Wednesday, February 19, 2014

African American - Latino World: Getting the Most from My Travel Plans

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Getting the Most from My Travel Plans

I’ve heard fellow travelers proclaim preference for spontaneity in their travels.
They do just enough planning to get themselves going, and they leave the rest to
chance. Supposedly, this is more daring and fun. Although, I have much
respect for these travelers’ individual preferences, I would not be in favor of
traveling in their company and, would creatively find a way to get lost
from their presence. My personal preference is to plan everything down
to the last detail.

Although the travel experience itself is fun, the detailed research and planning adds to the excitement and creates vicarious enjoyment. I generally start such research and planning six to seven months before the actual trip, and as much as
possible, follow my game plan while allowing room for flexibility in the event
that something or someone interesting does come along to alter a specific plan
in my itinerary.  My travels have never gone exactly according to plan, but I felt secure by at least having a solid plan.

I read travel guides like Lonely Planet, Rough Guide, Moon’s Guide, in addition to
doing Google searches and reading blogs of other travelers who been there and
done what I plan on doing myself. As a registered on-line member of Trip Advisor, Couchsurfing
and Virtual Tourist (websites for travelers), I’m pretty much ready for anything.

This extra effort saves me a lot of unnecessary stress, frustration, and of course, money.
My trips, primarily to Latin American countries, including airfare, has been
relatively inexpensive. As pointed out in my article, How To Enjoy Travel Without Being Wealthy, I was able to reserve flights to Mexico City,
Lima, Cartagena, Quito, and Panama City, in that order, for a total of $897.
Naturally, this fare did not come without intensive on line research. I managed
to snag this fare three months before the actual take-off date. Once I arrived
at my destinations, I already knew the details of the local currency, cheap or
free places to stay, public transportation, where to go for food and
entertainment, and how much I could expect to more:

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