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7 Simple Steps (+ finances ideas)

Planning a trip doesn’t must be a ache. That’s why I need to present you an incredible system you should use to plan the right journey. As a private finance skilled, I preserve a finances in my thoughts when planning my journey too.

plan a trip journey (and never hate your self)

Wish to learn to plan a trip? I’ll inform you, however first: Are you aware what one in every of my favourite elements of holidays is? No, it’s not going to superior locations.

thailand hotel pool
The yard pool of my lodge room in Thailand.

Or consuming scrumptious meals.

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Comply with me on Instagram:

Or making cool associates alongside the best way.

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I’m the one on the left.

Certainly one of my favourite issues is planning the holiday. Nothing makes me really feel higher than a well-formatted calendar with flight information and dinner reservations.

Take a look at this itinerary I prepped for a latest journey to Singapore:

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I even embrace issues just like the climate and data for airport lounge entry.

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It seems like lots…and it’s. Nonetheless, you don’t must go as loopy as me.

Immediately I’m going to point out you a easy system that can assist make your journey MUCH simpler.

plan your trip in 7 straightforward steps

That can assist you much more with planning your trip, we additionally talked to a couple notable journey bloggers and professionals on how one can get essentially the most out of your trip planning. They’ve devoted themselves to serving to others get essentially the most out of their journey experiences — and now they need to assist you.

So with out additional ado…

Step 1: Determine the place and how you can go

Naturally, the place and the way you go on trip is decided by your particular person circumstances:

  • Are you extra crunched for time or cash?
  • Are you touring alone or with associates or your loved ones?
  • Is your work versatile with when you may go away or do you will have a set time-frame when you may journey (e.g., a trainer)?
  • Do you need to go someplace shut by the place you may drive, or would you must fly?

And relying in your scenario, you may break from the options on this article — and that’s okay! I solely need to present a framework you may work from. What you do with it’s finally as much as you.

Figuring out this, you’re going to need to resolve the place you need to go. Doing this first is necessary for two huge causes:

  1. It helps you psychologically. The psychological advantages of setting a very good purpose are monumental. Having a purpose vacation spot in thoughts provides you one thing to work for whenever you’re making ready to your journey.
  2. It determines virtually each side of planning. No two trip locations are alike, which suggests every vacation spot goes to vary the best way you tailor your finances and itinerary.

It might probably typically be laborious although to resolve the place you need to go.

In spite of everything, you may journey anyplace in the whole world. With your entire decisions, how are you going to resolve?

There are three nice areas you may look in direction of to search out your subsequent trip spot:

  1. Suggestions
  2. Social media
  3. Family and friends


Individuals you belief will be nice sources of vacation spot inspiration — and it’s the principle means Matthew Karsten, aka the Professional Vagabond, decides the place to go subsequent. Take a look at his web site, he undoubtedly is aware of how you can plan a trip.

“Phrase of mouth might be my prime supply for suggestions,” Karsten says. “[When I hear of a good place], I preserve a bucket listing of locations I need to go to in Evernote, together with particulars about attainable actions and hyperlinks to related on-line articles.”

Ask your mates and family members for good trip suggestions. See what they appreciated in regards to the place and what you are able to do there in the event you resolve to go to.

Additionally, create a “bucket listing” of locations you’d like to go to.

It doesn’t must be on Evernote both. It may also be in a Google Doc, Excel sheet, the Notes app in your telephone, or in your center college diary. Each time a pal recommends a spot to go, write it down. You’ll be able to consult with this later when deciding the place you need to go.

Social media

Your Fb and Instagram aren’t only for getting likes, you can even use them to search out superior trip locations.

I take advantage of Instagram’s ‘collections’ characteristic to avoid wasting different folks’s pictures based mostly on location,” says Karsten.

He continues, “Instagram modified journey lots. Abruptly, locations that by no means noticed too many vacationers are getting swamped with folks attempting to repeat widespread pictures they noticed on Instagram.”

Although you won’t need to copy different folks’s pictures, you may leverage Instagram collections like Matt and begin compiling your individual photos from locations you’d wish to go. For data on how you can precisely try this, take a look at Instagram’s web page on it right here.

Family and friends

Generally one of the best trip locations are the place your family and friends are. Not solely can they assist you get monetary savings on lodging however they’ll additionally fill you in on issues to do there.

