To Plan or Not to Plan?!?!

I can never figure out whether to book flights and trips in advance or go with the flow. Advantages of both are obvious. You go with the flow – you have flexibility, no itinerary, you do what you want when you want. Like a place – stay longer, don’t like a place – leave. But the biggest advantage of booking in advance is that it usually works out way cheaper!! And when there’s no income inflow, those extra savings on flights and accommodation can really make a difference.

When I was in Spain this past May, I decided not to book anything other than my flight in and out of the country. I figured I’d just plan as I go. I ended up loving the flexibility but hated the price of last minute reservations. Flights that usually cost 40-60 euros when booked beforehand ended up costing double or triple that when booked two days before. I left thinking that if I had just done a little research and planned stuff in advance, I’d have saved a ton of money.

But now I’m here in Argentina facing the opposite problem. I have my return flight booked as well as another from San Francisco to Hawaii but this time, I don’t want to leave! And now I’m thinking that if I had just not planned stuff in advance and locked myself in, I could have stayed for as long as I wanted!

Yes I know….the grave and dire problems of the young and the free. Still…it is a dilemma and one that I don’t have the answer to yet. But just in case I fall in love with another country, I’m putting a hold on the planning for now  😉

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4 Comments Add yours

  1. wanderoneday says:

    I’m running into the same questions for the trip to Europe I’m planning for next year. I will book the flights between the US and Europe, but all the travelling to be done within Europe is still up in the air (haha!). It would be nice to have the flexibility to stay a few days in one town or another, but then we might never leave Paris and we’ll miss all the other sights!

    1. It’s good to know I’m not the only one that gets confused on whether or not to book everything in advance! But I guess it’s a good problem to have…you will have such a great time in Europe regardless 🙂

  2. anemina says:

    I know the problem very well… I usually book flights beforehand and I prefer to travel short distances by car or train anyway – so that’s a very calculable cost. But whenever I can, I do not book accommodation in advance, that is if I know there are plenty of hostels/hotels in the country I am visiting and if my stay doesn’t include public holidays.

    However, when I was in Sydney last year, I was pretty sure to find a hostel room somewhere in the city or at least a motel somewhere around it. After hours of driving through Sydney and checking out hotels I ended up at an airport hotel paying a hilarious amount of money for just a bed and a bathroom – there was nothing else in the room. Fortunately, the airport offered free WiFi and I was able to book another room for the following night via iPhone. I found a very nice and cheap one. So sometimes, booking in advance isn’t the worst idea ever 😉

    1. I’m the same way with accommodation – it’s usually easier to just get there and find something but every once in a while, you may find yourself in a bind like you did in Sydney! This planning thing’s a toss up – it can go either way really. Glad you can relate…thanks for reading!!

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