My Travel Strategies

The three steps in travel planning are:
  • Where to go

  • Where to stay

  • How to get the


First, figure out where to go. To do this, you need to consider factors such as:


  • Temperature - what are your high and low desired temps

  • Do you prefer dry or humid climate

  • Geography - mountains, desert, sea

Personal Safety

  • can be used to check a variety of safety factors in any destination and can be used to compare 2 destinations

  • Government websites list safety issues for travel

Cost of Living

  • Numbeo can also be used to look at detailed information for cost of living in a destination

  • Search for neighborhood articles

    • Google search on "what neighborhoods to live in __"

    • Choose best areas for your travel purpose and use that as a guide for accommodations


Decide what type of accommodation you need. This can vary from a dorm room in a hostel, a private room and bath, a studio with kitchenette, hotel room, or full apartment.

When you start the search, specify your absolute needs. For me, they are wi-fi, a washer, and at least a kitchenette.

Typical search tools include:

  • airbnb





  • Couchsurfers

  • host a Sister Facebook page

Sometimes a more creative approach can result in the perfect place. I have successfully used these four strategies a number of times with success.

  • Facebook groups in the destination area

  • Google Maps

    • Open to desired area and expand until small businesses appear

    • Find apartment complexes and small hotels, contact the directly

  • Property managers

    • Contact them to ask if they have clients who may want to to do a short term rental

  • Online real estate ads

    • Place free ad in real estate section

    • Be concise: retired, non-smoking, single female seeking fully furnished home from __ to __



What are the options for getting to your destination? Consider:

  • Cost

  • Layovers

  • Country layovers with transit visas

  • Transfers for buses and trains

  • Extra costs, especially airlines, but also transit to the apartment or hotel by taxi, shuttle, etc


For Flights, trains buses, ferries, these are reliable resources:

  • - gives all options for getting to a destination

  • Google flights to start search for airlines going to your destination and average costs

  • - what destinations each airline flies to, to help plan route

  • Man in Seat 61 ( - for train travel

  • Flixbus - great for long distance buses

  • Use third party searches to find a good flight, then contact the airline directly to book

    • Airline may have better price, though not always

    • Sometimes it’s easier to deal with cancellations and refunds directly with the airline, though a third party company may offer assistance, especially for flight changes at the last minute

  • Third party agents often used:

    • Kiwi

    • Sky Scanner

    • Kayak

    • Momondo

    • Justfly

    • Jetlagged

These are some of my favorite strategies and tools for travel planning that save me a lot of time and a lot of frustration. I hope they can be helpful to you. As I discover new ones, I will add them. If you know of any that I missed, please let me know and I will add them as well.