“I’ve been touring extra for friendships than anything,” Naveen Dittakavi of the journey deal web site Subsequent Vacay says. “It’s good to bond and meet up with previous associates — particularly as we become old.”

Do you will have a pal you’ve been which means to go to for some time? Or possibly a member of the family you haven’t seen in a very long time? Attain out to them and use the chance to go to them.

ACTION STEP: Determine the place you need to go — and get particular

When you resolve the place you need to go, I would like you to get particular with it. It may be anyplace. Say you resolve, “I need to go to London!” I would like you to get much more particular with it.

A very good instance: “By July, I need to go to London for per week with my boyfriend.”

If you wish to take it a step additional, set a SMART goal to your trip plans.

SMART stands for:

  • Particular
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Related
  • Time-oriented

It’s the answer to obscure purpose setting that will get you nowhere. Like every time anybody says, “I need to get match” for his or her New Yr’s Decision or “I need to journey sooner or later.”

The best way it really works is it niches down these huge obscure targets and will get exact with them. This results in higher focus whenever you got down to accomplish your targets.

Take a look at my article on how you can set SMART goals to learn to craft one your self.

Step 2: Choose a time to journey

Touring is sort of a recreation of Tornado: It’s finest to remain versatile.

When you journey is simply as necessary as the place you journey. In actual fact, your timing can imply the distinction of lots of, presumably hundreds of {dollars} in airfare.

Let’s say you need to take a 7-day journey to Cabo from New York Metropolis.

Right here’s what a flight from July 6 to July 13 prices:

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And right here’s a flight two months later:

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Time issues! Which is why you have to be versatile along with your travels.

“Flexibility is crucial factor to find an affordable flight,” journey blogger and entrepreneur Nomadic Matt says. “You want to be versatile in your date. If you must go to Paris on a particular date, then you must pay the fare. There’s no magic bullet to make the value go down.”

He continues, “However by altering your date by a day or two, you may be capable to drop the value.”

If you wish to discover one of the best time to journey to a vacation spot, take into account these three issues in regards to the location:

  • Peak season. That is the time of yr when most vacationers will go to a location. That is typically as a result of good climate and holidays surrounding it (e.g., the Grand Canyon or Mount Rushmore in the summertime). Flights and lodging are usually the costliest throughout this time.
  • Off-peak season. That is when nearly all of vacationers aren’t visiting a vacation spot — sometimes as a result of climate (e.g., a ski lodge in the summertime). You’ll usually discover very reasonably priced flights and lodging throughout this time, however on the flip facet, there’s often a motive for it being “off-peak.” In some nations, off-peak can imply a monstrous monsoon occurs almost every single day.
  • Shoulder season. That is the time between peak and off-peak — and a very good time to benefit from the advantages from each seasons.

“Shoulder seasons are my favourite time to go to,” Karsten says. “You don’t need to go to throughout the incorrect season.”

Shoulder seasons permit vacationers to benefit from good climate at a sure vacation spot, AND there’s the additional benefit of lowered value on flights and lodging.

(Additionally you don’t must take care of a bunch of annoying vacationers.)

ACTION STEP: Discover a date to go on trip

Pull up Google Calendar and begin dates that give you the results you want.

If you happen to’re seeking to save more money on journey, take into account your vacation spot’s low season or shoulder season.

Nailing down when precisely they happen isn’t troublesome, although, so long as you have in mind a number of components. The largest of that are:

  1. Climate. Summer season is at all times going to be an extremely busy time for widespread trip locations like cruises, seashores, and…nicely, anyplace the place there are out of doors actions. Additionally the truth that college is out for the summer time means households shall be touring a LOT throughout this time.
  2. Holidays. You realize what’s costlier than vacationing in New York Metropolis? Going to New York Metropolis on New Yr’s Eve. And in the event you’re finances acutely aware, you’re going to need to bear in mind the vacations when YOU journey. Relying on the vacation spot, flights and resorts are going to be costlier if it lands on a significant vacation.

Bryce Conway, CEO of the journey hacking web site, leverages this data when he travels, saying:

“Certainly one of my spouse’s and I’s favourite factor to do every year is to go to Western Europe both over President’s Day weekend or MLK Day weekend. It’s not a vacation over there. The climate will not be as good as it’s in America, however the whole lot is half value and you’ll stroll straight in.”

