A few weeks back in the Netherlands and a small winter depression was already present. I know it is only September, but in the month I have been in the Netherlands it has been pouring rain at least half the time. So, it was time to look for a new holiday destination!
I started with some constraints: it had to be a holiday in December, for at least a week, but preferably 2 weeks, for a maximum of 1000 euros for everything. Anybody that looks for holidays once in a while knows that you can basically go through all parts of the world for my budget. So let me share a few items that made our list.
One of the websites I start with when looking for a holiday and I am not picky about the destination is www.ticketspy.nl, as it always manages to find great deals to funky destinations. The first possibility of our list came from this website; a return ticket Panama for 400 euros, which is a really good deal! I have never been in this part of the world, and for this price it seemed like we could have a great trip for 2 weeks within our budget! Unfortunately the price was only valid for 1 day, and we were not able to book that day, so we had to give up this amazing opportunity.
The next idea that popped up was Japan. Japan is one of those countries that just makes be daydream and wonder. I have heard amazing stories about the country from people that have been there, and I definitely plan to go there within the upcoming 5 years. The tickets to Japan are super cheap (500 euros return, direct flight from Amsterdam) on cheaptickets, but after research it became clear that for 2 weeks you need about 1400 euros to see the cool stuff in the country (about 240 euros for the tourist train pass for all high speed trains, about 40 euro per person per night for accommodation, and a considerable about of money for food and other daily stuff). So Japan was also cancelled from our list.
After looking for places on the other side of the world, we decided to look slightly closer to home and going for the snow, rather than the sunshine. I found a really good deal to Russia, again one of the places I have been wanting to visit for the last years. Baltic airways has a good deal (180 euros from Amsterdam to Moscow, and back from Saint Petersburg). The trip itself would be well within budget (about 600 euros for the plane ticket, the night train from Moscow to Saint Petersburg, and accommodation (airBnB). Then we started looking into the whole visa thing, the main reason I have not gone to Russia in the past, and I decided to look with a fresh mind. There are several agencies that can arrange a visa for you, however, you either require an invitation letter (from the hotel, which cancels the airBnB option) or pay a substantial fee to buy the invitation letter at the visa agency as well. The whole visa would add about 150 euros in the cost, and a considerable about of work, so once again, Russia was pushed pack for a later date.
So, what did I book in the end? After looking for a few weeks I found the ultimate flight deal from Arkefly, a return ticket Miami for 450 euros from Amsterdam (direct flight). I have been in Miami before to board a cruise, and that’s exactly what I am going to do again! Next to my flight I found an amazing cruise on cruisedirect (on how to book a cruise, check this article), so this December I am off to explore Miami, Key West, the Bahamas, the Turks and Caicos islands, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, so Caribbean sun, here I come!