A Guide On How To Plan Your Trip.

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This post is in reference to the trips I took to Moscow and St. Petersburg sometime last year.

It was my first time organising a (any, actually) trip all by myself. And it was all last-minute.

It was a Monday, I remember. Woke up on the best side of the bed! ūüôā And decided that I wanted to go to Moscow the next day. So I went ahead and bought my ticket… right away in fact! I had no idea where I was gonna stay. Had no itinerary. Hadn’t packed. Nothing! All¬†I knew was that I wanted to head to St. Petersburg as well after a short stay in Moscow. Ha! ūüôā

I thought everything would magically fall into place within 24 hours. You know…

Let’s just say that the hours until my departure were an emotional turmoil.

There were¬†times when I got frustrated because I wasn’t getting immediate email replies to confirm my accommodation. Teared up¬†once or twice. Thought of cancelling the whole thing. But I’m so glad I didn’t.

Because it turned out to be the best time I’ve ever had! ūüôā

So here are a couple of pointers to help you plan your next trip:

1. Destination.

First of all you need to determine which place(s) you want to visit. Town, City, Country.¬†Find out if you need to apply for¬†a visa if you’re planning to fly out of the country.

2. Date.

Then choose the precise dates for you trip. Because you need them for the step below.

3. Accommodation.

Now figure out where you’ll be staying. Hostel,¬†hotel or home? For how long? Call or email them to make a reservation. ALWAYS make a reservation.

4. Transport.

Time to book your ticket. Plane, train or bus? You pick. ūüôā

5. Itinerary.

And the fun part begins… planning your activities! Find out what amazing things the new town/country has to offer, list them down and schedule them for the number of days you’re going to be there. Make sure to spread them out evenly.

Any more tips you’d love to share? Please do write them in the comment section below. I’d love to hear your opinions. ūüôā

Always be kind.

Dee.

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St. Petersburg, Russia. 4

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Remember that time I took a trip to St. Petersburg? Well, there’s one more day that I haven’t shared with you yet. The last day.

I decided to save the best for last and visit the Peterhof Palace just before I left. Peterhof is an immensely luxurious royal estate that lies on the shores of the Baltic Sea. Founded by Peter the Great, the entire place is filled with beautiful fountains, statues, palaces and gardens.

I got there in the evening because it’s always scorching hot at midday¬†during summer. No one told me though, that the fountains only work up to¬†5pm. So with only 10 minutes left, I hurriedly paid for my ticket (I think it cost¬†about 5 USD), walked through security and found my way to the grand fountains. Oh, it was magnificent! Even with the¬†few minutes that I had left, I still managed to admire the amazing show from a very strategic place.

After 5, I strolled down to the Baltic Sea, which starts at the foot of the Lower Gardens. It was all so serene. They say you could spot Finland on the other side. I did see a landmass, but I’m not quite sure if that¬†was indeed Finland.

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Always be kind.

Dee.

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Solo Travel: Pros & Cons.

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I’ve been on the road travelling solo for a couple of days now and it’s safe to say that this is quickly becoming my favourite way to see new places.

Let’s get straight to the pros then, shall we?

1. Total freedom.

No compromise. I really love the fact that I can change my mind/itinerary as many times in a day as I want and not have to worry about inconveniencing a travel partner.

2. More interaction with locals and others with similar interests.

Hence cultural exchange. It comes automatically. You become more approachable to others and since you’re¬†alone, you sorta have to initiate conversations as well to ask for directions,¬†recommendations etc.

3. You make more friends.

Most of the people you’ll come into¬†contact with are definitely sailing in the same boat as you are¬†and similar interests are a great base to friendships.

4. An opportunity to spoil yourself.

Who doesn’t love travel? Invest in yourself every once in a while.¬†Go someplace nice and treat yourself to whatever you want. The kind of fulfilment you’ll get is worth so much more than what¬†you could ever get from somebody else.

5. Personal growth.

When you’re on the road, alone, you¬†automatically¬†find yourself reflecting on life. The kind of paths you want to take. What impact you want to make to society. What your purpose is in life. This is a journey of self discovery and at the end of each trip you’ll have learnt so much about what makes you happy and what¬†exactly you should be pursuing and dedicating your time to.

Now, onto the cons:

1. The blues.

There¬†are going to be days (minutes rather) when you’ll wish that you were home at the comfort of more familiar streets and people. But that soon goes away as you begin to realise that those are the same reasons you decided to leave and look for adventure in the first place.

2. Pervs take advantage.

I hate this part.

3. You pay more.

For accommodation, activities and pretty much everything else. You see, when you have a travel partner there’s the “split-costs” option that allows both of you to get¬†more for less. ¬†Also, people in the service industry love groups. They see groups and see more¬†profit. They see a solo traveller and see, well, not so much. And no one gives discounts to “not so much”. ūüė¶

4. Exhaustion.

I love to walk. Especially when I’m alone. And I love seeing as many places in a day as I can. So when you put these two together, you have yourself a girl who¬†struggles¬†to get out of bed on by every¬†fourth day in a new location! Like literally. On these¬†days¬†I’m almost always just having my meals in bed and watching movies. ūüôā

5. I can’t think of any more cons.

I guess it’s just that good! ūüôā

Always be kind.

Dee.

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