Travel Planning | Deciding Where To Go

When the decision was made that, yes we are going travelling, the next steps of starting to plan this thing were alarmingly difficult. Having never done anything like this before and neither of us knew where to start.

Logically to us, the first place to start was to decide where in the world we wanted to go, and kind of simultaneously, how much money we are willing to spend/take with us. We had a look over google maps and looked up some travel agencies which helped us hone in on the kind of routes people generally take. Narrowing down your route and listed countries is a lot harder that first anticipated, especially with two people involved. We decided to settle on backpacking around Southeast Asia and onto Australia to work and top up some more money and then initially we thought we'd head to Fiji but after seeing some photos of two friends who headed off on an adventure earlier in the year of New Zealand, I think our hearts are now set on going along to see what all the fuss is about... It would be rude not to I think?!

So off we popped to the STA Travel office in Shoreditch to have a discussion about routes, tickets, prices and beginning to put plans in place. The experience of going in and talking to someone was invaluable, our agent Isobel put a large world map in front of us and gave us some ideas, as well as some brochures and potential costings for the flights we wanted to pay ahead for - we don't intend on doing much flying apart from where necessary when we're away so we actually only have two flights booked so far - eep!

By the end of the next week, our deposits were down for our flights, £49 to secure the price, the balance of which needed to be paid 10 weeks before departure and this was back in February so I'm convinced we got a really great price without having the financial strain there and then to cough up the money. We also purchased some flexi passes, which will allow us to change our second flight date and any other flights we might book through them whilst out there.

I like the service that STA have given us, the right amount of input and opinion where needed but also standing back to let us hold the reigns so to speak on our own trip - nothing pushy at all. I also like the idea of being able to contact them whilst we are away to book any impromptu flights to somewhere we might not have thought of visiting beforehand.

Then the task of pin pointing a route down, as much as possible lay before us, and ever since I've been reading about bus trips, bus stations, boats, internal flights and costs because I hate the idea of not knowing where I'm going, but I guess it's just something I'll have to get used to and appreciate.