Hello followers, and readers, I thought I would write a post based around my upcoming trip to Paris and Canada. If you have read my ‘who am I?’ page you will know that I am fairly new to travelling, however what it does not say is that I am picky, snobby, and a total diva when it comes to accommodation – but just to throw you off completely I love culture and sometimes you cannot get that at the expensive places.
I hate paying too much for flights. How much is too much I hear you cry? Hmm… it depends on the location, but me and my travelling companion (aka boyfriend) like to assess how much something is worth. For example our trip for one week in Morocco cost £800 for two – that was far too expensive! Our flights alone were £600! That still hurts, and I know it hurts him far more considering the trip cost me approx £100 – thank you boyfriend 🙂 (He only paid because I was going to university in that September and had to save the money. Just had to clear that up because I am pro-feminist.) When you decide on a place, if you decide on a place, I tend to look for flights constantly using Skyscanner and also Adioso. Both have strengths and weaknesses. I particularly like that Adioso looks for flights nearby to locations; whereas with Skyscanner I like that you can search from the whole of a country or united nation. For example the US or the UK, I am not talking like the EU – can you even imagine!?
Furthermore, my boyfriend is a full time worker who earns enough money to keep him content for the most part, but he hates to spend money – see why we work well when travelling yet? He recently introduced me to Holiday Pirates which I think is amazing. This is how we scored our exceedingly good cheap flights to Montreal, Canada. Can you tell I am getting excited yet? I am going to have to just spill… we got our flights through Holiday Pirates, via Skyscanner, through to British Airways, with cash back using Topcashback which in the end cost us £266 each (not including cash back). Did I mention they’re with BA? Can you tell I have never flown with BA and therefore have high expectations for my flight?! It had better be good… Anyway back to scoring cheap flights. We didn’t set out looking for flights to Canada hence earlier I stated ‘When you decide on a place, if you decide on a place’ because we just knew we wanted to go away somewhere, though Canada had crossed our minds. It isn’t pot luck that we got them, it was purely that we put the work in, and if you do this you can too. Other places that had crossed our minds were Indonesia, Thailand, Florida, Italy road trip, Croatia, France road trip and a California Road trip (eek – I really want to do the last one still). If you research places, look for low and high season rates and don’t be afraid to just book something and go with it, oh but ensure you have it all on credit card! Under British Consumer law, namely Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act, any purchase above the amount of £100 is protected against any retailer worldwide; which is why the legislation is a little controversial as it blatantly favours the consumer. Sorry, law student coming out.
Diva, Snob, Picky, Hard to travel with – ugh, what hasn’t been said about me when it comes to picking accommodation? – No I am not bragging. Accommodation for me is more than purely being clean, I want culture, a fantastic price, and something in a reasonable location, if not reasonable then good transport links. Unfortunately, I know some of you will disagree and pick location over accommodation. I need to be able to come back from a long day in the city, or on a boat ride, or a beach or whatever and feel as though I can get clean and fresh, relax, and feel as though the accommodation is a home away from home. I need that. My boyfriend doesn’t understand, he wants a bed and it to be clean. It has to serve more than that for me.
In terms of accommodation I have, expectedly, started picking apartments instead of hotels. A decent hotel in Montreal is upwards of £100 per night. Our delightful accommodation, I am presuming it will be delightful, has cost us £180 for three nights including the Airbnb fee. Not bad. It is located in Plateau Mont Royal. It is clean, it has a kitchen where I can cook (I like to cook) and a little balcony, it is simply adorable and I cannot wait to stay there. Unfortunately hotels around this price or a bit more expensive did not make me think ‘it is simply adorable and I cannot wait to stay there.’ I like to live like a local, but you may not, so in the event that any of you crazy rock and roll readers may want to stay in a hotel – I understand it has its luxury, I will not fall out with you for staying in hotels – I check tripadvisor: every.single.time. Tripadvisor is my lifeline for everything travel. I rely on it. Find a hotel using their search parameters, which are reasonable, not great, just reasonable, and check those reviews. But, do not disregard a place for one bad review. Check out the persons tip for the hotel, what they didn’t like, and also look at their profile, are they similar to you, did they review based on a feeling they had in their moment of writing, or was it something the hotel did. Could it be put down to a new receptionist which is why they messed up on their reservation, was the room noisy because they were in a badly located hotel room? – analyse. everything. Because you might miss a fantastic opportunity because of one bad review. After you have found a few hotels, search on tripadvisor, search on trivago, search the hotels themselves. I rarely pay for a ‘holiday’ in the traditional sense. Actually, I don’t think any of my travelling is a ‘holiday’ in the traditional sense. The bottom line is, ensure you do your research but also be reasonable in assessing accommodation, and levelheaded. Obviously depending on budget too. I would have loved a huge loft in downtown Montreal at £90-100 per night, but I just could not afford to slip from my budget. Also understand that if you were travelling alone you might do things differently, when travelling with someone else you have to keep them happy too. I wanted to add pictures of my Riad from Marrakech, its a cultural beaut, I unfortunately don’t have many photos. I still don’t know how I feel about staying there and probably wouldn’t again, but it was £28(ish?) per night and I thought it was beautiful. Have a look here on tripadvisor.
This post is a little longer than I anticipated. I will be following up with another post on planning – this is something I am still undertaking for Canada. Maybe I have too much time on my hands?!
Anyway, I wonder what is the cheapest deal you have managed to get on a holiday? I want details readers 🙂
Hope this helped.