Comfort Through Planning

Comfort is defined as a state of physical ease free from constraints and pain. That contented well-being and comfort when travelling comes from exhaustive planning. It is important to be thorough, and you want to make sure that you have the important things like travel and accommodations fully planned out and booked. 

I hear people say that they want to be spontaneous and that they don’t like to plan too far ahead for their travel. I hear lots of frustrating tales from people who didn’t book accommodation and ended up in a dump of a place for a lot of money, or they waited too long to book their flights and now all the seats are sold or the price is triple that of six months ago.  

Planning is the most essential part of travel and it can also be the most fun. It lets you live the trip before you go. It accelerates the release of endorphins that gives us the feeling of happiness and pleasure. It also reduces the level of anxiety and increases the level of comfort that people feel about their trip because they have the main things set. 

The first step in planning for a budget slow travel trip is to have a destination in mind. Sometimes it is a bucket list destination, a place of interest or because of the deal. I book a lot of trips because of the deal. 
My last deal was a trip to Puerto Vallarta. It was a 6000 sq. ft condo in a mega resort that rents for up to $15000 a night. I was able to find a deal where I paid only $350 a night for the week. The experience was so over-the-top, I booked a smaller condo for two weeks in January 2023 at the same rate.

Once the destination is decided on you need to plan your travel and accommodation. Either your dates are fixed or they are flexible. If your dates are flexible, you can pick the cheaper dates for your travel and accommodation. This can make a difference of thousands of dollars. Flexibility is the key to getting the lowest prices available.

For our trip to southern Italy in the fall of 2023, my dates are flexible. The airline prices that I found today for a direct flight from Calgary to Rome shows $1225 one day, three days later $989, and five days after for $1424. The saving of $435 pays for a week’s rental.

In the Puerto Vallarta example, my dates were fixed but because of the pandemic sales, I was able to get business class seats for the price of economy seats with full cancellation rights. 

Pre-pandemic, the best time to book International flights was 9-12 months out. Now, with the reduction of flights, the shortage of personnel, and the overbooking and cancellation of flights, I am holding off for a few more months before making a decision on booking the Rome flights. In the meantime, I put an alert for Rome flights for notification when the price changes. 

Go to my Tool Page (budgetslowtravel.com/tools/) and use the four flight links there to explore prices and to set an alert for any flights that you may be looking for in the next 11 months. Get an idea of what a good price is for your destination. Watch the alerts, wait for the lowest price and book it. You could save enough to pay for your accommodations. Now that’s a level of comfort we all would enjoy.

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