A Place To Go

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My wife and I like to travel, but we like to travel ‘on the cheap’.  I like to say in my most Daniel Tosh smugness that “I’m a baller on a budget”!  To keep it cheap we use credit card points and plan ahead, way ahead.  We like to get a good idea of several places that we want to go and start planning about 13 to 14 months out.  This gives us time to find the essentials.  These will be first of a 4 part series:

  • A Place To Go
  • A Way To Get There
  • A Place To Sleep
  • Something To Do

Generally speaking we try to have at least six places that we want to go to at any given time.  Our schedule is a bit dynamic in the sense that we have different time periods that we’d like to go to.  We fit them into 2 basic categories;  quick trips or long trips.  A quick trip is something that is a direct flight from our hometown and our stay generally is o 4 – 7 days.  Usually we extend a long weekend that has a national holiday so we don’t eat into too much vacation time.  Long trips generally are international trips and will run for 7 days or more, you don’t really want to travel to spend half of your vacation on a plane do you?  For ‘Quick’ trips we feel it’s essential to go places you can get to without plane changes.  We live in the Dallas / Forth Worth area so that means direct flights from DFW and Love Field.  I like to use flightsfrom.com to see what the possibilities are.  By looking at the routes we can get keep our flight times below 5 hours so for places like Barbados we can get there in time for afternoon drinks and the sunset.  Our current lists look something like this (my wife may have her own list) and how they break down.

  • Barbados – Quick or Long
  • Puerta Vallarta – Quick
  • Monaco – Long
  • Marseilles – Long
  • Portugal – Long
  • Malta – Long
  • Mazatlan – Quick
  • St. Kitts / Nevis – Quick
  • Bermuda – Quick
  • Curacao – Quick or Long
  • Italy – Long
  • Spain – Long
  • Japan – Long
  • London – Long

You’ll see some could be both, typically those are on the edge of length of travel we like to go for 4 – 7 day trips.  In these cases a lot of time we’ll chain together a couple place that make sense and make a long trip out of it.  In fact on long trips we’ll usually do this.  For example we probably will go to Monaco, Spain, Italy on the same trip.  You basically turn your stops into 3 to 4 day excursions.  You’re going to find that getting there can be the most expensive part (until my wife finds out that you can fly on points, more on that later).  So why not capitalize on being on that side of the world and knock a few out all at the same time.

Now we look at our calendar.  For us in odd numbered years we have opportunities to travel (alone, sorry kiddos, most of our ‘long’ trips are going to happen during these windows of opportunity) during spring break and Winter break.  On even numbered years we have Thanksgiving and Summer vacation.  The key is to plan ahead, anticipate opportunities for travel and know when your windows are. At the moment we’re looking for Winter break trips 12 months from now.  Now we use the google machine for what it’s good for and search for tips for where to go on the country or continents you’re interested in for the time period you want to go.  For example “Best Places to travel in Europe in December“.

I follow my search to Best Winter Destinations in Europe 2019, and after a cursory look Andalucia Spain looks like my jam.

Mild Climates and Bargain Accommodations Makes Andalicia a Hit!

It is described as “Parts of Andalucía are further south than the African coast so expect mild temperatures in winter. Accommodation is cheap, and crowds are smaller at standout attractions like Granada’s Alhambra or Seville’s cathedral. Plus tapas and nightlife in the cities are as enticing as ever.”  What makes it my jam is that it has mild temperatures and reasonable accommodations. At the end of the day you’ve gotta put yourself places you’re going to enjoy being. I know I like warmer destinations.

Now I have “A Place To Go”. The next entry in this series will be “A Way To Get There”. Thanks for taking the journey with us.

Kilynn & Shana Weber

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