As per my usual ways of doing things, I did booked my first flight about four weeks before I was actually supposed to leave for my trip. I started out with a roundtrip flight to Athens and then return from London with no true idea as to what I was going to do between those three weeks. About three weeks, I actually started going through the flights and looking at the routes. Since my original flight plans didn’t work, I finally came up with my route and purchased all the transportation to get me from city to city.
For the remainder of my travels, I needed to make sure I had places to stay in each city. Since I was traveling during the holiday season in a places that are predominantly summer tourist locations, my hotel options were relatively slim. I know that most people do AirBnBs now days but since I was traveling alone, I wanted to make sure I stayed in places with 24 hour front desks for safety purposes and then also making sure that I wouldn’t run into any issues with being able to check in. Luckily, even though the options were slim, I managed to book a bunch of hotels that were in great locations and for decent prices.
I have to admit that the process of booking hotels for me probably takes three to four times longer than it does for me to pick the city that I go to. I have a whole list of things that I need a hotel to check off for me such as price, location, reception desk, is breakfast included in the price, how far is the hotel to the airport, how close are train/bus stations, etc. After I figure out the exact places that I want to stay, I go through the process of trying to find the best prices which usually means going through Expedia and the actual hotel websites themselves. Surprisingly enough, I actually was able to get some better deals from the hotels directly so that was great.
The entire process of booking my hotels took about two days because I was being a bit on the pickier side and after that, all that was left was for me to actually pack my bags and go.
One of the big things that I needed to make sure of was that I had the right bag to use for my trip. I usually travel in my mint green backpack but for three weeks that included work travel, I wanted to make sure I had a bit more space for my packing, but also could still function with only a carryon. I decided to try a new bag for this specific trip and decided to use the Cotopaxi Allpa 35L backpack. I decided to splurge for the full package which includes a 16L day pack, laundry bag, shoe bag, water bottle mesh bag, along with a rain cover bag. The thing that was really appealing to me about this bag was the fact that it had theft proof straps to protect the zippers and opens up like a suitcase.
It was a bit of a gamble for me to take a chance on this backpack because I wasn’t entirely sure that it was going to be the right size for me or carry everything I wanted to bring. I was a bit concerned about how big it was because it ended up being about the exact size of a carry on suitcase when it is fully packed but luckily, since it was a backpack, it could be compacted a bit more. I knew that after receiving the backpack, I was ready for my trip.