For brevity, I will use EU I for my Europe 2011 trip and EU II for my Europe 2013 trip.
In this post, I said “Europe, I am definitely going back.” I did.
I started visualizing about my next Europe trip when I did EU I. I stayed in backpackers hostels so I met and talked to a lot of travelers who had been traipsing around Europe for months, some even for years. I got a lot of stories and tips for other countries. I KNEW I HAD TO MAKE EU II HAPPEN.
When I did Europe 2011, I had a friend who was supposed to join me. Or, I was supposed to join her and her friends. That didn’t push through. So I did EU I alone.
This time, that same friend was able to join me. I already planned my route, booked all the plane tickets and even booked some of the hostels so she basically copied my itinerary and booked in the same hostels. She traversed to Norway during the last part of our trip.
This is my planning series. I still applied all of those tips.
The only tactic I changed this time: I did not overplan.
I did not compare all the possible hostels 'til the last Tripadvisor comment. As long as the hostels meet my basic criteria, I’m good with that.
Limit your references. Just use one or two websites for reference. Use one book and one website. That’s it. There’s no need to know everything at the onset. Sure, the planning part is fun. But overplanning does not guarantee that you will enjoy your trip.
You do not have to read every travel forum, every review of a hostel, or every blog post (but thank you for reading this one ^_^). Having a lot of travel experience, I feel that part of the fun is figuring out your destination along the way.
Continue to do your research on travel safety tips. Safety precautions are always good. Read about the possible scams in your destinations. But there’s no need to scare yourself to death reading about all the bad tourist news. All the safety tips are still guided with good street smarts. There’s no handbook when you’re out there.
AND, once you get back, you will realize that you were not able to do everything. ACCEPT THAT. People will say, oh you did not do this, you did not do that? Why not? It may somewhat make you feel that you missed out the fun. Don’t fret too much on that. Have an open mind, open heart, and a dose of humor. You will have fun. :) Pilipinas nga, di ko malibot ng buong-buo eh. Eh ibang bansa pa kaya? You’ll only be travelling a couple of weeks. Even the locals haven’t fully explored their own country. So resist the urge to comb every corner of the city. Just have a plan, then execute it the way you want. You can still have fun without following everything in your itinerary.
I will repeat what I said before: A goal, without a plan, is just a wish.