I seem to be ...stuck... with travel planning - like a writers block, but a travel block!
Has anyone else ever experienced this? I am sitting here staring at airline sites, hotel sites, i know I NEED to be booking everything for the two main and one mini trip I have planned for this year and I seem to be just...staring at the screen.
Ive got as far as booking Kapalai to dive at Sipidan...and thats it. I have no airfares booked to get from KL to anywhere..and I have been sitting here for days trying to plan routes so I dont end up spending my time in airports. This wouldnt normally be a problem if I was travelling alone, id look at departure boards and wing it..but travelling with another person and to multiple destinations on multiple trips means I do have to book some things or have some sort of itinery. Its ok to say..great, a few weeks til borneo, sipidan, krabi, laos then 6 months to bangkok, kanchanburi, Nepal, Bhutan (I have bhutan organised also, thats done..but nothing else. As in how to get from Australia to Druk Air would be a start. Nothing at all booked for Papua dive mini trip in between...I didnt even know I was going to PNG until I suddenly decided the break between trips was too long and added in a dive trip up in Kavieng a couple of weeks ago.
So any suggestions on how to stop staring at screens and actually booking??? I seem to be suffering..travel overload..
Perhaps its the three trips not one big long one that lasts a year thats doing my head in.
I am planning a trip to the Philippines with a stopover holiday in Kuala Lumpur. There's a sale 'til Sunday which could save us at least $2500 on airfare but I couldn't bring myself to book it. I just don't feel the same excitement anymore when planning our trips. There's also a cruise sale in the South Pacific Islands (New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Fiji, Samoa etc) but I couldn't make up my mind. I just don't feel the need to travel at the moment
.... just gonna have to come up with other activities and something else to do during school breaks (otherwise)
I've never lost my mojo....although I frequently sit and stare at the computer screens. When it is time to book you will do it.
Take them one at a time and it will feel more managable.
Sometime it is good to explore sit still and maybe that is what you need to do right now. However, those sounds like some great deals that you have found.
Have fun, happy travels.
Thanks Johanna and D & MJ - perhaps all I needed to do was post this thread to kickstart me into getting at least the Sipidan and beyond trip. I pulled an allnighter and sat here and worked out the jigsaw of connecting flights and boats so have booked everything (I did get some cheap fares, others I decided to not hang out at KL for 16 hours so payed a wee bit extra for another route with only a 4 hour stop over) - why are there so many hotels in the world lol, page after page of staring at hotels thinking this sounds ok then reading the review about live wires in the bathroom, back to square one! I just re read the now booked itinery this morning to make sure I hadnt made a 3.30am booking to outter mongolia (which is a lovely place btw but not this trip).
I think another factor is travelling with someone I now have to think of their needs too - even though by 4am I had stopped caring if the hotel had a gym or was near a gym or has any yellow decor (after a lifetime of working on offshore oil rigs Giant hates the color yellow - everything on a rig is yellow).
I usually cant wait to do the planning and work out the itinery and love booking flights and hotels....Having the first trip done now makes me feel heaps better - and Giant is happy with everything except 5 flights in a 20 hour timeframe but..he is just going to have to deal with it.
Im almost inspired enough now to start working on the Bhutan trip - maybe tommorow, after some sleep 😊
I hope you got to work on the Bhutan sector!
When I'm planning longer trips, I split the planning into sections. So for example, in 2008 I spent 15 weeks in the Middle East, Europe and East Africa. To work out 100 days of the journey at once was a bit much, so instead, I divided them into regions. The first task was to book the airfares for the whole trip, and then after that, I focused on the Middle East (this was the first destination) and did everything for that trip (visas, hotels etc) and then once that was done, I did the same for Europe, and once that was complete, it was Africa's turn.
Travelling with someone else does complicate things (not that this is bad of course) as places I would normally stay in when on my own, I wouldn't dare share with someone else. When with someone I normally chose a better standard of accommodation, mainly because if the other person doesn't want to do sightseeing for the day, they can at least rest in comfort whilst I'm scampering around with my camera.
One other thing I consider when not on my own is how long to stay in each location. I tend to recover quickly from long journeys and after moving to a new place (practice makes perfect) but infrequent travellers may have more issues with this. I tend to schedule more 'nothing' days in an itinerary, or err on the side of spending more days in less places then vice-versa.
Hey Shane - yes, Bhutan itself was all paid for and booked and confirmed november last year....its just the getting to Nepal first to go back to Chitwan ( going to be very interesting seeing Chitwan now and how I remember it from 27 years ago) then to Kathmandu to catch Druk Air into Bhutan that isnt planned. I will get to that when I get back from Sipidan...ive now done everything including scheduling those ever important rest days.
