Some destinations are easy to travel to. You book a ticket, find yourself a good hotel deal and bring your driver's license. Other destinations require a little bit more preparation. Visa's, invitations, safety measures and a day tot day plan.
Iran has been on my travel bucket list for quite a while. Why? Don't know exactly, but I guess it's the combinations of a different culture, mysterious ambiance, the poetic language, mountains and the fact that the country isn't over flooded with other tourists. My plan to go became more serious when I spoke to my friend of 26 years. About time for a trip to celebrate our friendship. We both had Iran on our wish list. My friend has almost visited all Middle Eastern countries and unfortunately had to change her Iran plans in the past. It all came together!
Governmental travel advice
In the Netherlands you can check the governmental travel advice per country. Since there are many conflicts in the Iran area and a recent natural disaster (earthquake Nov 2017) the advice is not all green lights. The government is better safe than sorry, so don't let the advice effect you too much. In the past I've had negative travel advice for Israel and Thailand and I had no problems whatsoever.
Decision: dodge the orange and red areas.
When to go
One of the things that influence my decision in when to go is weather. You don't want it to be too cold or too wet. You also want to avoid higher chances on natural disasters. Then another important thing to keep in mind are national holidays. You rather don't travel in an islamic country during Ramadan, because you probably don't fast and crave local foods during the day.
Decision: March and/or April.
Travel independent or with a group
It's easy and carefree to join a group. It will cost you a little bit more, but you're sure everything is arranged. Including transportation, guides and hotels. But it's not for everyone. For me personally it has more disadvantages than advantages. I don't like to be "stuck" with people I don't know, I like a change of plan when an area or city isn't what I thought it would be, I like to drive myself - or have a private chauffeur in places I'm not allowed to drive - so we can make plenty of stops for photography and other things we come across.
Decision: Fly individually with a here and there a private driver.
Next time in the blog: flight or train, health preparations, picking cities and using Instagram for inspo.
Do you have tips for my Iran trip? Let me know!