Many a debate exists about slow vs. fast travel. Initially, we are planning to take a bit of a hybrid approach.
We will start with a general itinerary (to be shared in the next post) built around an average of one month in a country split up among 1-4 destinations. This method hopefully should allow us to get a feel for a country but also to experience multiple aspects. Our goal is to maintain flexibility so that the amount of time at a destination will evolve as we travel. In that spirit, we will attempt to book the next destination after we arrive at our current one. This way, if we love a destination, we can stay longer, and if we decide quickly that a destination is not for us, then we can pack up and move on. Our feeling is that no matter how much we dislike a location, we can embrace it for a week. We prefer to have at least a few nights booked before arriving in a new destination; having to scramble for accommodations when first arriving is not our idea of a fun introduction to a town.
The exception to our book-a-week-ahead strategy will be around major holidays. These include Christmas/New Years, Easter (in Catholic Counties), and any large local holidays. We learned this lesson a few years back when we traveled to Argentina during Easter week with only the first night booked. We spent most of our first evening jetlagged and having to scramble for accommodations for the rest of the trip. We ended up having to change our itinerary, including moving around to three different hotels in Buenos Aries.
Our Argentinian experience taught us to be flexible. Although our preferred accommodation is furnished apartments, if we can’t find these at reasonable costs, we will make ourselves comfortable in small hotels/guesthouses, chain hotels (on points), or hostels.