Hey you guys,
This isn’t my normal type of post, but every once in a while, I feel like I want to get on a more personal level with you guys, other than giving helpful tips and posting beautiful photos from around the world.
I’m sure some of you guys noticed that I haven’t been traveling that much lately and I kind of wanted to take the time and explain the reason behind it. The last international trip I took was Tokyo which was at the end of October. Now approaching the end of January, I’m asking myself where did time just go? Have I really not traveled in forever? or been on a plane rushing for my life, in the past 3 months? Going to Las Vegas for New Years doesn’t really count or at least not to me.
So why haven’t I traveled lately? Well, there are so many factors that I take into consideration when planning a trip, but I was also busy working on other things. I finally finished working on my apartment’s design and furniture, since I spend most of my days at home on my laptop. That took hours of me building furniture, waiting for packages, running back and forth from store to store. I also had a hard month in December, probably one of the worst months in years, with a bunch of dramatic things going wrong, but all is better now. I actually had to decline a press trip to Russia because of it.
It might seem as though I randomly pick a country and go, which is sometimes they way I do things or that I have a magic bucket list country list and I do, but things are a bit more complicated than that.
How I normally plan a trip?
There are a few ways, one is being personally invited by a country or a city in the world, also known as a press trip. A good example of that would be my trip to Kerala, India or Sri Lanka.
Another way is spontaneously on the spot when I randomly find a cheap ticket to a country and say to myself, “hmmm…I always wanted to go there, why not!”. A good example would be recently to Tokyo, Japan, where I booked my flight 2 days before leaving. Or my 26th birthday, while I was visiting Israel for 2 months and woke up one day and decided I wanted to go somewhere special for my birthday, looked up flights and tours and booked my trip to Italy with Contiki Tours in less than 24hrs I was already on a plane to Italy (my mom thought I was crazy).
The other way, is the old fashion way, actually planning a trip a month in advance. I guess for most people, planning a trip is a thing they do months in advance. Normally I start planning 3-4 weeks before because the anxiety of not being able to go sooner drives me crazy, so I can never plan a trip 2 months or more in advance.
What do I base my trips on?
How I pick a destination normally depends on a few things, there is actually a list:
- Airfare prices – most important
- Visa requirements (I try to stay away from countries that need a visa – too much of a headache).
- Things to do in that country – attractions, excursions and day trips.
- How nice the hotels are in that country (I’m a huge hygienic freak and like to travel in style, especially when I travel solo) and the prices for them.
- What are the closest countries to the country I want to visit, maybe I can go there as well? Since it saves money to travel to a few destinations at once.
- How many countries I want to visit on this trip.
- How bad I want to go to the country.
- Safety within the country I want to visit (solo). If I know there is a chance that it’s not safe, I look for tours, which do cost more.
- Weather – Weather is a big factor that also plays in the country I want to visit, it’s actually huge. Sometimes I find the perfect deals and when I check the weather for that time of the year, it explains why it’s so cheap. I’ve wanted to visit Belize for my birthday 2 years in a row but every time I looked at the weather for that week it seemed like a hurricane was happening every day. Same thing goes for Thailand, Africa and Austraila, I always have bad timing.
- Money– of course, money plays a huge role in all this too. My rent in Los Angeles isn’t cheap. It comes out to $2000 every month give or take, which is one of the reasons I was so iffy about renting a place to begin with. I knew it would take away from my traveling budget every month. If I had that extra $2000 every month, I could travel to a new country every month with that money alone. It’s the price of airfare and hotels in a new country and my apartment building doesn’t allow Airbnb, so that sucks. So I’ve started to realize that the best time for me to travel is in the middle of the month, but sometimes it costs double.
The frustrating part…
Taking all these factors in and I tend to run into a few problems. There is always one or more of these that doesn’t fit in and that’s where my confusion comes in and my indecisiveness happens on where to go to next.
Right now, as we speak, I’m dying to go to Cuba and Tulum in Mexico (looked it up every day this past week and last few months actually). The problem?
