A few months back I applied for a role as cabin crew with a well known Irish airline and got to the final stages, a job I dreamt so much as of as a child. Airports and airlines already excited me loads, from studying tourism in CIT I even did work experience with this same company. When three months passed and I never heard back, I felt deflated. Teenage me was well and truly crushed. So I sat down one evening and decided to take my love of travel in a new direction, because in all honesty since I started this blog my motivation and intentions have changed.
Something needed to happen, one evening while home from work, precasting over blogging (Schoolboy error). I needed a pick me up, I needed a holiday. So I opened three tabs Google Maps, Rome2Rio and Skyscanner and began my research. At this stage, I needed and wanted something low cost, not long distance, however unique.
Many options I came across, however, I came up with the conclusion to fly into Riga, Latvia from Dublin and return via Helsinki, Finland, stopping in Tallin, Estonia on the way. So I planned the trip around June bank holiday weekend to maximizing holiday days (needless to say my job situation changed in the meantime). So the very next day I booked the time off work and went straight to booking flights. The flight to Riga was with Ryanair (which was found through Skyscanner, I always go here first for my flights). The flight was a very affordable €70. On the return from Helsinki, this is where things get a little more interesting. Skyscanner provided me with two options, A direct flight with Finnair which was approx €250 in price. The second option was SAS Airlines for €60, however, this was to stop in Oslo making the journey 6 hours. For the sake of three hours, I picked the one with SAS, I was still going to be back in Dublin for lunch time.
Next step was accommodation when I travel by myself, I always tend to stay in hostels. Hostelworld is where I choose to go search for my hostels, since backpacking in Australia 7 years ago now, this has always been the case. As I turned 30 on mt last birthday, I tend to be unaware how long more I can sustain staying in hostels, however, from what I learned and experience on this trips, hostels are really are about a mindset. While I never made many friends like I usually would, people of all age groups, more so than before I experienced had been staying in all three hostels. In Riga, I stayed in a hostel called Funky Hostel which was located pretty central just a few minutes walk from the Old Town. When I arrived in Riga, it was late on a Wednesday night, so I opted for a taxi from the airport, which I normally wouldn’t do due to sheer cost, the taxi cost was €12 so completely affordable.
In Tallinn, I stayed in Fat Margarets (Hope Margarets won’t be insulted now). This hostel was the biggest and fanciest off all three on this trip. The hostel included a jacuzzi and a sauna, a very rare find in a hostel. Lastly, Hostel Diana Park was where I lay my head in Helsinki. With 24 hour reception, really clean, friendly staff, it was ideal for my short Helsinki stay.
Traveling between the cities was genuinely very easy and very common. Between Riga and Tallinn, Ecolines was the name of the company I got the €12 bus with. The bus journey took 4.5 hours, free coffee and individual tv screen were on board, however, the scenery along the way was worth the bus trip for sure. I mentioned earlier about Rome2Rio was part of my planning process. For those who haven’t heard of the site, it is truly a godsend, especially for trips like this. The site allows you to put in where you are leaving from and destination then supplies you the cheapest and most direct routes. It covers all modes of transport, not just flying. So like Skyscanner in a sense but for every mode of transport to get between two places.
Tallinn to Helsinki – I booked this trip on the morning I left with a ferry company called Talinnk, however, many ferry companies are available and many different services. The ferry was just two hours, many restaurants, bar, shops and lockers for your bags. Another great option for the trip and offered an alternative to flying for sure.
So here’s how I planned the trip, it was very easy, manageable, always there is an opportunity to improve in travel plans, always an opportunity to grow from it. So tell me have you ever been on a trip like this?