The 2016 #Take12Trips update, looking at the last 12 months of this incredible travel challenge started by Claire. I will be honest and say it’s Cathy of Mummy Travels who first introduced me to this challenge by leaving a comment on a post. This was over 12 months ago and I couldn’t be more grateful, it’s like the push that I needed to start this journey. I had longed to travel for many years but; financials, commitments and 9-5 were blocking me.
Obviously this needed to change and I sat down one day and assessed my “responsibility free” life (as I am constantly reminded) since I have no kids. I counted how many weekend days there are in 12 months (104 weekend days). Then calculated how many days bank holiday we get in the UK (8 days) plus how many vacation days I have from work (25+). In actuality I have 137 days a year that I can do some travel damage with.
Now thinking about the funds.
Last year I worked tirelessly to pay of my huge debt but I felt robbed of my life. I decided to discuss with all the lenders about what I can afford and was fortunate they agreed. Then I looked at what I was earning from the blog and decided to dedicate that to travel. But it didn’t end there, I also went out and searched for budget airlines. Finding one that would save me best, I signed up to Wizz Air Discount club and immediately started making it work for me.
The 2016 Take12Trips Update
With all of that tucked behind me I embarked on #Take12Trips challenge which turned into a path of self discovery and accomplishments.
December 2015, with the Wizz Air Discount in the pocket. I booked my first trip to Ljubljana Slovenia. Regular readers know my love for Slovenia is only increased in 2016. To ensure we ended 2015 on a high note, I managed to squeeze in a trip to Lithuania.
Flights: Ljubljana, £20 return and Lithuania, £40 return both with Wizz Air.
January 2016, didn’t even have change to embrace the new year before I booked my trip to Prague. A friend wanted to come too so we decided to make it a girls weekend #checkedinczech.
Flights: Prague, £40 return for two with Wizz Air.
February 2016, it was the month of 3 countries in 3 days. I had booked a flight with Wizz Air to Bruno (also in Czech Republic) but found out it’s close to Vienna and Bratislava. This was one opportunity I wasn’t going to miss, so I booked a bus to Vienna and a train to Bratislava. I would have been happy to stop right here but I caught the wanderlust bug and the universe wouldn’t have it.
Flights: Brno, £15 return, Vienna – €10 return to Brno and Bratislava €15 return to Brno.
February 2016, yes I know I am writing it again. As if 3 countries in 3 days was not enough, I traveled to Amsterdam via bus spend a day. Then traveled back to Brussels via bus again spent a day before flying back to London.
Buses/Flight: Amsterdam, £10 single each, Brussels from Amsterdam €5 single each and £30 each Brussels to London.
March 2016, A friend studying medicine in Poland asked me to visit. I visited Warsaw, though it was blooming freezing and I hadn’t put on proper clothes I had fun.
Flights: Warsaw Chopin, £15 return with Wizz Air
April 2016, always a busy month for me. I had three trips planned: Oslo Norway, Wigan UK and Seoul South Korea. This was another month for the records, it was super busy don’t know how I survived.
Flights: Oslo Rygee, £14 return. Wigan, £80 return to Oxford and £330 return to Seoul.
May 2016, I was still in Seoul South Korea. I decided to rest for the remainder 2 weeks of the month. Traveling as much as I love it tends to take a toll on the body.
June 2016, met some incredible people in Hamburg Germany. I traveled with the Europe from my church and we formed a group called #temptations. We still have the WhatsApp group going months on. I also managed to book myself a trip of a lifetime, a trip to Disneyland Paris and Paris itself. It was a dream come true to have visited Disneyland and another to have explored Paris.
June 2016, I got invited to visit Big Berry a lifestyle glamping resort in Primostek, Slovenia. Having already formed a bond with Slovenia it was a dream come true to receive the invite. Apart from flights, it was an all expenses paid trip – a first for me.
Flight: Church paid 😊👍🏾💯 for Hamburg, £50 return Eurostar to Paris and £80 return to Ljubljana.
July 2016, after the success of #temptations. We decided to meet up in Dublin, Ireland to give me and another friend an early birthday present. To make my birthday month even more special I went to Copenhagen with a friend. Though this was the most expensive of my extended weekends it was worth every penny.
Flights: £30 to Dublin rerun with AerLingus and £300 return to Copenhagen with easyJet.
August 2016, my mother banned me from leaving the country. Yes I am 29 years old but when mother speaks I am 5 and follow the rules to the letter. It was not by choice but I stayed UK bound and visited my parents in Cambridge instead. I also did the most logical think and did a local adventure by visiting Bristol for shopping and Castle Combe to explore.
September 2016, regular readers know I can stop singing about this one. I traveled to Johannesburg South Africa to see family for the first time. It was an experience indeed, I managed to squeeze in Pretoria and Soweto into this journey. As much as I would have liked to do safari, family time is what I was after.
Flights: Johannesburg return, £555 with South African airways.
October 2016, I had just returned from Johannesburg a week before and had to travel to Southampton for university. I had so many assignments due I took a month out. This month it proved difficult to shared; working full-time, blogging and university plus adding in travel.
November 2016, I was ready to call it for the travel challenge until a friend asked me if I wanted to go abroad for a weekend. Before I even finished my deadline assignments I said yes to her and we were booked. We had chosen Budapest to begin with but the deal didn’t pan through so we went to Italy and visited Milan and Venice instead.
Flight + Hotel: £129 each, train to Venice from Milan €20 each then maestre to Venice €15 each.
It’s has been an incredible year that it’s shocking to be to be sharing The 2016 #Take12Trips Update. Did you participate in the challenge?
What are your #Take12Trips Update?