3 Ways to Plan Your Epic Adventure!
Planning an epic adventure is easier than you may think! And you don’t need to spend a lot of money either! We’ve been planning itineraries for epic adventures since 2011. It wasn’t until this month that we decided to put our love for travel and planning together for clients. So how do we do it?
3 Ways to Plan Your Epic Adventure
Research! Research! Research! I know this sounds like common sense, but we don’t really have our “epic adventures” planned for long before going. Marty and I have been traveling since we first started dating. We went to Miami (where he is from) so I could meet his family and friends. We did all the Miami tourist things and even went to Key West. Key West was a last-minute, “hey, look! We should just go now” type of trip. Hint- it was in Key West where I knew I was going to marry Marty. Three months later, we eloped in beautiful, historic, Savannah. My advice- don’t overthink your epic trip destination unless it is a big celebration trip. But even then, I am all about spontaneity.
To figure out a place that is worthy of spending the money on seeing, I get on Groupon Getaways. I haven’t purchased anything from them, but I use them as a guide. They always run fantastic deals but the dates aren’t always in our favor. With that said, I see what they have on sale and think about the location. If it is something that interests me, I start my research. This is how we ended up in Machu Picchu. They had a “deal” which I thought was good. And it was, I won’t be negative. However, I did my own homework and we went for half that price.
Deciding on the epic adventure location is sometimes the hardest part!
I use various websites to book our trips, but Expedia is pretty good. I’ve used them for our trip to Machu Picchu (Peru) and Costa Rica. They just ended up having the better rates at the time and I could bundle flights, hotels, and a rental car (if need be). The fun, touristy part, is up to you but Viator can help in that department. Okay. You have researched and figured out a location. You have looked at Expedia. Now what?
You need to decide on dates. I never go with just one date. EVER. I look at Marty’s work schedule and the kid’s commitments to see what days we can go. Let me be upfront. We travel a lot. In 2016, we spent over 100 days traveling (not consecutive). We don’t spend a lot of money on materialistic things. Our house payment is relatively cheap and we only have one car payment. I will go a couple months without buying any new clothes or fun extras. So we put aside as much money as we can for travel expenses. Now that I was transparent in that aspect, let’s continue. I look at the calendar and days I know we can travel. I come up with at least three times we can take the days and get away.
Flexibility is crucial to any epic adventure!
Having flexibility will mean a huge difference in trips and costs. We took an 8 day/7 night cruise on Royal Caribbean from Puerto Rico to the Southern Caribbean one year. It was our first big vacation as a family of 5. Marty and I wanted to celebrate our 10th and 11th wedding anniversary (I just had a baby at our 10th). I called the cruise company personally and explained to her what I wanted out of our trip and she worked with me. We ended up with a family suite, airfare, and hotels (the latter two I booked separately) for less than $3,500 (the cruise was about $500 per person). This cruise in any other month would have been doubled. I even checked it on their website. Note: Caribbean cruises are cheaper in September due to the hurricane season.
So what about Machu Picchu? The research was vital but the flexibility was crucial. Marty and I decided to go alone to Peru. We were both concerned about the altitude with the kids. Once we both confirmed that Machu Picchu was where we wanted to go, I sat at the computer for a few nights, scouring the best days to go. We only had a certain time frame on this one because of prior commitments. It took about 4 days and almost 16 hours of searching, but we finally found the flights and hotel (a former Monastery, actually) that we wanted to stay in. We splurged on the hotel but that’s because we were celebrating our 12th wedding anniversary, AND we needed free wi-fi.
Being spontaneous will get you a more authentic, epic adventure!
With every trip we take, we allow for some spontaneity. Once upon a time, our trips were all “fly by the seat of our pants”, and then we got older. Life got in the way, and we couldn’t be like that all the time. However, we can sometimes. For example, in Peru, we had one day where we started off early in the morning and were done by around noon. We had no plans. Marty could have taken a nap but I said, let’s just get a car and go! So we did. Well, we had the concierge get us a driver and we went to the Sacred Valley to get in the freezing Urubamba River (in the Sacred Valley). It was a spur of the moment idea and it was splendid. Marty and I hung out with llamas. Well, said llamas weren’t my friend but they loved Marty.
In Costa Rica, we rented a car. We had no reason to leave our villa premises because we went there for relaxation and to unplug. Oops. We were doing LIVE Facebook videos for friends while driving behind slow drivers (being passed by bicyclists). We drove one day (with a hand-drawn map) to La Fortuna to see the Arenal volcano. That volcano is actually one of the most active in the world. After seeing the volcano we ended up spending the day riding horses and tubing the river in class one rapids.
Spontaneity has us on random, two-week road trips out west or to Canada. We aren’t afraid to let things happen because not everything will go to our plans (and we detail them out).
3 Ways to Plan Your Epic Adventure are:
Research, Flexibility, and Spontaneity!
We understand not everyone is like us or has a schedule like ours. So, sit down and decide on a location for an epic adventure. It doesn’t even have to leave your country or even the state you live in. If you need help with ideas in a location, just message us. We’d love to help. Once you have a location picked, write down a few dates that will work. Then get on the computer and see what days will get you the cheaper rates for flights, hotels, rental cars, or even camping spots. Pick the location, find the best days for you and the travel dates, then allow for spontaneous adventures to happen. Or, you can also use Viator to help plan part of your “spontaneity”.
3 Ways to Plan Your Epic Adventure!