HOW I BOOK MY SOLO FEMALE TRAVELS ON MY OWN
TAKING A LEAP OF FAITH!
I am sure you’ve planned on going on your own many times, but never made it because it is very complicated to find the right fares, to know when is the right time and where is the right time. Most of us are depending on tour operators which costs more. I will teach you how I do it and how you can save costs. Trust me, if I can organize my own trip, you can do it as well.
HOW CAN I PLAN A SOLO TRIP on my own?
So, let me tell you how I plan my trips and the errors I’ve made so far. No one is born a savant!
I’ve first been to the Philippines in 2018 and it was my first long-haul trip to Asia. It was the only trip I did not plan in advance, nor looked at what to expect, what to visit or anything. I was so overwhelmed with work at that time, that I only had time to book the airplane and the hotels. Just to imagine how crazy it’s been, I did not even look enough to know that going from Manila to Boracay by airplane you have two airports, one closer than the other to Boracay. Of course, I booked the farthest one and had to travel by shuttle bus overnight to the port where we took a boat to take us to the island. Can you imagine the shock I had coming from Europe where traveling from Paris to any European destination is so in hand?
I promised myself at that time that if I make it alive to Paris, I will make an effort to prepare better for my next vacation. And I’ve been keeping my promise since then.
If you search on Google: how safe Manila is, you will get the results that it is not safe. If I’d read that article before booking my solo trip to The Philippines I wouldn’t have done it. And I am so glad now that I did go on my trip because it was absolutely mindblowing. As I said, sometimes is good to take a leap of faith!
I am a Flying Blue member and I first check the airlines that are on this loyalty program, as I have different advantages. Therefore, I took a direct flight Paris – Cancun with AirFrance to win XP points and Miles to my account. I also have an AmEx credit card from AirFrance KLM and each time I pay with the credit card I win Miles. Once I have enough Miles, I can pay myself a return ticket to a desired destination.
Therefore, even if I pay more for a direct flight with AirFrance, rather than a 2-segment flight with a low-cost carrier, in the long run, I still win, as I can maintain my loyalty status and benefit from my privileges.
I recommend you use Explore section in Google Flights which will show you the fares on different destinations, like this you can choose either the better period for your desired destination or the best destination price-wise upon your availability. As for myself, I always choose my destination depending on the best fare at that moment among all the places on my To Do List. That’s why I will never know where I go next. Google Explore decides for me.
This is where things get tricky for most people asking my advice. But trust me, it all goes very easily once you have a system.
I have two loyalty programs for accommodation as well: I am a member of Booking.com and Accor Hotels. Accor Hotels is also connected to my Flying Blue loyalty program, so I win Miles on both accounts every time I fly or I book a hotel. Isn’t that wonderful?
If I find a good Hotel from the Accor Hotels chain, I will go for it, but sometimes I want to change, so I will go to Booking.com where I have Genius Level 3.
But sometimes, if I am not happy with the fare I find on Booking.com I will simply call the hotel and ask for a better rate than the one I have on Booking.com. You will be surprised to see that many Hotels accept to give you a lower rate because they want to retain you as a loyal customer, so they will simply not pay the discount to Booking.com, but give it to you as a Welcome Gesture.
There are two types of travelers when we talk about accommodation: those who will book everything in advance and those who will book only the first two nights and organize everything on the spot, like this they are more flexible in their journey. I would love to be the latter, but unfortunately, I am the first type, but I am working on it.
I always move from one place to another when I visit a region or a country. So, first, I decide to split my journey into different points of interest. For that, I make a list of what I would like to visit and search online for what you can do there and how many days are required. Sometimes I don’t do my research properly and I regret it on the spot, as sometimes I can no longer change my plans.
And of course, this is what happened in Mexico, for instance.
In Yucatan, I decided I want to see Cancun, Isla Mujeres, Holbox Island, Playa del Carmen, Tulum, and Balacar. Because I did not do the research properly, I allocated too much time to Tulum and not enough time to Holbox Island, which I loved more than Tulum. I left Bacalar for the last day and of course, something came up with the travel agency and they canceled the trip. I was so mad at myself because that was the destination I wanted to see the most in the entire Yucatan. But I’ve learned from my mistakes. I hope so, at least!
What I don’t do and I would recommend you to do is to be as flexible as you can to be able to change your plans on your trip. On the spot, talking with locals, and other tourists, you will always want to change at least one destination or extend an existing one.
Also, when you travel outside of Europe, mostly Asia or Latin America, there are so many local Boutique Hotels – very good standing, much cheaper on the spot than what you’ve booked on Booking.com in advance. So why not go for it, right? Trust me, you won’t regret it. Just go with the flow!
So, whenever you want to organize your trip, don’t hesitate to follow these steps. You can even travel for free on the Miles you won from the loyalty programs. Or sometimes you can simply upgrade your accommodation or fly in First Class on a long-haul carrier.
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DID YOU FIND THIS ARTICLE USEFUL?
Tell me in the comments section if you’ve ever been on a Solo trip and what was your experience. If you are planning to go on solo travel ask me for some useful tips that are not in this article.
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