Itinerary

Lately, as the date draws nearer, I am being asked a series of questions, quite frequently.

  1. How’s your trip planning going?
  2. Have you finalized your destinations?
  3. Have you booked all your accommodations?
  4. Are you ready?
  5. Are you excited?

Okay… I’ll show you guys my simple Excel spreadsheet without revealing the actual date, time and name of my accommodations. You can draw your own conclusions if you will…

itinerary

I’ve confirmed all my flights and accommodations. I’ve purchased my Sagrada Familia and Camp Nou (football stadium) tickets online. My passport is good till next year. I’ve checked and confirmed that I do not need any special visa to enter both the countries that I’m headed to. I’ve bought my travel insurance. I’ve checked my travel adapter, suitcase and windbreaker jacket and they’re all fine.

Speaking of my Sagrada Familia and Camp Nou tickets, I’ve tried to do the online purchase since 2 weeks ago, and every time the transaction was terminated because my credit card was rejected. I’ve been trying the purchase every day, and trying to call my bank every day for 2 weeks. The call to the bank finally went through yesterday (Malaysia Boleh!). Unfortunately the customer support lady could find no evidence of my attempted transactions, assured me that I should have no problems making international transactions with my credit card. Instead, she insistently pinned the blame on the foreign websites being spotty. So after hanging up, I tried again and surprise, surprise… my transactions were able to complete at long last. What a miracle!

What else have I missed that will get me into trouble upon my leaving the KLIA? Can’t think of any…

Some of you, maybe most, especially the Malaysians, might balk at my extremely bare bone, basic plan. You might think I have a more detailed plan on which monuments to visit, what bridges to see, where to have my meals, how much time to allocate to each attraction, etc. I want to tell you… no, I do not have any other plans than the spreadsheet I have shown you. This is actually the very first time I’m going on a solo vacation, ever. I plan to please myself and only myself. To do just that, I plan to have not much of a plan and be spontaneous, spontaneous, spontaneous…

Well, the Sagrada Familia and Camp Nou is sort of mandatory, so no way for me to be spontaneous around that. Also, I suppose I will most definitely want to taste authentic paella, both the seafood version and the rabbit version. And I will try my best to find Frigo Pie (because I saw it in Marta’s blog post). 

So yeah, I guess I’m ready. As ready as I ever will be…

26 Comments

  1. I ran into the same problems the first time I tried to purchase something online from the States with my credit card issued from a bank in Taiwan. We called customer service and if I remember correctly, they had to activate an option or something.

    I personally believe solo travel is the best. You can do what you want, when you want, and how you want. And you can plan everything out in detail, but everything doesn’t work out as you intended [the weather sucks, something else captures your attention, etc.] When my husband and I travel, I am the planner and he is the ‘go with the flow’ kinda guy.

    • I used to plan my travels in the past, but I’ve seen enough to learn that “no plan ever survives first contact with the enemy”. Things will surely go wrong the moment you touch down or arrive at your destination. So I’m going to try to take it easy this time. No stress, that’s the most important thing for me this time.

  2. Haha this kind of itinerary looks like mine…. except mine will have even less detail. In Istanbul, I would just recommend that you explore the Beyoglu windy streets (the area by Galata Tower), Hagia Sophia, and if you can, Dolmabache Palace. That was probably the most amazing palace I’ve ever seen on my travels. And of course, spend a lot of time wandering through the little alleyways off of Istiklal street (by Taksim area) and sit down for some shisha and whatever food looks good :).

    And you’ll have tons of fun solo traveling. I only did it for a week (though technically I didn’t travel anywhere lol) but it was really fun to just do whatever I want to do everyday!

    • The thing is, I suspect what little details I have might be thrown out the window the moment I touch down at Istanbul 😀 ! Your suggestions are quite in line with what I have in mind for how to spend my time in Istanbul too, hopefully I will really enjoy my time there!

  3. Go on trip on our own. These are all the questions come from our mind. Many things we need to consider too – weather, latest updates about our flights and so on.

    • Hahaha actually I did not worry about the weather too much (at all). I think if I can survive US winter, I should be able to survive European spring… 😛

  4. I feel excited for you pulak 😀 I have no courage to go for a trip all by myself. Have a great adventure and I am sure you will have lots of interesting things to tell us when you come back. Stay safe!

