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Spontaneous travel
Old 03-15-2016, 12:30 AM   #1
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Spontaneous travel

I'm finding that utterly unplanned travel is a real benefit of ER. Idly scanning airline prices a week ago I saw a last minute cross country fare for under $100. Why not, I thought, and flew out the next day. Having no schedule I just bought a 1 way ticket and figured I could get a return when/if needed.

Turned out not to be needed. Ended up buying a truck while traveling and am now driving it back to the opposite coast. Other than a bit of a scare trying to avoid getting trapped in the recent Louisiana floods, a pretty cool impromptu road trip.

Anyway, prior to ER I'd never dream of this kind of plan-free travel, but right now it works for me.
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Old 03-15-2016, 03:23 AM   #2
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Unrestrained too.

2.5 months New Zealand, go back via Tokyo and Taiwan. Tokyo and Taiwan were unscheduled. Stay in NZ was flexible. All done on one way tickets and shortened, altered or lengthened at will.

Because I can (TM)
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Old 03-15-2016, 06:46 AM   #3
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I am green with envy! This is what we yearn/plan to do beginning next year....
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Spontaneous travel
Old 03-15-2016, 07:13 AM   #4
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Spontaneous travel

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I am green with envy!

+1. You can't beat the ability to be spontaneous in ER.


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Old 03-15-2016, 07:19 AM   #5
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Were you planning on buying a truck before the road trip, otherwise some here might argue it was a "very expensive" plane ticket.
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Old 03-15-2016, 07:23 AM   #6
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Spontaneity is great, but it has its time and place.
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Old 03-15-2016, 07:25 AM   #7
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Spontaneity is great, but it has its time and place as long as it is planned out well in advance.
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Old 03-15-2016, 08:25 AM   #8
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This kind of spontaneous travel is exactly what I would love to do more of. The "driving back cross country in a truck" part... not so much... but still sounds like an interesting adventure!

Is there a good website or app that gives a consolidated look at the lowest fares from city-to-city on a rolling basis? I know I can get alerts on low fares from travel websites for specific cities and/or dates, but is there something that checks all major cities and fares and sends alerts or just shows the lowest ones within a selected date range?
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Old 03-15-2016, 04:05 PM   #9
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Is there a good website or app that gives a consolidated look at the lowest fares from city-to-city on a rolling basis? I know I can get alerts on low fares from travel websites for specific cities and/or dates, but is there something that checks all major cities and fares and sends alerts or just shows the lowest ones within a selected date range?
Try fly.com. It will show you the best fares for a number of cities from your preferred departure point.
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Old 03-15-2016, 06:13 PM   #10
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Most of our travels were booked spontaneously when we, mostly my wife, run across some good deals on airfare, hotels, or timeshares. And it was this way even before we fully retired, because my wife had much seniority and vacation time at her megacorp and I was already semi-retired and worked my own hours.

Occasionally, it may cause a gotcha. Two weeks ago, my wife happened to spot a timeshare in late April not too far from Glacier National Park West Entrance. So, I said to book it, and we would drive our RV up there and visited some places on the way. And spotting another timeshare in Colorado, I said to book it too, for a stop on the way home.

Then, I found out that the Park will not be fully opened until mid-May. Oops! Now, I have to look for something to do to entertain ourselves when up there. I guess lots of hiking in the snow. Can't make another visit to Yellowstone either; the roads will not be fully snowplowed, probably till late May.
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Old 03-15-2016, 07:30 PM   #11
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I'm more of a perpetual traveler vs. spontaneous traveler. And I research most flights at Matrix - ITA Software by Google I also keep a watch on Southwest Airlines' website and budget air carriers flying out of airports close to my home.

ClarkHoward.com is a great source for travel bargains, mainly out of Atlanta.

Our latest find is Norwegian Air Shuttle flying out of Florida and a few large, popular cities to London and Scandinavia and Europe. They're going to be a force to be reckoned with. Despite flying brand new Boeing 787's, their airfares are 1/2 that of the legacy airlines. We're flying Norwegian next month to Rome thru Gatwick and going on a cruise to Greece, Malta and Turkey ending in Venice.

We wouldn't be traveling so much but serious bargains can be found on the internet just about all the time. We're seriously trying to curb big trips in the future, however.
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Old 03-15-2016, 07:37 PM   #12
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Then, I found out that the Park will not be fully opened until mid-May. Oops! Now, I have to look for something to do to entertain ourselves when up there. I guess lots of hiking in the snow. Can't make another visit to Yellowstone either; the roads will not be fully snowplowed, probably till late May.
That sounds like a pretty typical spontaneous trip.
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Old 03-15-2016, 08:04 PM   #13
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I plan to do that in 2 years. But I live to plan for vacations.


