How to search for the perfect travel destination

by Monicah Wangari
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My friends think I travel a lot, a lot of people admire my travel culture and I thought, that satisfactory feeling I get from travelling, I want you to feel it too, and know that you don’t have to sell a kidney to explore.

I learnt that travel can be affordable and not just a luxury but part of the human needs through Rotaract. Rotaract Club of Karura to be specific. See, they came through as a rebound kinda thing.

I had joined a network marketing club for travel and they had this whole psych and energy about travelling class and cheap. It didn’t work out for me as much as the presenters in those meetings said it should. I spent more than I earned yet I was supposed to be making money. So after a year, I quit. See more details here

A few months later, I was invited by a rotaractor friend to a trip to Watamu. Back in 2016. It was Ksh. 8,000 for 4 days all inclusive. That was the first trip I ever paid for myself and had so much fun while at it. That’s where my love for travel begun. A spark was created.

With Rotaract Club of Karura, I then took more trips and made new friends. I’ve been to Samburu, Malindi, Kisumu, even outside the country to our neighbouring countries Uganda and Tanzania.

Eventually, learning the art of travel, I’ve been able to almost travel solo. There’s freedom in travelling solo. You deal with uncertainty by yourself. You have multiple conversations with yourself and in the process learn yourself more.

In my most previous travel article to Mombasa where we stayed at Nyali, I stated that I went to Mombasa town by myself to explore via public means. Thank God for a common language.

When organising a trip with my friends, I love doing the research part: Google searching transport means, hotel rates, calling up hotels and activities nearby.

Here’s how it starts:

The need to travel or explore hits me or my friends. Then we fantasize (build castles in the air) what exactly we want from a vacation. Whether rest or sight seeing.

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Decide what levels of nature we’d want, whether the ocean or forest.

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Create/decide on a budget that doesn’t strain either of us.

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Check online/Google about such stay ins /hotels.

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Now this is totally my department, what I enjoy doing. They say Google has all the answers and who am I to object.

Let’s say we’ve decided to do the Coast of Kenya. First of all, the Coast is a whole province hence I will need to narrow down to which section of coast we want to visit. I’ll search for hotels in say, Nyali.

I especially like to click on the image section of Google search results to feed my curiosity.

Tell you something, I travel for the experience so staying in a 1 star hotel for me is no biggie. When my pockets shall be able to handle 4 star and above, I’ll be delighted.

The search will definitely bring lots of results. So if given the option to filter, then do exactly that.

Call/email the hotel that takes away my heart.

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I have come to learn that prices you see online are not the same prices the hotel quotes to you when you call. So be sure to contact hotels before booking.

Then the next step is to find the most viable transport means.

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Whether train, bus or flight. I mostly do bus because it’s affordable and convenient for night travel, I’ve done train severally just for the experience. With buses, I’ve tried calling to enquire but no one ever picks up so the best thing to do is show up to their very busy offices. Last time I used the SGR to Mombasa, I had to go to the station at Syokimau to select seats, something one cannot do online. Flight I’ll do when my pockets allow me in the near future.

I am always sure to book in advance (a week before) to avoid cases of say, me and my friend getting seats that are rows apart – that would suck!

When am done with bookings, my excitement levels are higher because now it’s not just a plan but one we are to go through with.

Image source; unsplash

Easy as a Sunday.

Got any tips for me, enlighten me in the comments section below

Happy travelling!

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