    • As I will be on my personal vacation, if I have access to wifi, I might still try to blog while on the go. We’ll see… 🙄

  5. Lately I have also been receiving the countdown emails with reminders and tips from the hotels and Air Asia bookings. I really like their new innovative customer services to keep my excitement escalating and not to miss out anything!
    I managed to discover unknown tips about the radius of the hotels I have booked.
    I wish to visit Europe like you someday.

    • If you want to, there’s nothing stopping you. I don’t believe Europe will be a much more expensive place to visit compared to Japan. 🙄

  6. The “hop on hop off” tourist bus is a good deal and easy way to get around the city. It drops off at both Sagrada Familia and the football stadium. There are a number of companies that run different routes but they all seem fairly comprehensive. You might get an even better deal if you book in advance. Please be aware of pick-pockets especially in Barcelona. They are highly organised crime rings and have known to fool even the most savvy of travellers.

    • That is a good suggestion! It seems like there are many different routes over 2 different companies. In all probability, I would want a route that omits both the places that you mention, because I expect to spend a lot of time in each of those places (I paid for the tickets to enter, after all). We’ll see…

      Sigh… pick-pockets. You know, we constantly remind tourists to KL to beware of these too. I guess now that I turn tourist, I will have to practice similar caution…

    • Actually my main intention is Barcelona and the French Riviera (which has been scrapped due to the ringgit devalue by 30%). The only reason I go to Turkey is because my almost free Singapore Airlines air ticket can only reach there. But Istanbul is also in my bucket list, so I’m spending about 5 days there, not 2. Two days plus each sandwiching Barcelona.

      I want to go to Pamukkale and Cappadocia too, but they are both a few hours travel from Istanbul in different directions, so doing that 2 places will cost me almost a week. I want Barcelona more than I want these 2 places, so… I guess these 2 places, I will reserve for when I get rich, retire and can travel without having any timeframe constraints. 🙄

  7. Finding the Frigopie is fairly easy, just look for kiosks or bars that have Frigo brand icecreams (they normally have a sign outside displaying all the icecreams available). You can definitely just go out and walk, I’m sure you will find interesting things! Especially if your hotel is close to Passeig de Gracia or the Gothic Quarters. When are you leaving? Let me know if you need anything!

    • Well, according to Google Maps, my hotel is smack in the Gothic Quarters, and very close to Las Ramblas, so I guess I’m in a good place. Since I plan on being spontaneous, I guess I won’t ask for too many advice. Maybe you can tell me what food should I be on the lookout for, besides Frigopie 😛

      • To be honest, everything is delicious in Spain haha. Just try to avoid blatantly touristy restaurants and you’ll be fine ordering anything. I guess you’ll want to try paella, although it is not a specialty in Barcelona but it is very famous. Remember also that you wanted to try migas, the supposed Spanish breakfast according to some website. You can also try Catalan sausages (llonganiza) and cold sausages (butifarra) and their local dessert (crema catalana).

        • Llonganiza and Butifarra and Crema Catalana. Noted!! Ahhh yes, migas LOL! Thankfully my mom doesn’t know how to use Google Translate. Else she would pester me to no ends about my prospective meals in Barcelona! 😀 😀

  8. Looks like you are all set to go! Smooth and safe journey!

    Just remember to allocate enough time to get to the airports and carry all important necessary documents with you.

    Have fun! Your plan for day 12 is very funny. 🙂

    • Yeah, I’m thinking along the same lines as you suggested. The commute to and from airport is my single biggest concern.

      That plan is not funny at all for an Arsenal fan. It is serious matter!

  9. “I plan to please myself and only myself.” As a person who likes to do things myself, yes, yes, yes! Sounds like you got the important things covered. How about food? Remember to check the weather each day. For instance, if it’s raining like no man’s land I don’t think it would be appropriate to go to the beach 🙄

    • Actually no, I have not checked the weather for rain. All I’ve checked is that it is early spring so I should be able to handle the temperature without too much trouble. Well if it really rains then we’ll see.. 🙄

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