2014 was an amazing year of travel for me – in total I visited 13 countries, including seven for the first time (and Austria twice). It was incredible and – quite frankly – unbeatable.
I’m therefore starting the year knowing that 2015 won’t be as big – and for good reason.
Last year, my travel plans were a bit haphazard. Once I was settled in Dusseldorf, I went on a small binge of booking flights and ended up doing five big trips in the space of four months. Not the best idea in the world – and not something I’m keen to repeat this year.
So does that mean I’ll be taking a back seat from travelling this year? Not at all. But my overall aim for 2015 is to travel a bit more sensibly and make my travel plans a bit more ‘stable’, i.e. spaced out. You can probably expect more weekend city breaks this year, too.
Having said all this very responsible stuff, I do have a lot of destinations in mind for 2015 already that I wanted to share – though let’s all bear in mind that I normally diverge from my original plans quite a bit…
So far, the only trip I have booked for 2015 is a weekend in Amsterdam with a group of friends. I’ve been twice before very briefly (both times on a stopover) so I’m really looking forward to actually seeing the city and hitting a few museums.
We’re going by train (a bargain at €43 return), which I’m really pleased about. Part of the appeal of living on the continent is the ease of border hopping and Amsterdam is a mere two hours from Dusseldorf – less than the time from Manchester to London.
We’re also hoping to rent a house boat. When in Rome…
Therefore I’m planning on putting a Ryanair voucher to good use this spring by heading to experience the country myself. The only decision left is how much to see and how much time to spend: a simple extended weekend in Marrakech, or a backpacking trip to take in Essaouira, Fes and Casablanca as well?
There’s also another reason I’m keen to visit Morocco. It occurred to me recently that I haven’t been outside of Europe since April 2009 – almost six years ago. On my mission to get to every country in Europe, it’s starting to feel like I’m fencing myself in. Therefore, starting in 2015, I’m going to aim to leave the continent on one trip a year – even if that is just a Ryanair flight to Marrakech.
In December, I had to face defeat and admit that 2015 wasn’t going to be the year I attended Eurovision. I was hoping to get down to Vienna for one of the semi-finals or even the final, but the price of tickets really took me by surprise. I still would have paid if the contest was being held in city with regular budget flights and cheap accommodation, but alas 2015 was not to be. (Fingers crossed for a Serbian victory though!)
Even so, I want to continue my tradition of visiting the host country of the contest and this is a perfect chance to give the Austrian capital a second chance – something I’ve wanted to do for a while. I’m therefore aiming to head to Vienna before the final of the contest on 23 May.
Transylvania is an area I’ve always been interested in, but somewhere I thought I would have to visit on a wider trip of Southeastern Europe. However, in the last few years, budget airlines (WizzAir in particular) have really opened the region up and as of late December last year, there are now flights to Sibiu from Dortmund – my local WizzAir hub.
Like most towns in Transylvania, Sibiu was founded by Saxons in the 12th century and has managed to preserve its old-world charm with winding alleyways, colourful buildings and a few UNESCO-listed churches. Vlad from Eff It, I’m on Holiday tells me spring is the best time to visit, but it might be creeping into summer before I get around to Sibiu.
Be warned: only visit Vlad’s blog if you want to be overwhelmed with the urge to visit Romania.
As a lover of Central and Eastern Europe, it fills me with great shame to admit that I’ve never made it to any of these cities – probably the most visited in the region. While I’m not going to make any promises, I am hoping to have set foot in at least one by the end of 2015 – two with any luck.
Fortunately, all are really well connected to my area of Germany, so finding decent flights shouldn’t be too much of a problem – touch wood – but the real challenge will be finding someone who hasn’t already been to Prague…
So there you have it – my tentative travel plans for 2015. It’s hard to say how many of these will actually come to fruition and how many trips will spring it totally out of the blue, but either way, I am looking forward to a happy year of travels.
Where are you planning on visiting in 2015?