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Old 03-15-2016, 09:21 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Bamaman View Post
I'm more of a perpetual traveler vs. spontaneous traveler. And I research most flights at Matrix - ITA Software by Google I also keep a watch on Southwest Airlines' website and budget air carriers flying out of airports close to my home.

ClarkHoward.com is a great source for travel bargains, mainly out of Atlanta.

Our latest find is Norwegian Air Shuttle flying out of Florida and a few large, popular cities to London and Scandinavia and Europe. They're going to be a force to be reckoned with. Despite flying brand new Boeing 787's, their airfares are 1/2 that of the legacy airlines. We're flying Norwegian next month to Rome thru Gatwick and going on a cruise to Greece, Malta and Turkey ending in Venice.

We wouldn't be traveling so much but serious bargains can be found on the internet just about all the time. We're seriously trying to curb big trips in the future, however.
Thanks for all these great travel planning tips. There have been several specific contributions from you lately - much appreciated!
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Old 03-16-2016, 07:24 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by NW-Bound View Post
Two weeks ago, my wife happened to spot a timeshare in late April not too far from Glacier National Park West Entrance. So, I said to book it, and we would drive our RV up there and visited some places on the way. And spotting another timeshare in Colorado, I said to book it too, for a stop on the way home.
You are referring to renting timeshares from other people, not buying into them, correct? Do you have a preferred website for researching rental availability if so? Love this idea.
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Old 03-16-2016, 07:32 AM   #16
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I am only semi-RE but after dreaming how cool it would be for many years, this has finally happened to me as well !

At the end of this month, a friend has a week to kill in Europe between family weddings. So I am flying out to Amsterdam to spend 5 days tooling around with him and then I'm going to go down to Antwerp for a couple of days.

If I wasn't already FI and partly RE I couldn't do it. If it goes well, I think I might make it at least a once a year ritual to fly somewhere for a week on the spur of the moment.
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Old 03-16-2016, 07:34 AM   #17
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I am looking for that freedom - but, alas, won't have it for another 5 years. I still have teenagers under roof. When the younger goes off to high school let the impulse trips (and non-school vacation trips) begin!!!!

In the meantime I'm taking advantage of being tied to school schedules by continuing my personal education. (I have a 3rd semester Italian exam later this morning.) Since I'm stuck at home - might as well take advantage of cheap education in subjects that interest me.
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Old 03-16-2016, 08:07 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Koogie View Post
I am only semi-RE but after dreaming how cool it would be for many years, this has finally happened to me as well !

At the end of this month, a friend has a week to kill in Europe between family weddings. So I am flying out to Amsterdam to spend 5 days tooling around with him and then I'm going to go down to Antwerp for a couple of days.

If I wasn't already FI and partly RE I couldn't do it. If it goes well, I think I might make it at least a once a year ritual to fly somewhere for a week on the spur of the moment.
Those are some neat places to visit! Enjoy!
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Old 03-16-2016, 08:16 AM   #19
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We seldom book too far ahead. We are in Vietnam now and had our route planned as far as HCMC. Nothing after the 23rd until this afternoon. Grabbed an incredibly low fare to Dalat, a fifty minute flight. The cost was $27AUD ($20 USD) each on Jetstar.
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Old 03-16-2016, 08:58 AM   #20
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You are referring to renting timeshares from other people, not buying into them, correct? Do you have a preferred website for researching rental availability if so? Love this idea.
We do own a timeshare, and belong to RCI (annual fee required) which facilitates the exchange of timeshares among owners. You deposit your unused week, and get to choose someone else's week that they deposit. The timeshares are given points based on their amenities and classifications, and our unit is rated high enough that we often get 2 1-week stays in exchange for our 1 week.

However, there are often units that go unused and the property management rents out and does not require an exchange. They can be really cheap when off-season (such as when the national park is not fully open ). So, we are renting from the management company, not from the owners. The units we are getting soon in late April/early May are rented outright to RCI members for less than $250/week, and one is a 2-bedroom unit.

I much prefer staying in timeshare units than hotel rooms for longer stays, as the timeshares are larger and have a kitchen and fridge.

There is another online timeshare rental site someone told me about, but I forget what it is.
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