I think you nailed it - while im happy to sleep on a mat on a floor in the middle of a jungle, not everyone is. Giant is 52 now..even though hes very fit, doing two 5 day blocks of intensive diving is going to take it out of anyone...on my own, id push through and madly go and do a David Attenborough and go climb a volcano looking for a species of deer like thing that exists only in bloody zoos nowdays the next day...but I realise after Cambodia and Vietnam (for a day!) and Thailand that he does get tired and doesnt do too many flights in a day too well. I suppose im not getting any younger either and those days where you are busy doing nothing are great in their own way too.
Instead of trying to make it from Krabi to Tawau to get out to Kapalai with the quickest connecting flights ive decided to do something ive never done before - book at an airport hotel for 8 hours and grab some sleep..ok, i lose a day travelling but it beats hanging around an airport for 7 hours after two flights. After Sipidan ive actually booked nothing from Tawau other than the flight back to Kota Kinabalu. If we feel up to it we can go crawl around a jungle looking for the deer like animal, if not.........theres always the wildlife Park LOL!!
Funny you should mention airport hotels - I'm trying Changi Airport in Singapore for my maiden airport hotel stay next month - not once, but twice! My travel plans always revolve around avoiding overnight flights - I despise them - I don't mind losing a day to avoid these. Losing this sort of time is fine, as your sightseeing will be of higher quality and not seeing things through a hazy and weary blur for the first day or two.
Further, if any journey is more than 12 hours on a plane, then I now plan a day of nothing immediately afterwards. I made a bad error in 2009 of heading from Brisbane to Beijing via Singapore (20 hours of travel from my home to the final hotel), and then 10 hours later making another flight to Xi'an - and by the time I landed there with half a day of sightseeing in front of me I was wrecked.
It will be interesting to see how the airport hotels work - I have a houseguest at the moment who broke up his trip staying at a few of the Tune hotels as he did most of his travel with air asia which is what gave me the idea of giving the airport hotels a try - as he said..for $19 you have somewhere to have a shower, grab 5 hours sleep and back to the airport which beats sitting around an airport for 8 hours.
The 12 hour rule seems like a great thing too. Last trip to Papua I left Perth at 5am, got to Alice Springs at 1pm, got to Cairns at 9pm, left cairns after sitting at the airport at 5am, arrived in Port Moresby at 8am, sat at the airport until 11am then flew to Alotau and then 4 hours on the boat out to the first dive spot....it was HELL!
We have stayed at the airport hotel in Miami and it worked out great. Like you said it provides a respite and allows you to wash off the travel funk. It worked out very nicely. The rooms are small but you don't care. We were worried about noise but that turned out not to be an issue.
Shane, I think Liliram said there is a swimming pool at the Singapore airport. Check that out and let us know how it is.
Cindy, sounds like your mojo is working fine again. You've got some great travels planned for the rest of us to read about.
You had me laughing when you were talking about how you would pull a David Attenborough. Aren't we all a little bit funny as we age and we don't want to give up our travel routines from our youth.
I remember a few years ago my cousin was having some conflict with the fact that her mother had given her a very small roller suitcase for Christmas. She had used nothing but a backpack for 30 years. It was a symbol of the way she saw herself. The interesting thing is the small roller back twice smaller than her backpack. She finally gave it a try and had to admit that it was nice. Sometimes we fight these minor changes when we should embrace them.
LOL D&MJ I made myself laugh then too.....I just realised ive been looking for this stupid mouse deer (and I have malay students who tell me one wandered into their backyard one night!!) in the jungle for 9 years straight now. Ive counted and worked out ive looked for it on 23 islands during those 9 years. Ive met porcupines in the wild, civets, fishing cats, orangutans, pigtail macaques, otters, crocodiles, other stupid monkeys of various species, jungle fowl (ever wondered where your KFC originated?) and yet this idiotic mouse deer creature eludes me.....but wanders into peoples backyards GRRR!
Its become very personal....I WILL see one before I kick the bucket.
OMG those suitcase with wheels - I was Horrified the first time i went overseas with giant and saw him get one out to pack..those are for OLD people. It may be handy, it may hold suprisingly more than it looks, it may save a lot of lifting but hes a weightlifter and they are for old people and it will never ever be cool LOL. I can understand your cousins 'issues'.
I am definitely not a fan of the wheeled terrors, but can understand if someone has a bad back. However, the wheel mechanism is heavy of itself, but it is still better than carrying for some people.
The reason I dislike them is that one can never move at any decent pace with a large one of these - you see people get the speed wobbles when someone attempts it. I walk fast and can guarantee that a backpack on my back allows me to get anywhere faster then people with wheels. I overtake dozens of people inbetween going from the arrivals halls to the taxi/bus/train and it does make a difference to the speed of your departure from the airport.
The other reason I dislike wheels is that they do work well in places with nice even footpaths (i.e. Australasia, Northern American, Europe, parts of Asia) but are absolutely hopeless in almost all of Africa, India and sizable chunks of the Middle East and Asia where there are no slopes leading from footpaths to street (only steps) or dirt sidewalks, or those with holes or worse. I remember seeing a person struggling with one in Kenya, where the area surrounding an airstrip was a rock strewn dirt surface - so you could imagine this passage was a very slow journey.
