We have been planning our upcoming trip across South East Asia, Australia and New Zealand for about a year now. Throughout this time, it is safe to say that we have learned a lot; not only about what to do, but also what not to do! So, I thought it would be a good idea to create a series of ‘Travel Tip’ posts. In these I will share one important thing to remember when planning a trip like this each week.
Travel Tip #1: Remember To Always Be Flexible
This piece of travel advice is crucial, and it is something that we have already experienced more than once during the planning of our trip. I actually think it will become even more important when we start moving around.
We thought we had our whole route mapped out perfectly, and it is something that we spent the most time on in the very beginning before we booked a single thing. But, low and behold after we booked our flights to Bangkok, and looked into the details of how to get to the various islands, we discovered that certain boat routes didn’t operate at the time of the year we were going to be there, so we had to make a few changes to our plans.
Again, when we were booking our flights from Cebu in the Philippines to our next stop in Australia, this happened. Our plan was always to fly from Manila to Cairns and road trip down the Gold Coast to Sydney. However, for some reason, the flights cost an absolute bomb (€600 each!) so we had to do some moving around and alter our plans. Now we are flying into Sydney, road tripping up the country and flying to Melbourne.
The whole experience was a little stressful and my anxiety levels definitely were questionable at times. Besides all of that, it still worked out (well..so far so good!). The fact that we hadn’t overbooked and over-planned and left some wriggle room was key. Here are some of my tips on ensuring you aren’t caught out…
- If you are booking accommodation, go with the free cancellation option. It may cost a little bit more but it is a mini victory when you need to alter it. Further, if something unexpected causes your plans to change you will be happy you don’t have to forego your booking.
- Where possible, pay deposits over full amounts so that if you need to change your plan you are not out of pocket.
- Book one leg of your trip at a time to ensure you can get from a-b with no hassle, you don’t need to know your full plan up front (We are starting to realise that now!)
- Research. Research. Research. I can’t reiterate that enough. It was definitely the hardest part for me just sitting down, watching videos and reading other blogs about how to get around.