We want to share some of our tips, tricks and information about the various tools we use when planning our trips. Cachetur.no is obviously an important tool for us 😉 But we also use a lot of other tools!
The plan is to share as much as possible of the process, from the planning starts to we get back home from the actual trip. We hope that someone will find this useful, and perhaps be inspired to travel more. And we might even learn some new tricks ourselves, if people share their own tips, tricks and experiences in the comment section!
The trip we’re planning here, is for the Easter Holiday. And we’re starting with the beginning, where do we go?
Where do we want to go?
Sometimes the answer to this is obvious. We’re going on Mega Event X! Sometimes we just know that we have some days off, and want to use them to find caches somewhere we haven’t cached before. And that is the case now.
Cachetur.no has a very nice overview of all upcoming mega events, which we use to keep ourselves updated on possible travel destination throughout the year.
Another great tool is something as simple as the map on geocaching.com.
And sometimes we come across pictures or movies of places we want to visit, and cool caches we want to find. EiFlei and anirt shared lots of photos of awesome caches in Finland, so we really wanted to go there. And one of the GIFF movies from 2017 did tempt us a bit:
How to decide?
Where you decide to go, is entirely up to you. But here is our process for this trip.
We started the process by checking SAS’ low price calendar. Since we live on Karmøy, we don’t have much other options than SAS and the Star Alliance network if we want to travel much further than Oslo. And we also had some bonus points we wanted to use.
We checked multiple destination, and suddenly I felt the urge to visit both St. Petersburg, Kiev and Minsk. But maybe not all of them at once 😉
Google image search, StreetView and pages like Atlas Obscura are also great resources. In addition to geocaching.com, of course. There’s so many places we want to see, but so little time…
So this time, we let the price and the availability decide.
Searching for possible routes
When searching for tickets, we use several different search engines. And we try as many alternatives as we feel necessary. And also different directions, different airports, etc. A trick we often use, to compare two almost equal routes, is to use two different browsers or incognito mode (since the search engines don’t like you searching for multiple routes in the same browser).
So for the trip this year, we figured out that we could fly with or without bonus points to Vilnius and Athen. Which sounded appealing! Both of them, that is. So we continued checking various combinations of bonus and not-bonus tickets, and various departure dates. We ended up with a route that took us to Vilnius on a regular ticket, and back from Athens with bonus tickets.
But how should we get to Athens from Vilnius? By air, of course 😉
We quickly realized that direct flights was something we could just dream of. And it felt strange to fly through countries we’ve never cached in – without being able to find a cache. So it had to end as it did. We ended up looking at prices for individual tickets for all the legs of the trip. So that we could plan a night near each airport.
Many will probably call the first part of this trip an airport vacation. What we eventually ended up with was very cheap tickets from Vilnius to Riga (cheaper than the buss). After one night there, onward to Budapest. And then finally to Athens after a night in Budapest. So all in all, four new countries!
Since we’re flying so much in the start, we decided to spend a few days more in Athens. So we get time to find a cache or two 😉