Anatomy of a travel plan

 

Resfeber (n) the restless race of the traveller’s heart before the journey begins, when anxiety and anticipation are tangled together, a “travel fever” that can manifest as an illness

Probably the most difficult part of planning a trip for me is deciding where to go. I want to see the whole world! I try to visit two countries at a time. I figure that if I am going to spend that amount of money, I want to see more than one place and experience as much as I can.  Friends keep mentioning Portugal, and how beautiful and inexpensive it is. So, out comes my world map.  I have been to some parts of Spain, and consider exploring other Spanish cities. Then, my wandering eye spots Morocco. Visions of riding a camel, sleeping in the desert in a Bedouin camp and seeing the market in Marrakech fill my dreamy head. I am excited! Portugal and Morocco it is.

My first research entails airfare. My brain fixates on flying into Porto as a friend of mine flys to Porto on a regular basis. ……Back to the map. So if I fly into Porto, stay there for a bit and then travel to Lisbon, I can fly, or take a ferry to Morocco. Then back to Lisbon to fly home. This is not making sense. There has to be a better way.

In the meantime, I am given some recommendations for tours in Morocco. As I would be uncomfortable travelling as a lone female through this Arab male-dominated country, I consider booking a tour. I pour through the websites.

I have a rough idea of the cost of flying to Porto, but decided to get help through a travel agent. I drop in to see Maria, at Quadra Travel. She was a godsend. After listening to my wishes, she quickly suggests that I fly into Casablanca, do a tour and fly to Lisbon for a week and a half and then to Porto for the same amount of time. I would then fly home from Porto. She gives me a brochure from G Adventures, a Canadian company that has an excellent reputation for tours all over the world. They do small groups and have fifty self-sustaining community initiatives. My options are either an eight-day or a fifteen-day tour. The difference in cost was minimal and because I had just celebrated my 70th birthday, decided that the fifteen-day tour was my gift to myself. It is amazing how one can justify anything! Once I make that decision, then Maria gets busy with the travel portion.

I want to use my Airmiles for the home to Toronto portion, stay a few days in Toronto and then fly direct to Casablanca. Maria notes that it was not going to be a lot of difference in airfare if I flew directly to Casablanca. Because I want to use my Airmiles for my upcoming four-month yearly Mexico trip, I decided to go with her suggestion. Maria manages to get an excellent price for the airfare which also includes the Marrakech to Lisbon portion. She booked the tour for me as well.

 

 

So where am I now in the plans? My airfare is booked and paid. My Moroccan tour is booked, with a 25% deposit, the balance to be paid in July.

The next step is to plan the Portugal portion – places I want to see and approximately how long I will need in each location. With that done,  I can plan my accommodations which will probably be with Airbnb. I will post when I have decided. The final step will be my wardrobe. I will endeavour to travel with a carry-on and a small backpack. I will let you know how that goes.

I would strongly suggest using a travel agent to help with your travel plans. Not only will they make excellent suggestions but can get the best prices for airfare.

How do you start making travel plans?

13 replies
  1. Anna Coulter
    Anna Coulter says:

    Which airline(s) will you be using? So sorry that we can’t join you. If only the timing was better.
    Anna

    Reply
    • Suzanne Buller
      Suzanne Buller says:

      I am travelling by Air Canada. Yes, I wish you were coming with me. I will be heading to Portugal on October 3rd for 3 weeks.

      Reply
    • Suzanne Buller
      Suzanne Buller says:

      Air Canada direct to Casablanca. Wish you were able to go as well. I will be in Portugal on October 3rd for 3 weeks.

      Reply
        • Suzanne Buller
          Suzanne Buller says:

          Yes, it was. Maybe we will be partners in crime in another place. Just getting my grounding in Portugal. Have already seen a few of the sights. Must hire a guide though to see as much as I can. Take care and keep in touch please. My email is on the card.

          Reply
  2. christine thelker
    christine thelker says:

    Great read and Ideas, Portugal and Spain both on my bucket list. Will really look forward to hearing more. I am going to be doing a short road trip which I may blog about, will send it later in June or early July, Also will be traveling to Chicago so will try to write a little about that adventure as well. Take Care
    Christine Thelker

    Reply
    • Suzanne Buller
      Suzanne Buller says:

      Thanks, Christine. Good to hear from you. I sent a couple of emails but you never responded so I was hoping all was well. Glad to hear you are going on trips too. I would happily post anything you want to write about. Just let me know.

      Reply
  3. Carol
    Carol says:

    Hello not going yet, but Scotland and England.
    I slowly start to look up on the map and on line places we would like to see.
    Then I will choose B and B. Or this time we are hoping to rent a travel Van
    Going place to place or stay a few days. It probably will be my last trip.
    We plan on going in 2022.

    Reply
  4. Kathrin
    Kathrin says:

    Sounds like a great trip. I just read a novel recently. Rather dark but takes place in Tangier, Morocco. The Last Hotel Room. Great writer Sean MacLachlan. But not the elegant side of Tangiers but I learned a thing or two I didn’t know.

    Reply
    • Suzanne Buller
      Suzanne Buller says:

      I will have to read it but must wait until I get back. It will be a lovely trip. Riding a camel, sleeping in the desert for two nights, what more could a girl want?

      Reply

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