The month of August is way less busy than our July, where we managed to cover 8 different countries and travel over 2000 miles. Here we find ourselves in only 3 countries: Greece, Albania, and Montenegro, with the bulk of our time being spent in Greece. Our decision making on this leg of the trip was simple; we wanted some much needed time at the beach after busting our asses around Europe for 2 straight months. We've certainly become accustomed to travel weariness and are able to sustain ourselves for much longer than at the start of the trip, but we have earned some time to rest up before Oktoberfest and the rest of Europe in September.
Greece was a bit tricky to plan for. We knew that Mykonos is one of the most popular summer tourist destinations in Europe, so we were forced to book our accommodations all the way back in April. Other than our initial flight to Dublin, this was the earliest reservation we made for the whole trip! Even still, we are basically sleeping in a tent on a beach for 60 euro a night, so if we could have booked this even earlier we would have. Naxos is going to be way less crowded, but I am glad we booked it early as well, we were able to find a quaint hotel for a very reasonable price.
When planning for a big trip, I think it makes sense to look at all of your destinations and do a bit of research on which places are more popular to visit than others and what the high times of year are. You can protect yourself from not being able to find any housing or severely overpaying, and you can always pay a couple extra dollars for refundable booking in case you change your mind. In Europe we have booked most places only a couple weeks ahead of time, but we were sure to get Oktoberfest and the Greek islands locked up months ago.
Albania is a dream of Jenny's, and also a place I really don't know anything about. I'm excited to go to a place with a clean slate of expectations, but I predict we may have some difficulty getting around and communicating with people. She chose Sarande and Kotor as the two main stops, but we will likely do day trips here and there to other regions.
Finally, Montenegro is a very late addition to our itinerary, one we didn't consider until about 10 days ago. We have heard so much positivity about the place throughout our trip so far, and considering it is right in between Albania and Croatia, we decided it was a no-brainer to spend 5 or 6 days there. One of the pluses of not having things too planned out is you can make trip changes on the fly, although this case was particularly easy since we had to travel through Montenegro anyway. I suspect in Asia we will make more drastic changes to our plans based on how we're feeling, who we're with, and where we can find cheap flights to. I'm really looking forward to spending some evenings searching for cheap flights to literally anywhere in Southeast Asia and just seeing where the cheapest one takes us.