A number of different methods you will discover an space’s peak season:

  • Name the native tourism workplace. Most each nation, state, and metropolis may have a tourism workplace that’ll be very happy that can assist you along with your journey plans. Merely ask them, “When’s your peak season months?” (For a complete listing of tourism workplaces, comply with this hyperlink.)
  • Evaluate flights and lodge costs for various dates on-line. If you happen to discover that the date you’re attempting to ebook is WAY costlier than one other one just a few months away, you is perhaps reserving on peak season.

Bear in mind: Not all locations are alike. Which means their peak, off-peak, and shoulder seasons shall be totally different.

As soon as you realize the place and whenever you need to journey, it’s time to…

Step 3: Take day without work of labor

SAD FACT OF THE DAY: The vast majority of People don’t use all of their trip days.

A 2018 examine performed by the U.S. Journey Affiliation found that over half of People go away trip days on the desk as a result of pressures at work.


You’re dropping money and time by not taking your trip days. These are advantages ensured to you by your employer. Use them!

And in the event you’re on trip, you’re undoubtedly going to need to use them (sure, even YOU distant and freelance staff).

ACTION STEP: Take day without work of labor

The issue of requesting trip days varies from job to job. Nonetheless, you may make the method easy for you and your organization through the use of some good old school scripts.

Oh look, right here’s one now:

Topic: Trip request (October 2nd by October sixth)

Hello [manager’s name],

I’d wish to request trip time from Monday, October 2nd, by Friday, October sixth as a result of I’ll be taking a household trip over these days.

Whereas I’m gone, I’ll be reachable by telephone however not electronic mail. I’ll be ensuring that we’ve protection within the assist queue whereas I’m gone, and I’ll even be distributing a playbook to my crew so it’s clear who owns which points.

Is that this OK?



It is a nice script to make use of even when your trip is throughout a “busy time” to your firm.

Why? First, take into account why your boss may need to deny you trip time:

  • You personal a undertaking and it won’t get finished when you’re gone.
  • The work may find yourself in your boss’s plate.
  • Your boss may need to delegate YOUR duties to different staff (which no person likes doing).

This script addresses all of those factors within the final paragraph. By displaying that you just’ve already gone the additional mile to guarantee that your duties shall be taken care of in your absence, you allay your boss’s issues that your work received’t get finished.

It additionally maintains a pleasant tone all through the message AND you give a very good motive to your absence. You’ll need to ship this electronic mail weeks — presumably even months — prematurely. It’s far simpler to your boss to say “sure” when the corporate has time to plan to your absence.

For extra data on requesting day without work, see my article on how you can ask for trip days.

Step 4: Discover reasonably priced flights

One of the widespread misconceptions about touring is the concept flying (particularly worldwide) must be costly.

I’ve my ideas on this…however I’ll let superstar chef Gordon Ramsay take it from right here:

Gordon Ramsay shouts WRONG!

In actual fact, flying will be one of the vital reasonably priced elements of the journey if you know the way to leverage the suitable instruments.

Two of the simplest instruments to search out reasonably priced flights are:

  1. Journey bank cards
  2. Repositioning with error fares

Let’s check out each now.

Journey bank cards

We’ve written about journey bank cards earlier than — nevertheless it bears repeating:

Utilizing journey bank cards to pay for flights is a Huge Win.

Say a round-trip flight from New York to Paris prices $500.

If you happen to ebook utilizing the cardboard we’re about to counsel, you can get that very same flight for FREE.

In actual fact, it can save you THOUSANDS every year in the event you leverage reward factors. And the extra time you must plan, the extra factors you may amass — many playing cards even provide you with join bonuses.

However with so many choices on the market, which one must you get?

For extra data on journey bank cards in addition to how one can maximize them, be sure you take a look at our article on the topic.

NOTE: If you happen to’re in bank card debt DO NOT join a journey bank card…or some other bank card for that matter. As an alternative, take a look at my article on how you can get out of debt quick.

If you happen to’re nervous about entering into journey hacking by bank cards, that’s okay. There’s one other answer that’ll assist you discover ridiculously low cost flights.

Repositioning with error fares

I’ll give it to you straight: Airways actually mess up typically.

Generally their mishaps result in some nice offers for you thru “error fares.” Error fares are airline tickets which can be, briefly, a WAY cheaper price than they’d usually be (sometimes by technical or human error). These fares typically imply vacationers can get tickets from mainland U.S. to locations like Europe and Asia for just a few hundred {dollars} or much less.

