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Travel Itinerary and tips part 2

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Hey there!

As you might have noticed, we’ve been busy with the blog lately. Both on the front-end and behind the scenes. The blog should be loading faster now, on both desktop and on your mobile devices.

Anyway,  in case you missed Our 5 Pre-Travel Tips, be sure to check it out. In this post, we will talk more about how to prepare your travel itinerary and how to decide on where to travel and what to do when you travel.

To start off, ask yourself this question, why do you want to travel? The answer to this question may not be as simple or as straight forward as you might think. Not to over-complicate things, but this question will decide on where you will go, how much you would want to spend on your vacation, and what kind of activities you will do. So spend as much time deciding on the answer.

It could be one, or a combination of the following

  • I want to spend some time away from the routine life
  • I want to relax, switch off and go somewhere far
  • I want to experience new things that I always wanted to do
  • I want to spend my hard-earned cash on things that aren’t available locally
  • I want to escape the hot weather and ‘ghbar’!

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Answering the question will decide on the style of your vacation. For me, I have a busy life style here in Kuwait. Things vary between my day job, my  small business and initiatives, my studies, the gym and social life responsibilities. I tend to want to travel every 3 months or so. It doesn’t have to be a long vacation, a short weekend getaway will do. But every now and then I want to have what we all call a Real Vacation. Usually it’s a combination of the following:

  • I want to experience new things
  • I want to relax, switch off and go somewhere far

I don’t mind allocating a big budget to do the above. The places that I usually go to are pretty far and I always do multi-destination trips, going through multiple countries. I’m very active when I travel and end up covering tons of activities in a single day, spending no more than 4 nights in a single city or country. So, I end up burning a huge chunk of my travel budget on hotels and air plane tickets.

So how do I choose my destinations?

  1. By checking  this blog , following us on Instagram and Snapchat (@Hello965) and sending us your questions. because ‘Hello 965’ team are awesome travel consultants!
  2. Word of mouth – by having a big international circle of friends that tells you about destinations worth checking. This is my personal favorite, but it can only be effective when you have a huge circle of friends from various nationalities.
  3. online sites – such as tripadvisor, travelocity. They can be useful and give you an idea of a place, but do NOT depend on them.
  4. Apps – Instagram/twitter/Google plus pages on traveling, Yelp and Foursquare.

How do I look for travel tickets and prices?

  1. Expedia
  2. Google travel
  3. Direct deals announced from airlines or any 3rd party agency
  4. Skiplagged.com

You may not find the best prices at Expedia, so be sure to check the airline websites for a better prices. Tried Skiplagged couple of times and get got me the best prices that i couldn’t match anywhere else, however it does not always work.

How do I book my hotels?

  1. Booking.com
  2. Hotels.com
  3. Airbnb.com

Always think strategically when you book a hotel. Look at the hotel location on Google Maps and make sure it’s not too far from the places that you will spend most of your time at. AirBnB is a new concept of booking a place (House, apartment etc..). I highly recommend that you check them out, as my experience using it has always been great.

Hope this helps with your travel plans and as always, feel free to ask us for consultations!

Happy traveling!

San Sebastián (Basque: Donostia)

It is nearly impossible not to fall madly in love with this city.

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 SLEEP.

As my friends told me and I agree, accommodation standards in San Sebastián are generally good, but prices are high and availability in high season is very tight.

I stayed in a hotel called Astoria 7. Very good location, average priced, and very clean. If you’re looking for budget hotels, any NH hotels in Spain should be reliable and budget friendly. For boutique hotels, I heard that Villa Soro is a good option with a location by the beach.

THINGS TO DO.

  • Rent a bike, tour or personal and wander around the streets, and old town (La Parte Vieja)! Its beautiful.
  • Checkout El Paseo Nuevo
  • PHANTOM BEACH – La Concha Bay (option: 10-minute boat ride offered by Motoras de la Isla – Paseo Mollaberria)
  • As for many places, Hop on Hop Off Bus tours are a good option to see different attraction spots.
    • Stops include:
      • Republica Argentina Street, in front of the Victoria Eugenia Theatre.
      • Teatro Victoria Eugenia
      • Townhall-Alderdi Eder gardens
      • Plaza Zaragoza-Hotel Londres
      • La Perla-La Concha beach
      • Ondarreta beach
      • Funicular-Peine del Viento
      • La Sirena hostel
      • Igledo Mountain-Theme park
      • Antiguo-Las Esclavas
      • Miramar Palace
      • Justice Palace
      • Buen Pastor Cathedral
      • Gros-Pinares Square
      • Ulia mountain-Navarra Avenue
  • Checkout the famous sculpture located at the end of the beach Ondarreta. Its called El Piene Del Viento.. The sculptures are embedded in the rocks just a few feet left over the sea

  • Cable car up that takes you up the mountain
  • See the City Hall building, also near the Concha Bay
  • Zurriola Beach (Surfers beach)
  • Igeldo Hill (a hill where you can take rides from the top)
  • Miramar park (A nicey grass area for a picnic)

FOOD.

