Thursday, March 12, 2009

Choose Your Own Adventure (pt. 1)

In April, I am going to France. This is a trip that I planned by myself, for myself. I have had a lot of people tell me that they wish they were capable of something like that, but I don't think they understand how simple it really is. So, with that, I am making an addition to this blog; travel & such. I will go over a few important things to keep in mind when planning a trip on your own, as well as blog about my time when I'm actually in France.

The first thing you need to think about is your BUDGET. How much do you make at your job, and of that, how much are you able to save for your trip? How much money do you feel comfortable spending on a vacation?

Next, WHERE do you want to go? In my opinion, this is one of the most difficult parts. I originally wanted to spend the summer backpacking across Europe, but it was much more expensive than I could afford if I wanted to go within my desired time-frame. So, I narrowed it down to simply France and Italy; again, it was more than I could afford. I finally decided to adjust my trip to the two places in France I wanted to go most...Paris and Provence. This does not mean that if you are planning a great escapade, that you cannot make it happen. It is just a matter of what is most important to you.

Once you find out where, the next step is WHEN you are traveling. Keep in mind airline prices, advanced purchases, discounted rates, peak tourist seasons, and the things you want to do in specific. For example traveling to Vermont in December might be less expensive, but if you are planning to experience the farmer's markets it is not a wise decision.

The first three points usually take awhile to set in stone. It takes a few attempts of brainstorming the budget, the where, and the when before coming up with a successful, realistic plan. Good luck!

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