How Do You Plan Your Travel?

We don’t really have a process for deciding where to travel. 

Sometimes, it’s based on our top destinations — Italy was high on the list of places to visit for every single one of us, so that was an easy decision for our first big, long trip. 

Sometimes it’s based on cheap flights or a sale email from one of the airlines. When we went to Edinburgh, we chose that destination because we got flights for about $25 per person, round trip. 

The funny thing is that because flying can be so insanely cheap within Europe on airlines like Easyjet and Ryanair, we now look at prices that are over $40 per person one way as “expensive”. When you get 6 round trip tickets to Italy for $600, the definition of cheap flights changes.

We have become more selective about which airport to fly out of and what times of day we want to fly based on our experiences.  When you limit your willingness to fly very early or very late, the prices do go up.  Sometimes it’s worth it to be tired to get a really great plane fare, but sometimes it’s just not.  We don’t want a repeat of the return trip from Stuttgart.  

Some of our trips we plan months and months in advance — Italy and Chamonix were both booked 6 months out.  Other trips we plan last minute — Stuttgart and Paris were only planned a few weeks before we traveled.

We’ve been here in England for 18 months next week.  We’ve got about 18 months left until we move back to the States.  The list of places we want to visit is long, and instead of shrinking, it seems to grow as we think of more and more destinations we want to see.  We try to travel somewhere new at last every other month, but that’s getting harder now that the kids are involved in more stuff in and out of school.

Our next big trip will be to Ireland in March.  We’re going with my parents, spending a few days in Dublin and a few days in Galway – the two cities where my two grandfathers were born.  I’m really, really excited about this trip, and looking forward to traveling there with my mom and dad.  My dad has never been and the last time my mom was in Ireland, she was 13 years old.  it should be a fun one.

After that, we don’t have anything set in stone.  I’ve been scanning the airlines websites looking for ideas for May, June, and the summer beyond.  And we’re also trying to decide if we can make a trip back to the States at all to visit family and friends there.  It’s hard to fit everything in.

How do you plan your travel?  Far in advance, last-minute, a little of both?  How do you decide where to go?

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