Not Quite There Yet

I like to think of myself as a bit of a traveler – I mean, I’ve been to Costa Rica 4 times, did a trip to Europe on my own, lived in The Bahamas, and am moving to Australia next month. I am by no means an expert, but planning my upcoming trip to Peru and Australia has demonstrated how much learning I still have left to do.

I follow most, if not all of the tips, you see on travel blogs. I research flights using incognito tabs and try different routes to find the best price. I research the best way to get around the country. I do research on my “must-see” sights and leave room for exploring. My biggest travel faux pas? I wait too long to buy airplane tickets.

Screen Shot 2016-02-16 at 8.58.32 PM

Good thing I didn’t have tickets for this plane! Instagram: @rachee73190

I could research and find the best price weeks out from the trip, but instead of purchasing the flights when I find the lowest price, I sit on it. I sit on it too long, and I always end up paying at least a couple hundred dollars more than I originally anticipated. For this trip to Peru next week, I waited too long. Waiting too long to buy plane tickets meant that I had to sacrifice a part of my trip that I had my heart set on – Macchu Picchu. Between the travel from Lima to Cusco, the train ride up to Machu Picchu, MP’s Entrance Fee, and a flight out of Cusco, it was going to add on at least another $400 to my trip. Also, because I am moving to Australia a week after I return, I have very little wiggle room between my conference and my move.

thursdayoct26_22

I did better this time around, when searching for flights for Australia, but I think I paid a bit too much for a one-way plane ticket. Flying from Chicago, it ended up being around $800, which isn’t too bad, but I think if I had planned ahead and “pulled the trigger” when I found the best deals, I wouldn’t consistently┬ábe in this predicament.

I’m still learning and I think I still do a pretty great job of doing my research, but if there’s one thing that I’ve learned, it’s that I need to be confident in my research and do what’s best for my budget and I. Traveling on a budget is fun and exciting, but spending a bit more money on plane tickets means less money available to spend on experiences in the destination. Nevertheless, I’m pumped to fly out to Peru!

Advertisements

The Queen of England (And missing my chance to be a princess)

** This is a post from my old blog and has been copied over/edited **

2014

This post is all about the time I saw the Queen and the Royal Family ­čÖé In June 2014, I attended the Trooping of the Colour, also known as┬áthe Queen’s Royal Birthday Celebrations. Although she was born in April, it is custom for reigning monarchs to celebrate their birthdays on the second Saturday in June!

I arrived early (about 3 hours or so before the festivities were meant to begin) and snagged myself a spot against the guardrails. I was positioned next to an English family and they taught me some English trivia, my favorite being that a man broke into Buckingham Palace TWICE.

 
The Queen is in! (That’s what that flag means)

The festivities are free to observe from the streets, but there are tickets available to sit in the grand stands if you apply by ballot. I did not know that before I planned my trip, but I still had a really great time and had a great view of the Royal Family.

 

Royal Family! Kate Middleton is in the white next to the middle pillar

 

The Queen is brought to the palace by a horse and carriage and she joins the rest of the family for a fly-over at 1 pm.

That little teeny lady in the blue is the queen (behind the horse butts)

 

 

William in red in front of the pillar, Kate next to him, Harry next to her, and the queen in the front middle!

Colors of the English Flag during the fly-over

Seeing the Queen and the Royal family was definitely a highlight of my trip. Prince Harry was driven right past me on his way into the castle before the parade began! Unfortunately, he didn’t fall in love with me, so he won’t take over my student loans and make me into a princess. I think it was because he saw me eating a smashed peanut butter and jelly sandwich out of my purse, like the peasant I am.
Have you ever seen royalty? Have you been to the Trooping of the Colour?