A TRIP TO THE ALGARVE
- How to plan the perfect vacation -
Sebastian and I are having a couple of days off soon, so we decided to make the most of it and turn our backs on France for a while to explore a different, slightly (and hopefully) warmer country. Portugal, here we come!
It’ll be our first trip to the Algarve, which I think is so exiting as we get to explore a new place together. So when I talked to a friend the other day who wanted me to give her travel advice about Budapest, I realized, not everybody knows how to plan a short trip away. So, maybe the upcoming post won't be news to you. But if you think there is the slightest chance of you getting something useful out of it, which I sure hope so, keep on reading.
Find the most exiting travel destination.
So this is what happened: Sebastian and I found out that we will have a couple of days off so we descited to go on vacation. But where should we go? So, the first thing we always do is go to skyscanner and check out flights. Here, you can fill out your departure airport and leave a blank for the destination and it will give you a list of countries you can click through. In my opinion they always find the most reasonable prices for flights and give you a nice overview of destinations.
What I usually do next is to check the weather forecast for our designated period of time. If the destination passes the weather test, I can move on to the next step.
Afterwards, I usually have a couple of options that vary a bit in flight prices and weather forecast but are usually all tempting. So how to make a decision?
I usually get inspiration from Pinterest (check out my Algarve board here). I do a broader search for the area I'd like to visit and just look at pictures. YouTube is a great help as well. Type in "Travel Diary" or "Travel Vlog" + your travel destination and you will get a pretty good insight into what a vacation there could actually look like. By then I can usually make a decision on where I'd like to go next and put other interesting places on my Travel Bucket List.
Find the perfect place to stay.
Next step is to look for accommodation. We will be coming back to Pinterest at a later stage, don't you worry. My preferred way of travelling is by renting an AirBnB. Even though it can be nice to get pampered at a hotel with hotel service 24/7, I usually like renting a private apartment and getting a feel of the real, not so touristic areas. By renting an AirBnB you can save quite a lot of money that you may then spend on making memories. I mostly had great experiences while staying at an AirBnB. But I've learned from mistake to always ask the host which areas of the apartment are off limits. They are also the best source for getting insider tips about local restaurants and must-see places.
When having found your dream destination, flights and a place to stay, it's now time to plan the actual trip. So go back to Pinterest and YouTube, but you may also want to check out Instagram and Bloglovin to get specific travel inspiration. On YouTube, I found Mimi and Alex' Vlog from when they went to the Algarve. When they showed a beautiful beach with christcal clear water, I paid close attention.
Google Maps has changed the Game completely.
Marinha beach - I typed the name into Google Maps and found it not too far away from where we would be staying. I immediately starred it. Google is a great way of keeping track of places you want to visit. My personal map is filled with little stars that symbolize beautiful places I want to cross off my bucket list. And it's so useful to firstly, remember places you most definitely want to visit in the future, but also secondly, to see which attractions are close by. If you only have a couple of days, you want to be smart about which places to visit and what could be combined to become a beautiful day full of adventures.
By this point I'm usually full into vacation-planning mode, even though it'll probably be a while until I can actually go on my adventure. But still - I can't help myself from searching the web and getting exited.
So here you have it - my tips on how to plan a vacation. If you have any other ideas on how to improve my way of doing things, please leave them in the comments down below. Because, well, sharing is caring!