  • Arzak (3Michelen star, very famous yet very expensive but worth every bite lol i loved it.)
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Arzak Restaurant – World’s 50 Best Restaurants

 

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Arzak Restaurant – World’s 50 Best Restaurants

  • Café Oquendo (its right in front of the Teatro Victoria Eugenia)
  • Txubillo (Japanese pinchos)
  • Garraxi
  • Bar Néstor (appetizers, salads, yemdi7oon ilpotato omlette ihnak bes majarabt’ha)
  • La Cuchara de San Telmo
  • Juanito Kojua (traditional Basque cuisine)

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If you need more recommendations (Roadtrips from San Sebastian, other places in Spain), please feel free to contact us 😀

~ Put down the map, and get wonderfully lost.

Toomzie

 

Hello965 Dead Sea Experience, Jordan.

Traveled via:

Jazeera Airways

Stayed at:

Kempinski Ishtar – Dead Sea

Activities:

float at Dead Sea, Cover yourself in Mud, Hot Springs in Hamamaat Maeen – Six Senses Spa (Private and Public Areas available), Wadi Mujib (Wild Life, Hiking, Watertrails).

Ate at:

we mainly stuck to eating at our hotel.

Advice:

2 days is not enough!!

This was my first time in Jordan, I was there for a relaxing weekend at the Dead Sea. Located at the lowest level in the world at below 400 meters, Jordan’s Dead Sea is the deepest sea (lake) in the world at 377 meters deep with 33.7% level of salt which also means that little to no animal life exists and of course, you will be floating.

Day 1. Dead Sea

We aimed for our first day to be as relaxing as possible. We kicked off the morning with breakfast with a view in the Kempinski hotel, followed by around two hours of relaxation, floating, and mud scrubbing at the Dead Sea. After that, we drove to Hammaamat Ma’een which is the area that has the hot springs. We particularly wanted the private hot springs which were inside the Six Senses Spa. Before entering the springs, we had to have Mansaf at the hotel of the Spa! A very nice outdoors area and an absolute beautiful weather. Post lunch, came the spectacular feeling of experiencing the hot springs with an AMAZING one hour Indian head massage; felt like I was in Lala-land.

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Six Senses Spa Private Hot Springs

We made sure we leave on time for sun set, as we booked at a place called the Panorama, a table at the balcony outdoors. I can’t describe how beautiful the scenery was. The sun was setting, and live Arabic music was playing. It was just perfect. Must try!

The day ended with a delicious BBQ at the Kempinski outdoors area along with a belly-dancer show.

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Day 2. Petra

80 Kilometers south of Dead Sea, we decided to see Petra. I heard soooo many things about Petra. Some good and some bad. However, Petra is Petraone of the New 7 Wonders of the World! So that was enough reason for me to see it and trust me, I was not disappointed AT AL. The entrance fee for Petra is 1 JOD for Arabs, and 50 JOD for foreigners. Make sure you take your ID with you to get those rates. 

Day 2 was a drive from Dead Sea to Petra, which took around 3 hours with some stops at cafes randomly at the street with BREATH TAKING VIEWS. Our taxi driver was amazing, he took us to places that literally took my breath away. The weather was beautiful, I surely do not recommend Petra when the weather is hot; it gets  too hot!

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Petra, The Treasury

Normally, the tour takes around 4 hours of walking to finish all Petra, if not even more. Unfortunately, we had a flight to catch that night. So, we had to cut it very short. We reached to the Treasury and back. You could either do it yourself, or hire a tour guide for 50 JOD (Usually less). We decided to do it with a tour guide.

We were on horses at the beginning, and then we continued by walking. There is also an option to get a carriage; while we were walking, we watched horses and carriages kick up clouds of dust as they raced up and down the road to our right, middle and left. Lol

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SHADE AND SANDSTONE CLIFFS, PETRA

With the infinite blue skies above us, the sun on our faces, and the most intricate rock-cut structures to our left and right, we wanted to take our time and see everything. Unfortunately, we couldn’t. After sitting in front of the Treasury for several minutes, admiring it for all its wonder, we walked back and off to another 3 hours ride to the airport.

For more pictures on our trip in Jordan, checkout our instagram account! @Hello965

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secret: I’m scared of horses. This was me challenging myself with a big smile on my face.

Explore, Live & Smile,

Toomzie