Firstly happy Friday! It is a lovely sunny day here in Dublin which is nice for a change!
This is a very impromptu post which I wasn’t planning on writing today. However I have been meaning to write a blog post about my travels in 2016 for quite some time and decided there’s no time like the present.
My new year’s resolution for 2016 was to visit a different country each month. Well, I call it a NY resolution but it wasn’t exactly that clear cut.
Basically in January I managed to get super cheap flights to Frankfurt, Germany (around €30 for return flights). Then in February I wanted to go over and visit good friends of mine in London in any case. At that point, I realised I may actually be able to stick to my half-formed notion of visiting a different country each month. Travel is brilliant for giving you a fresh perspective on things. It’s a hoary old cliché but it truly does broaden the mind!
Contrary to what you may think, my plan has not worked out very expensive. When I’m travelling by myself, I much prefer to stay in hostels than hotels anyway. Not only can they save you a lot of cash, but I find staying in a hotel room solo to often be very impersonal and a bit of a Debbie Downer actually. Yes it is annoying when the girl in the bunk next to you gets up repeatedly to go to the toilet during the night or you’re woken by the early airport-goer’s alarm at 6am – but at least you’re surrounded by other living, breathing humans on the plus side! That said, sometimes I will occasionally get a private room in a hostel as they tend to be great value and after a tiring day, it can be nice to have a bit of space to yourself.
Hostelworld.com is my best friend in this respect. I always try and look for hostels that mention they host social events and outings – heading to the pub by yourself isn’t usually the biggest barrel of laughs. I’ll often go to restaurants (or restaurants with bars) by myself and bring a book for company though. A couple of guys in Warsaw, Poland, the other month told me this was one of the funniest things they’d ever seen. ‘But why?’ they asked me. ‘Sure, why not?’ I replied. I actually had good craic with them, apart from the fact one was incredibly drunk and basically slobbering over my shoulder.
By booking usually a month in advance, I can get great deals with Ryanair and Aer Lingus. The latter can actually sometimes be cheaper than Ryanair and I do think Aer Lingus has really good customer service (and airports generally not in the middle of a field!) On both sites, it’s really handy that you can put ‘anywhere’ into the destination field and see what takes your fancy.
I’m intending on doing a blog post on each country I’ve visited so far this year. However I have to confess that I don’t have the greatest amount of diligence when it comes to blogging, so if anyone would be interested in knowing more, it would really encourage me to get my finger out and post some more! Thanks for reading this far!