To seek out these errors and offers, there are a selection of internet sites which can be devoted to looking them out.

Listed below are just a few that I counsel you leverage the subsequent time you’re discovering flights:

  • Secret Flying. This web site instantly posts any errors or offers they discover. You’ll be able to even use their useful search operate and enter your nation of origin and vacation spot to allow them to discover a deal extra suited to you.
  • The Flight Deal. One other nice web site to search out wonderful offers on airfare in addition to resorts, rental automobiles, and journey bank cards. In addition they provide you with data on flight offers occurring in virtually each main U.S. metro space.
  • Scott’s Low cost Flights. A tried-and-true useful resource on the subject of discovering error offers. Scott’s presents a free publication that’ll notify you every time they discover a deal together with directions on how you can ebook it.
  • Subsequent Vacay. That is Naveen’s very personal web site that helps vacationers discover one of the best offers. Subsequent Vacay routinely crawls by varied airfare websites to search out you the most cost effective flight attainable.

One key factor to recollect when buying an error fare:


You’re making the most of their mistake. If you happen to level out how they tousled, they’re going to appreciate it and not let you will have the deal. Stick with reserving by the websites above or by third-party websites like Skyscanner as an alternative.

Additionally don’t ignore a tremendous flight deal as a result of it’s departing from a unique airport than the one closest to you. Bear in mind the way it’s necessary to be versatile on when you allow? Similar goes for the place you allow.

That is key to a course of known as “repositioning.”

Repositioning merely implies that you’re keen to depart from an airport which may not be near you. Additionally, you is perhaps arriving at a vacation spot which may not be your ultimate one.

From Naveen:

“You don’t must fly out of your individual residence metropolis. I’m from Atlanta. Nonetheless, after I flew out to India just a few years in the past I didn’t fly out of Atlanta. I booked just a few totally different tickets that took me from Baltimore, then again to Atlanta, then to Paris, then to Bombay. I ended up coming again by my residence airport — nevertheless it was cheaper than looking for a flight from Atlanta to India!”

Say you reside in Denver and need to fly to London. All of the flights out of your airport are loopy costly ($900+).

Nonetheless, you discover a flight going out of Chicago to London for $200 on Scott’s Low cost Flights. A fast search on Skyscanner exhibits you {that a} flight to Chicago is simply $90 from Denver.

It’s cheaper then to fly to Chicago and catch that incredible flight deal for $290 whole.

“If you happen to’re keen to go to a unique airport, it can save you a TON of cash,” Naveen says. “If you wish to go to say Paris, however there different cities in Europe on sale like Dublin, you may then take a flight to there and hop on over to the place you need to go in Europe by way of practice or airplane.”

By repositioning your origin level and vacation spot, it can save you a ton of cash on airfare. It’s going to take extra time however the trade-off is big to your pockets. Bear in mind: When touring you’ll typically be pressed for both cash or time. Select your flights accordingly.

ACTION STEP: Begin looking for error fares — and reposition if you must

Join and begin following the websites we talked about above to search out nice offers on flights by error fares.

You may even get fortunate and discover an error fare by an airport close to you!

After you have your flight, you’re going to need to be sure you have a spot to remain when you’re on trip too. That brings us to…

Step 5: Discover a good place to remain

Discovering an incredible place to remain that doesn’t break the financial institution typically appears inconceivable.

Nonetheless, discovering an incredible deal on lodging is straightforward IF you’re keen to interrupt the mould.

“[My wife and I] have been in Switzerland a few years in the past and we stayed at a hostel in a non-public room,” remembers Naveen. “There are not any finances resorts in a spot like Switzerland. It’s both a hostel or ultra-glamorous lodge. The hostel we stayed at was nonetheless very comfy and reasonably priced for us although.”

Together with hostels, vacationers may also discover nice, reasonably priced locations to remain by residence sharing websites like Airbnb or Couchsurfing.

“If you happen to actually need to get monetary savings on lodging, backpacker hostels are the best way to go,” Karsten says. “I as soon as spent a month dwelling in a Nicaraguan hostel for $5 an evening!”

If you happen to actually favor to remain in a lodge although, that’s okay! You’ll be able to ebook superior offers on resorts utilizing journey bank cards since they typically permit you to spend factors on lodge rooms.

