Travel – put on hold as pandemic rages

plane, trip, journey

When I initially decided to relocate to Spain, one of my driving factors was the fact that I would be able to travel this side of the world for much less than from the States. When the idea came to me of starting a blog, I wanted it to include travel. I am, in general, a budget traveler. There are so many great deals out there that allow for amazing trips. This all depends, however, on your style of travel. If you like to high end luxury, then you will pay high end luxury prices. Yes, I love staying in fancy hotels too but most times it’s more about what’s outside of the hotel, and the best way to see it all without breaking the bank. 

Well hello 2020!

I arrived in Spain in January 2020. The plan was to get settled, find a job and then start traveling. I finally got a job on March 14! Now we can get to the traveling part right? Yeah right… Spain went into mandatory lockdown on March 17. 

SCORE: World Pandemic 1 – Toniann’s travel dreams 0

Needless to say, there have been no trips taken, therefore no trips to write about. 

I did have a couple of trips that I had started planning before the lock down, however not having actually taken the trip to verify the budget I don’t think it would be fair to tell you about them just yet. So, I’ll leave those for later.

Although Spain is slowly opening up and tourists are starting to pour into Barcelona for the summer. I am still not ready to venture out yet.

Some of the tools I use…

What I will share with you right now, are some of the tools I use to get some of the best deals when I travel. 

Flights

www.skyscanner.com – I love skyscanner for looking for cheap flights. I like that you can look for trips based on your destination and skyscanner will tell you the cheapest time to go there. I have found this website more useful than most – bringing a wider variety of airlines and routes. 

Hotels

www.booking.com – I use Booking mostly for hotels. Even when using other search engines, I’m usually redirected back to Booking for the cheapest rate. Make sure to create an account, Booking gives discounts to account holders. Pay attention to the property that you chose as some will require the full payment on your arrival rather than paying through the site. Booking will only take your credit card info to hold your reservation. 

Things to do…

www.expedia.com – Expedia has been hit or miss for me, but I have gotten really good rates on short excursions. Most excursions I find can get quite pricey, however there are some really good ones to be found for much cheaper. Maybe instead of doing a food tour that includes a coach, do a walking food tour. 

Hop on Hop off Bus Tours – whenever traveling I always check to see if there is a hop on hop off bus tour available. These tours are great because you get to see almost everything there is to see and you can see them quickly which saves time, especially on short trips. Your guide will almost always have all the history of the place as well as the local secrets. I have even gotten great restaurant recommendations from those tours. I tend to use the hop on and hop off bus tours as general transportation as well. If there is a stop that maybe I had wanted to see but was not included on the tour itinerary, I usually find a route that will get me there. These companies usually have one, two- or three-day tickets, which come in really useful for a weekend trip.

Public Transportation – Some cities have really great public transportation. Some even have free transportation. Check that out when planning your trip, you could potentially save a bundle getting around a city that way. 

How are my travelers holding up during this time? Any tips or tools that you use when planning your budget trip? I will get this space going as soon as the world opens and I can actually start seeing all the fun spots that this side of the world has to offer. 


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12 comments / Add your comment below

  1. I’m so glad I managed to travel in January right before lockdown. I miss flying around a lot!

    I’ve never heard of hop on hop off travel buses in all the places I’ve visited. It’s definitely something I will look out for when international travel resumes. Thanks for sharing!

  2. This was going to be my year of travel, too! Argh! Enjoy Spain — near the top of my list. Thanks for the tip on booking.com and opening an account — I’ve never noticed one seems to always have the lowest rates.

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