. Are the flights direct? Is the flight affordable at that time of year? Is it easy to get around the country when I get there? These are all very important questions I ask myself when planning a holiday.
Friends and family
This Christmas some of my family from New Zealand are going to be visiting the United Kingdom, so I decided that I am going to spend Christmas and New Years with them. This makes decision making super easy because it gives me a defendant location and dates I must be there by. Your travel planning might be influenced by visiting family or friends too!
Putting all those factors into consideration I decided to do the route above! I have roughly 4 or 5 months, so I decided I want to see as much of Eastern Europe as possible. I want to be back in Albania by the start of April and this route is easy to get back there. As I’m spending a month in the United Kingdom I also wanted to spend the rest of the time in more affordable countries. The red line is my return trip from London.
I also decided I didn’t want to visit anywhere that I have been before (except the UK), I really want to see and experience new countries, cuisines and culture!
To help you plan your next holiday Hotels.com have given me a discount, which you can use to receive 8% off your next hotel! Use the code 8OFFNZANITA to receive your discount. Don’t forget to download their app to make it easier to book on the go.
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*This post is in collaboration with hotels.com. As always, all opinions are mine.