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:
- My favorite is Skyscanner (they have a nice iPad app)
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.
There I have a couple of hours to change to a flight to Houston, where I spend the night in a hotel near the airport: the Red Roof Inn Houston IAH that I booked using booking.com
[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‘]
We check out early and we take the water taxi (San Pedro Water Taxi or Caye Caulker Water Taxi) to San Pedro in Ambergris caye (which is the Isla Bonita from Madonna)
[wptab name=’23 to 28 Feb 2013‘]
We stay at a B&B called Changes in Latitues which is run by Renita and Cindy, very very helpfull. They are making sure that wen we arrive Ecologic Divers are ready to take us out for diving.
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‘]
Take the water taxi and go to Caye Caulker. There we just relax at the Seaside Cabanas for a couple of days.
[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.
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