As a bit of trivia, I do remember that this wheeled design first made an appearance in the mid 1990s, but they never took hold, and eventually disappeared. However, they returned a few years ago and now have reached a critical mass so you see them everywhere.
I love the title, wheeled terrors!! That is fantastic. May I borrow that? I'm not certain that the bags are the issues but the inexperienced travelers pulling them. I'm always amazed which people board an airplane. You are absolutely right that many places make sense to travel with nothing but a backpack.
As long as you cite me as the source ;-)
Wheeled terrors do slow disembarkation from a plane and after departing a plane, plus they are pain in the...you know where...to move past a group of people with them - they take a lot of space and unfortunately do seem to move in packs. I do recall that process of disembarkation and heading through the airport being quicker in the past but not so now. As an example, have a look at the walking pace of the majority of people with a briefcase or shoulder bag and compare them to the walking pace of the majority of people with the wheeled alterantive.
No problem with sourcing you.... I'll use APA format!
Traveling near Christmas is when we hate to fly because 80% of the people on the plane fly once a year. They try to shove every gift in a bag or sack and jam it into the overhead. ( so they don't have to pay for shipping) It can make a person crazy. I think the airlines would improve their on time status if they charged for carry on luggage and not checked luggage. They have not figured that out yet.
I thankfully miss the Christmas or Easter period travelling, mainly due to the extra expense of flying peak period. Charging for carry-on luggage is a very strong suggestion, but really airlines should enforce their own policies, however, charging would get around some of these problems.
On some flights I've taken (particularly around the Middle East) the carry on luggage issue have become such a problem that I've seen one third of passengers on some flights forced to offload their luggage as they are heading down the gangway to the plane. A small posse of airline staff will wait within the gangway all ready with luggage tags to halt those who have overloaded on duty free shopping or had too much luggage to begin with.
Well..I suppose I should be getting a) organised and b) excited....I leave in four days. Other than organising for the boxer brigade to go on a lovely farm holiday while we are away and a house sitter to stop teenage parties while im away..i have done..absolutely nothing LOL. Giant is counting the days, i am ...meh.
My backpack always stays packed to a certain extent. It has a few clothes and my dive gear in there...thats enough.
Ive organised hotels, airfairs - except to Tawau, im still to do that..just rang and organised travel insurance but..i still cant get excited about things. Ive never had this happen before. Normally I would be counting the days but ..hopefully once I head to the airport things will change.
I did win over the wheeled terror though 😉 I deliberately booked a night at a super exclusive hotel on Railay West which is a longtail only delivery so I explained that and said it had to be soft bags because otherwise he would have to carry the wheeled terror above his head to avoid it getting wet - WINNING!
I just need to ........start looking forward to a holiday. At the moment i just sort of feel...here we go again.
Enjoy your holiday Cindy, you would be on the road by the time I post this.
I spent two nights (on separate occasions) at the Transit Hotel in Terminal 3 of Changi Airport and it was a great experience. Simple rooms, but clean and extremely convenient - only a five minute walk to my gate in the morning - would strongly recommend it to anyone. On one of the stays I had a window to the tarmac and parked directly outside was an Airbus A380 - just wonderful!
Whilst at the airport on Monday morning I saw the most efficient use of a wheeled terror I've ever seen. It was a Chinese-Malay chap who could move his wheeled terror as fast as I could walk and I am a fast walker. His secret was that in order to change direction he did not slow down, but instead lifted the bag up and twisted or spun it in the air for it to hit the ground in the new direction he wished to go. It was a very impressive display.
[Edited: 2011 May 04 02:23 - The Travel Camel:11053 ]
Hi Shane and Travelblog family - I DID enjoy my holiday because..i turned it into a holiday instead of a frantic cram as many places into three weeks as possible usual mad journey. I just chilled out 😊 Weather conditions and memories of a very special place held in my head for 27 years helped me make the decision to stay in Krabi and postpone sipidan until later in the year so we didnt get to the tune hotel rather spent a bit of time in more luxurious surroundings. I purposely didnt blog or go near any form of technology while I was away to escape the technological leash. I have posted in general forum about this very subject after doing a bit of people watching.
I saw many wheeled terrors on longtails but the ones that topped the list of ridiculous travel accessories were the couple with three each - leopardskin in pink and cheetah print in blue matching his and hers giant wheeled terrors containing an amazing array of costumes and props for the honeymooning phillipino couple who set up masses of tulle and diamonte encrusted fans and tasselled silk umbrellas for the bride to pose in at least 20 different outfits and styles of makeup for their photoshoots...quite fascinating to watch. They arrived by longtail, carried the giant wheeled terrors over their heads in multiple trips, spent 18 hours at Railay doing their photoshoots and left again. Guess it takes all types 😊