We all want to visit those awesome places in the world which seem unreachable and look like the cover of a magazine. In the world of the Instagrammable lives this often is looking more like a must do because if you haven't been there and have taken a snap of it, you haven't been anywhere!
The opposite seems true. So many beautiful spots are so close to where you are, and do not even need the most of work to reach them. Also budgetwise why pay so much on needing exactly that one visit to that place where everyone is visiting, in stead of finding your own spot at you own pace for your own budget.
Look at this picture underneith of the iconic Vierwaldstattersee in Switzerland. Yes it looks like it was taken from a castle at a viewing point in perfect weather in a long vacation away from home. But reality is that this picture was taken at a spot where I biked to because I wanted to read a book in peace and quiet on a chilly autumn day, before I needed to head to work. It is all from the perspective right?
Vierwaldstattersee aka Lake Lucerne
The first misconception. Travel is always far away
The view from a bar in Datong, Vietnam. Why not go up while you are there?
Boom, this statement is one that seems so untrue especially in this time of Covid-19. There is so much to be seen so close to home, where ever home may be. You just need to take a moment to step outside and see the beauty around you.
Are you living near a mountain? Decide to hike it one day when the weather is nice. Are you looking for view points in your city? There are so many buildings where you often are allowed to go up on the top floor. Did I mention already that a lot of buildings have rooftop bars nowadays? Even the ones in the city where you live in can provide the most beautiful farsights. Most likely the only thing it will cost you is the cost of a drink. because let us face it. Going into a building and not using any of the services while the building also needs to be cleaned, and staff also needs to be payed...that is not cool. So spend a little there, and enjoy the view in return
The second misconception. Booking something cool is always difficult
Bai Tu Long Bay, Vietnam
This is a point in which I also sometimes get frustrated but also one that will always resolve itself in the end. We do not always have the option to travel outside of the season, which means high season is often more expensive and will give you less options. You can solve this, but you need a bit of time to look around.
I get it, you feel like booking.com, airbnb, google and skyscanner are you best tools and you are the rockstar in playing them. But they do not always give you the best deals in the spot where you want to end up. How to solve this?
- Be flexible in your traveldates and be willing to long or shorten your journey. Sometimes a nice place isn't available in the weekend, but it is during week days. Or sometimes it isn't available during the entire weekend, but it is only on the Friday night. Consider changing your dates.
- Don't only use google for the first 10 option you are looking for, but always use google maps. Nearly every business is on google maps, but doesn't have the flashiest website which gets the best rating. This means it will end up lower in the list of search results and most likely you won't find it. But while using google maps for your search around the area, this might just give some extra gems in there. This works really good when looking for camping sites or for local places to eat.
- Ask around if you are in a city already, maybe somebodies brother of a cousin has a place to stay for you. Also ask around beforehand with the people you know. The world is small these days. Everybody knows somebody who knows somebody who has a place somewhere. Not only for advise this is cool, tthis can also really help budgetwise finding the hidden gems.
The last misconception. Travel is always expensive
Views for free in Ascona, near the Swiss Italian border
The last advise is something I really am trying to make a sport of. It doesn't all need to cost a lot to get to cool places. Book your flights looooong ahead in off season. Did you see all of these Covid deals on airlines at the moment? Flying for $10 bucks across Europe? Yeah, don't use them now because Covid is still alive and kicking. But you might just get an awesome deal for a couple of bucks next year. Will you go? Nobody knows, but I could be worth the shot of just booking and seeing what happens. Consider this as cryptocurrency. Only invest in what you are willing to lose ;)
Another one is a tip I got froma friend who recently sold her own Airbnb. So what these booking companies do is they take a decent chunk of the price for themselves as a service. That seems reasonable because their customer service is good, and their booking service is extremely convenient. But when you see a place is free on the date you would want to go, consider calling the hotel or bnb and book directly with them leaving the booking company out of it. Because the fee isn't used most hotels are willing to give you a discount which can be a nice 10-20% one.
Also calling these places has a very high succesrate in availability, or getting places on the dates which suit you. Not always the easiest in countries where you don't speak the language of I must say, but it is always worth a shot.
And while you are away. Just have a good look around. You don't need to pay entrance fees everywhere. Just walk around and see nice stuff and find your own cool places. That is cheapest advise I can give you.
Travelling. 2020 is surely not the year of travelling for all of us. But honestly, I have seen more of my own region than I had ever expected and it surprises me a lot how much nice stuff there is to see and do. You just have to look for it and you will find it.
Even in Covid years, travel is always just around the corner.