Hands down to why I love Skyscanner.

How do you go about planning and booking flights? Do you feel trapped in a myriad of travel planning sites that never seem to offer what you really need? I have the ultimate solution for you: Skyscanner. I can safely say that this is the single best website for booking flights. Here’s why:

The simple reason is that it is super flexible. If you haven’t really narrowed down where you want to travel or when to go, you can use their incredible search engine and just put in Germany to Anywhere and it’ll show you the best deals for going from your country to any country in the world. If you’ve already picked a country but are quite flexible about the city, you can choose Dusseldorf to United Kingdom and it’ll help you pick the destination based on the cheapest connections.

The same goes for the travel date. Again, if you are incredibly flexible, just put in the place you want to visit and where you want to go from and it’ll show you the cheapest months throughout the whole year. Or if you’ve narrowed your search down to a month, you can select the month you are planning on going and then you can select the cheapest days to fly from a diagram.

Since I discovered Skyscanner a few years ago, it really is my go to website for booking flights. However, it is always worth checking out each individual airline’s prices once you’ve browsed through the deals on Skyscanner as they can sometimes still be tad cheaper. But for researching, it really is the single best tool you can use!

Where to research for your trip?

Whenever it comes to planning the next trip, there’s the big question of where to go. And once you’ve figured that out, what to do while you’re abroad?

I am a firm believer of the concept of travel guides. I always rely on them for expertise and a vast collection of advice from experienced travelers and writers. As for most of us, my favourite guides are the ones from Lonely Planet. If you are doing a trip through a country instead of only visiting one city or place, I definitely recommend the “Lonely Planet Discover” series. They are more compact and a bit more easy to navigate through than the regular guides.

Since my last trip to Southeast Asia, I definitely tend to consult Instagram and Pinterest for my travels. For Instagram, searching for hashtags or locations is the best way to go! Or simply search through your favourite travel bloggers feed to see where they’ve been. They offer you the best up to date information on the top destinations and insights a travel guide can’t offer you. And first and foremost, they are photo based! How to better fuel your excitement?

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Source: http://bit.ly/1X09Q51

Talk to people! Know anyone who’s been there before? AWESOME! No information will be as detailed and honest as when you talk to people about their trip. It can get confusing talking to a bunch of different people because all of them will have different opinions. But if Nicole hadn’t talked to a complete stranger about going to Vietnam, we would have never ended up at the Pepperhouse Homestay!

For hotels or homestays, I can wholeheartedly say that Booking.com is the best address. We booked all our accommodations in Southeast Asia via the platform and we always ended up making a great choice. The best feature about it is that you really only book your room instead of having to pre-pay for it.

I guess this list will not totally revolutionize the way you educate yourself about the place you’re going to but from time to time it’s great to rely on all of these sources together instead of only one. Who doesn’t want to gather the best possible information for their next trip and relish this perfect state of anticipation?!

Travel Planning…or not?

Here I am sitting at my desk with a pile of uni-stuff to do but my head is somewhere else. As usual, I am dreaming of being far away – my favourite way of procrastinating. This time my thoughts take me to Southeast Asia. I have been dreaming of visiting this mesmerising place for such a long time and now it is finally happening!

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The plan is to get lost – again. Not getting lost on a road and not being able to find my way back to where I was heading. It’s about getting lost in the bliss of travelling. Indulging in every second of being abroad and taking in every experience that comes across. For me, this can only happen if I give myself the freedom to not plan every detail of my journey. I need space to breathe and to align myself to the vibes of a place and get into the groove of that particular culture. I am not a fan of these vacations that are thoroughly planned day in and day out. Some people say that’s a weird coincidence because that’s exactly how I live my everyday life. I like plans and I like them to go well. Maybe that is why I enjoy travelling so much. Suddenly it feels okay to loose control and to just “go with the flow”. Only this way I can discover all the enchanting places that are hiding away in Asia. It is about taking my time to to unravel their secrets and giving myself the space to decide right there and then how much time I want to spend in that place.

Don’t get this wrong, a vacation has to be planned out somehow. Especially when you’re travelling on a budget like I always am. My goal is to acquaint myself as much as possible with the different countries by rifling through all the travel guides I can put my hands on. You need a rough idea of what you think you want to see, right? And then, once there, this will give me a path I could follow. But I don’t have to. My dreams are currently circling around Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Bali. Maybe more of Indonesia? Maybe Malaysia?

Are there any places I simply cannot miss? A jaw-dropping beach, a dazzling street market, a unique and mouth-watering dish in a tiny restaurant?