Cuba has been on the rise recently, as I’m sure many of you guys know. The whole passport and visa issue isn’t an issue for me because I also have an Israeli passport. The problem is that now the very few hotels there cost an insane amount of money that I just can’t justify. Like the nicest hotels in Cuba cost $600 a night, they are considered 5-star hotels, but to the western world, they are more of a 3-star accommodation. I’m also one person, so spending 4 nights would cost me $2400, without including spending money, tours, food and airfare and that’s just crazy to me. The other alternative is Airbnb, the problem is so many of the rooms and houses are sold out for the next few months to come. Anything that’s decent is sold out for the next year or is available for one night. Ugh. It’s pretty frustrating.
By the way, I’m partners with Airbnb and have an exclusive $40 credit to my readers! You can use it anywhere in the world! Click the photo below.
The same thing is basically happening in Tulum, Mexico. For some reason recently it’s the hot spot and everyone is traveling there and prices are through the roof. This is the shitty part of being a solo traveler, is having to pay everything and not splitting it with someone else. Trying to find the right person to go with is a whole other crazy world within itself.
Visiting Past Countries & Missing Home (Israel)
I haven’t seen my mom and sisters in a long time, a year and a half. Which in my world is forever and a half. I normally visit Israel every year for at least 2 months or more.
The last time I saw them was November of 2015, but it didn’t really count because I was auditioning for a tv show and I was only there for less than a week. I really REALLY miss my mommy (yes, I still call her mommy), she’s my best friend and we talk every day, but it’s still not the same.
I also miss all my amazing friends in Israel and keep trying to figure out how to make Israel happen and when. Israel is also not cheap at all, so I’d really need to save a good amount of money to go. On the other hand, investing $5000-$6000 on a trip to Israel for 2-3 weeks is money I could be spending on a whole other country or countries I’ve never been to before and that’s important to me.
It’s important to me for a few reasons, one because it’s my job; to always travel to new destinations and to always have new awesome photos for Instagram, new topics to write about and introduce to you. The second reasons is the more obvious one which is because I want to travel the world and discover new places with the limited time we have here on earth.
I’ve also considered going back and visiting countries that I’ve already been to, like Iceland. I want to finish doing all the amazing things I didn’t get a chance to do the last time I was there. I was also looking into going to Venice, Italy for carnival and taking my mom with me in February, but I have already been there and like I said, I want new destinations for my blog.
So now I’m kinda lost as to where to go to next and time hasn’t really been my friend recently. It just keeps going faster and faster.
Normally my biggest motivation for making money is planning a trip, otherwise, I’m a spender. If I have it, I spend it. So I really do need to pick a place to go to and FAST. For you, for me and the world lol.
Countries I’m looking to visit this year and/or care for the most
- Tulum, Mexico
- South Africa
- The Maldives
Yup, that’s my list, for now. Of course, I have a longer list, but these are the places I care to visit the most, not in any order. If I had to pick a top 5 (or 6) other than Israel. I would say, Cuba, South Africa, Thailand, Tulum, Peru and The Maldives.
Not sure when and if any will happen soon, it all depends on the list above, but this is the list I’m aiming for.
I don’t like to say where I’m going until it’s set in stone, so be on the lookout on my social media for updates and wish me luck!
I just thought it was important to share what’s been going on in my wild mind.
and dammit, after writing this post, I seriously just need someone to hand over a million dollars so that I can just leave and go to all these places! Anyone?
Love you guys. xoxo
The night that I wrote this, I was restless after hitting ‘Publish’. I couldn’t accept the fact that I couldn’t make my dreams come true. I’ve always been a fighter, a go-getter and driven by finding the possible in the impossible. So I researched all night until 6am…maybe longer. The night has always been my place of inspiration.
So I did it! I found a way to book my trip tooooo…….
and Tulum, Mexico!
I have been dying to visit these two places for the longest time. I’ll be traveling on the first week of February. So get excited! As I’ll be bringing you the 411 on Cuba!