Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Efficient Travel Planning For Travellers

Efficient Travel Planning For Travellers


Katherine Belarmino and her husband Romeo travel part time travelling as much as possible with limited vacation time. Through careful planning, they can effectively see the world while pressing jobs full time. Their style of travel, including shorter trips, full of action, allows them to make the most of the limited time they have. By specifically allocating their vacation time for travel, they are able to maximize a calendar of traditional job vacancies and always follow their passion for travel.

You can learn more on their travels by visiting their travel blog travel around the world.  Katherine is also co-author of the travel/alcohol blog passports & Cocktails.

What inspired you to continue travelling as you do?

My husband and I are travelers part-time with work on full-time, non-tourist.  For me, having a scheduled trip and look forward, it's how to get through the work day.

Where did you go and where you hope to go?

We were in Belgium, Belize, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Croatia, Denmark, England, France, Gibraltar, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Morocco, Slovenia, Spain, Thailand, called the Vatican and many States in the United States.  My list of places I want to go is endless.  Some of my current wish list countries are India, Nicaragua, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Turkey and many others.

Do you have tips on how to budget effectively your vacation time to make the most out of your travels?

I try to plan our trips during the weekends and holidays sometimes so that you spend as many days on vacation as possible using a few days off the coast as possible.  For example, in December we go to New Orleans, leaving the Christmas day and return the day of the year.  It will be an eight-day trip, but just take three working days.

How long in advance do you plan your travels and how accurately is your planning (or how spontaneous is your trip)?

For me, the most important thing to get the most out of the vacation is planning.  I do a lot of research, usually for months before travel and create very detailed itineraries.  This does not mean there is no room for spontaneity.  If we learn something to see or experience, rearrange us our schedule or blow something not as important.  But having a way system you will always have something to do if something better comes along.  I actually spied on conversations while we traveled from people who are relaying a fabulous experience that they just happened to fall on all wandering without plan.  The thing is, we had that same experience over five other fabulous things on the same day, because I had studied and learned from these experiences.

How do you decide where to go?

Our travel plans are almost always dictated by airfare.  Because we want all over the place, I keep my eyes open for airfare deals.  When I book an air ticket is too good to refuse, that's where we're going.

How you move around?

Our transport all depends on our destination.  If we are in the cities, I prefer to use public transport.  I love the subway systems, something we don't have in San Diego.  In fact, public transport to San Diego leaves much to be desired, so I've always liked to visit a city with great public transport.  I like to travel by train to get between cities.  But if we are going to explore a country completely, it's always fun to do it in a rental car.  For example, we recently took a road trip to Denmark, that has allowed to see many of the beautiful countryside of the Denmark and visit some sites that we would have missed otherwise.

What have you learned about yourself through your travels?

To be a nervous person, I've learned that I'm pretty adventurous.  The life always has me stressed and made me nervous, even as a small child.  When I started to travel, it made me extremely nervous.  I would be terrified in line at the airport that we would miss our flight or delay to get it.  Then I would worry about flexibility thanks to a new city in a new country.  I still get nervous, but trip made me much braver and the benefits and joys of the trip prevail largely concerns.  I also found that I'm more likely to do adventurous things on a trip then then at home.  For example, I've never had a huge desire to go rock climbing as it seemed difficult (I have no upper body strength) and kind of scary, but it's one of the popular activities in Thailand, I went climbing in Thailand and had the greatest time.

What is very surprising place, you have been so far and why?

Many destinations have been surprising, but perhaps the place more surprising, that we were was Belize because I fell in love with it, much more than I anticipated.  Belize is a fascinating country with so many incredible Mayan ruins.  It is a poor country and can be quite a shock at first, but people seem to be quite satisfied with their lives, as is.  They seem to need less that we do, we think.  I was also surprised by the food.  Never had more fresh food I had in Belize because it's too expensive to import anything, so all the food is fresh and local.

How do you determined your budget for your trip?

Our travels appear to cost about the same.  Airfare may be cheap, but the hotels are a bit more, and vice versa.  I don't really create a budget for our trips, but I know what I'm comfortable spending.  What is more important is that I can pay for the whole trip immediately.  I pay for everything with credit cards to earn miles, but I never carry a balance on credit cards.  If we can afford to pay for the trip, we will not go.

What's the craziest story you have your travel so far?

The line to get into the Vatican, bypassed with a bit of planning

My crazy stories are short stories.  We usually good luck during our travels, especially because of all the planning that goes into their advance.  One of the more strange experiences, that we had recently when we were back from Baja.  To jump the queue for three hours to cross into the United States, we paid $5 to take a shuttle in a special way that we would drop off at the door to the passport without tail control.  He always ended up taking three hours, but at least we were seated.  What was crazy about the experience was that the line has been paralyzed for nearly two hours and our driver has actually left the van and was nowhere to be seen during those two hours.  A few people left the van to try their luck by walking through.  Then, someone broke into our van and told us for $5, we could move to another van further to the top online, which half of the passengers did.  We were just sitting there looking at each other, wondering if it was a scam and that we should do.  The line a little wound up and someone had another car get in our van and move it to the top online since our driver was MIA.  Then some people of a van was further expressed to our van.  Finally, our driver returned when the line began to move again.  We made it across the border and return home, but it was one of the strangest experiences ever.  Only in Tijuana.

Do you have any tips for other travellers?

Do the research!  I understand wanting to live like a local, but you can do that and also to visit the great places that are unique to the destination.  We never know when or if you'll make it back, then act as if you'll never be here again.  As travellers on a part-time, we do not have the luxury to travel slowly and make discoveries along the way.  Our time is running out and we must make the most of the limited time.  I can't tell you how many times I saw people waiting in lines that will last for hours or be rejected when the tickets are sold out while we sailed on by with tickets purchased in advance.