Planning comes first!

Where to…

We seek locations that are known for their beautiful nature, but for harsher conditions at the same time too. That is also the reason, why countries such as Scotland, Iceland, Faroe Islands, or New Zealand are our favourite ones. We also prefer the northern countries because of the mentality of locals, which is close to our hearts. In recent years, dreams like New Zealand, and already mentioned Faroe Islands have been fulfilled. But there are so many others on our Bucket list, still unconquered. In my case, it involves countries, which are full of beautiful nature sceneries, where the nature is pure and authentic, still harsh and not devastated. We are talking about places, which make me challenge myself, which bring out the adventurous me, make me lose myself in the purity of nature and embrace it. Thus, it is quite understandable why my ambitions go as far as Greenland, Lapland, Alaska, or Svalbard.

Each country we have visited has left us dumbstruck and richer in so many ways. I am certain that every country has a lot to offer. You will find places which are beautiful, interesting and extraordinary everywhere. However, natural beauty, totally able to compete with the most charming world’s spots, can be found within the distance of only tens of kilometres. We don’t have to travel far to be able to feast our eyes on beauty and uniqueness of Tatras, Slovak Paradise, Lesser Fatra, or National Parks of neighbouring countries- Šumava, Czech Switzerland, Austrian or Swiss Alps.

How to get there…

We plan and organize our trips on our own, only very rarely do we use the services of travel agencies. To be more precise, we used them only once, when we travelled to the Island of Tenerife. I would not be too quick to condemn all agency’s services though. In some cases they might be quite helpful in offering a cheaper option. Especially when talking about “typical” touristic destinations. In our case, the hotel plus flight tickets were really cheaper, than if we had booked them on our own.

The first step on our agenda when going for a trip somewhere is preplanning. It might seem unlikely, but we find it as entertaining as travelling itself. It is very educational, and it broadens our horizons deeply. To grasp a good hack about each country, its customs and highlights, we use Lonely Planet and Eyewitness Travel Guides. The rest we fill in from blogs written by other travelers, which are full of inspiring observations, advice and experience. We really loved one American family- The Earth Trekkers, especially in our travelling newbie’s phase. What is priceless, are the discussions with travelers themselves, who often gladly share their own experience, answer your questions, and add some of their tips. Marta from Marta Rajkova – Travel & Lifestyle is worth mentioning too. She offers apt observations, and her long years of experience in travelling are obvious and helpful indeed. (The link to her webpage is attached under the article)

Last but not least source of information we use is Instagram. It offers an opportunity to grasp the particular place through the eyes of my favourite photographers, and also gives me options how to picture the place and perpetuate it in the best possible way. It has happened often that pictures we saw made us visit the depicted destination. If I were to choose only one profile, it would most certainly be my favourite Chris Burkard.

You can find your inspiration in pictures taken by Slovak and Czech travelers, whom you will find under the #dnescestujem on DayByMe webpage.

https://www.earthtrekkers.com/

http://martarajkova.com/en/

https://www.instagram.com/chrisburkard/

https://daybyme.com/cestujem

After the first stage of research, we usually come up with a draft – a list of places we are interested to see, and activities we want to experience. This draft is then being altered, expanded, adjusted. Sometimes the final version resembles very much the first one. But most of the time, many alterations are being done. The final plan includes the number of days, maps, important data and the main “attractions” with brief captions. “Important data” means information about necessary visa, vaccinations, limitations, restrictions or any particularities of each country needed to be aware of. After having gathered all this, the new phase of looking for a good flight can begin. It is not an immutable rule though. Sometimes we go the other way round. First the flight tickets, and then we start the planning process of what we can fit into the given schedule, and decide about our top priorities.

When looking for prices of flight tickets we visit pages like fly4free.com or momondo.com. We use the former one, when we can afford to be flexible and have no deadlines pushing us anywhere. We keep checking our chosen destination on the website, till the offer seems reasonable enough. Once that occurs, you have to act quickly. No stalling, or time for pondering. If you find a cheap flight ticket, book it. They sell like hot cakes, and in couple of hours they might be sold out.

The latter one – momondo.com – we prefer to use when we have already set the date we need to leave on. This website helps you look up the best flight tickets from a wide range of sellers. The prices change throughout the day though, so it is advisable to check it more times a day.

www.fly4free.com

www.momondo.com

The next steps are booking of lodging, renting a car, and buying any necessary entrance tickets in advance.

Accommodation is easily sorted out with booking.com, which is very popular with travelers. In countries with limited lodging capacity, like in Scottish Highlands, Faery Islands, or in the remote parts of Iceland, we use the services of Airbnb. We have no precise type of preferred accommodation. Hotels, motels, guest houses, cabin houses, mobile homes or cars. It does not make a difference. The only thing we still feel tempted and challenged to try in the future, but still haven’t become friends quite yet with is a tent. Even though we have been to countries which are made for it, and offer the greatest camps, we and a tent still did not manage to click.

If you haven’t tried Airbnb yet, use the following link for registration and you will get 30 EUR for your next accomodation:

www.airbnb.com/c/viktorp422

 

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