On my first post regarding our trip to Belize I added a map with the places we are going to go. Here I would like to document a bit our pre-trip research. Follow the trip #belize
To organise this trip we have used the following tools:
For reviews I always use:
- My favorite is Trivago but I also use:
- For low budget the best is Hostelworld.com
- Eventually for a week stay somewhere (I did not use it for this trip: AirBnb)
For checking flight prices I use:
To see what to do and plan the itinerary:
- Buy paper copy of the Lonely Planet guide (Belize in our case)
- Then check in TripAdvisor “to do” and forums
- Foursquare (yes…) and other local search tools such as Yelp.
My main tools to plan trips are:
- Evernote: where I print out all the boarding passes, receipts by tagging them with #belize. I just print them from my browser or if they came via email forward them to my Evernote address to the right notebook (subjet @nameofnotebook) and tags (subject #tags). Evernote keeps everything, from checklists, to bookmarks, to actual tickets and receipts.
- Tripit: here I forward every confirmation I get, from flights and hotels. It automatically puts it in a plan and my calendar is subscribed so I see it in my calendar. Very very handy. Also there is an app for that.
- XpensTrkr is an iPhone app to track the expenses. Before I used a plain note, but at the end of the day it was a pain to add everything, track different currencies, etc… This app is great because you can add your payement methods, different curerncies, take photos of receipts, and ad geolocation. Great app.
- For mapping is a bit more complex. The first map on the first post is just google maps. The second is tripline (has an iPhone app). Tripline is cool because it creates sort of a slideshow of your trip plus you can importe it from tripit (that I use for every trip). You can also link it to foursquare, Facebook and Twitter. In our TDM I used everytrail (has an iPhone app). The beauty is that I always travel with a GPS logger (qstarz q1000xt), so I can Geolocate the photos of my Nikon, and I can have a detailed log of all my movements for 40 days. The file GPX can be imported into everytrail (and the photos) and then you can share the map. The is also a WordPress Plugin to map that file that I tried (XML Google Maps)
- For WordPress, the mapping plugins I use are: MapPress, and the one outputting where the blog entry was created (the Posted in . with the popup map) is Geolocation
Every time we go on a holiday trip we take an insurance. If you see when I went to Route 66 we took ACS-AMI that costed around 30 euros for a month or so.
Now we found a better deal, Globelink: an annual multi-trip insurance. I paid 183 euros for a year, but for the whole family (4 people).
We have a VISA gold. We make sure when we rent a car we pay with it. It covers the insurance. Also it may cover baggage loss if you pay the air tickets with it.
I always try to travel with hand luggage (video) only. Specially with long flights and short connections you do have a lot of numbers that your bags don’t make it on time.
I also have a Scottevest fleece that I use. I call it the Ryanair bag…
Where are we staying and where are we going?
[wptab name=’20 Feb 2013‘]
My flight is from Geneva to Washington D.C.
[wptab name=’21 Feb 2013‘]
The following day I take to plane to Belize city, there a cab to the Radisson hotel, where Nuria is staying for work. We stay there for a couple of nights.
[wptab name=’22 Feb 2013‘]
Friday Nuria finishes work at noon and then we go cave tubing with Vitalino Reyes. From 1pm till dark (they say is the best experience).
[wptab name=’23 Feb 2013‘]
[wptab name=’23 to 28 Feb 2013‘]
The plan is to take the Advanced Open Water course that consists on 5 dives (we already have the PADI Open Water) and also to dive (3 dives, all day) in the Blue Hole.
[wptab name=’28 Feb to 2 Mar 2013‘]
[wptab name=’2 Mar 2013‘]
We check out early and take the water taxi to Belize city, there a taxi to the airport.
I will flight to New York and I will stay at the Equity Point at Times Square. Nuria has a different route.
[wptab name=’3 Mar 2013‘]
I stay in NY for the day. At 5.30pm I have a direct flight to Geneva.