Two months in Portugal is wayyyy too long, but there's always a good excuse to stay longer: a friend birthday party, my 30th anniversary, finish the Etics, Culture and Environment in People Course and now we gotta stay until Carnival which is a real blast, everybody on crazy and funny costumes, brazilian music, a lot of singing outloud, dancing until the sun rises. And next day the same, during 4 days. Doesn't it sound like a gypsy wedding party? ;)
For a long time Morocco is on my travel list and finally it's gonna be real, after Carnival.
My passion of traveling is not only when I'm already there, enjoying the landscape, the different culture, the gastronomy is the whole process: Planning, Being there and Reflection.
Since I'm in the Planning phase today I decided to share what I do to make sure I have a pleasant trip without spending tons of money and no issues between.
I keep in mind that I can plan but just a bit, I always go with the flow, if I think I will be in this place this date but I meet cool travellers or having a good time I will spend more time in the previous place or decide to skip the next place. Of course that there are places you really don't wanna miss but to have a quiet and stress free trip we better be flexible.
First, I do research about the geography, important info (visa, cultural info, how to get there, etc.) and places to visit (I don't go on many details, like History, because I prefer to learn there and to surprise myself). I google "Morocco where to go" and make a list. I prefer blog suggestions so I'm following João and Rita Leitão blog (2 portuguese siblings living in South Morocco) for personal tips. I dislike Tripadvisor because the reviews are from people who I don't know and have different interests as me. Also I ask my friends about their experience. And voilá, ready to go to Google Maps and write down all the places I wanna go. Usually add a mix between cities and small villages (beach and mountains).
Then, I set a date to leave and to arrive.
This way I can calculate how much I wanna spend - decided to spend 350€ for one month. Morocco is a cheap country and I always travel on a budget to travel more (remember I still wanna travel few countries in Europe, California and South America, this year?)
Also for transportation, we will go by boat from Algeciras to Tanger but we need to get in Sevilla first and then Algeciras. Instead of train or bus we will use Car Sharing. I use it all the time!! I love this way of traveling because it's good for the environment, you pay less, you meet people and you are giving money to a local person, not to a big company (that already has bunch of money). You can get rides in BlaBlaCar for half price then by bus or train! But you have to schedule 1 or 2 weeks in advance, before the cars get full.
Last, but not least, time to check hosts (for the cities) in CouchSurfing. Many people advice me to pay a guide in Morocco because they speak the language and you are not ripped off and they can show you the interesting local places to visit and eat. Couchsurfing gives you the opportunity of sleeping at local home and they can show you around. [If you wanna know more about CouchSurfing Project please ckick here]
You right, I don't book hostels in advance for 2 reasons: I can change my mind and not going to that place anymore and I like to search myself, I mean, with my eyes and what I feel, for a hostel that balances quality - price.
I will pack one hour before leaving like I always do. I only work on pressure! Ah! But I make a list. This time I'm gonna pack very light: 2 different outfits (the one I'm wearing plus another one); underware, sleeping bag, laptop, mp3, camera, flashing light, small towel, bathing suit, essential hygiene products, documents and that's it! If I need something else I will buy in the way. (no book?! I might be insane!)
Are you planning any trip? Do you usually plan like this? Any other tips?