There are even superior playing cards just like the Starwood Most popular Visitor Credit score Card that permit you to maximize your factors for lodge stays.

Many web sites additionally exist that can assist you get essentially the most out of your lodge bookings.

“One web site I actually like is,” suggests Naveen. “They’ve candy offers for lodge lodging at totally different value factors. One other nice one is They’ve a program that holds 10% of your spend with them, and finally they provide you a free night time. So each 10 nights or so, you may get a free night time in a lodge.”

ACTION STEP: E book an incredible place to remain

By being versatile and a bit considered along with your lodging search, you will discover an superior place to remain throughout your trip and never break the financial institution.

Use the instruments under that can assist you discover a number of the finest offers on locations to remain.

  • Airbnb. Extra than simply renting spare bedrooms, you will discover some actually cool locations at a comparatively low value in case you are diligent in your search (you may even keep in a freaking fortress!).
  • They’ve aggregated lodging starting from uber-luxury resorts to small mom-and-pop mattress and breakfasts. Additionally, they’ll relax a free night time in a lodge for frequent customers. Superior.
  • Although a bit extra restricted in choice, i-escape provides vacationers solely one of the best lodging at one of the best costs.
  • With over 35,000 hostels in over 170 nations, HostelBookers ought to be your first cease when looking for a very good hostel. You’ll haven’t any bother discovering an superior (but budget-friendly) possibility right here.
  • HostelWorld. One other nice possibility to search out hostels. The location’s 24/7 buyer assist can also be at your name in case you will have any questions or issues about your bookings.

Step 6: Name your bank card firms

Think about you’ve lastly made that journey to Paris you’ve at all times dreamed of. You’re taking within the sights, the sounds, and the folks. You LOVE it. So that you resolve to purchase your self a pleasant meal to have fun your first night time — and it’s wonderful.

Then comes time to pay to your examine. You hand your bank card over. Your waiter scans it…and scans it…and scans it once more.

He arms it again to you and shakes his head.


You don’t have some other strategy to pay for it. Quickly you’re in a French gulag, breaking huge rocks into smaller rocks till you may repay your debt. That is what may occur (most likely) in the event you don’t warn your bank card firm about your travels.

Bank card firms get nervous once they see you make purchases you don’t usually make — particularly when these purchases are someplace you don’t dwell.

That’s why it’s necessary to provide them a heads up earlier than you go.

From Naveen:

“I name my card firms beforehand as a way to inform them about our journey plans. Most of those firms don’t even want you to speak to a rep — it’s absolutely automated.

You simply name up the corporate and say, ‘journey plan’ on the immediate. Then they’ll ask you for the nations you’re going to so as of your go to, whenever you’re going, and whenever you’re coming again.

Then they authorize the playing cards for use in every of these nations.”

ACTION STEP: Inform your bank card firms about your travels — however prep for the worst

Name your bank card firm and inform them about your journey.

Listed below are the numbers for the foremost card firms on the market to assist:

  • Visa: 1-800-847-2911
  • Mastercard: 1-800-307-7309
  • Uncover: 1-800-347-2683
  • American Categorical: 1-800-528-4800

Merely inform the consultant that you just plan on touring and that you just’ll be utilizing your card. They’ll ask you the place you’re going, how lengthy you’ll be gone for, and voila! You’re prepped for journey. Not getting stranded overseas is unquestionably a key step in how you can plan a trip.

Very like airways, bank card firms typically screw up even whenever you give them the heads up.

You may end up in a scenario the place you’ve warned them that you just’ll be touring they usually nonetheless cancel your bank card whenever you attempt to make a purchase order overseas.

That’s okay! Since you’re an IWT reader, you’ve prepped for this example by packing two options:

  1. Money. It’s at all times a good suggestion to hold $100 – $500 in emergency money simply in case one thing goes incorrect. “I carry money with me simply in case my card doesn’t work whereas touring,” Naveen says.
  2. ATM/Debit card. One of many greatest hassles on the subject of getting cash whereas overseas is worldwide charges — particularly on the subject of ATMs. Nonetheless, you may circumvent that with the suitable playing cards.“There are specific playing cards that can refund your ATM transaction charge. Charles Schwab’s debit card is a superb instance,” Naveen says. “In actual fact, I’ve a pal who retains a sure amount of cash in his Schwab account so he can use it if he’s overseas or in Vegas or one thing because the charge is refunded to your account by the financial institution.”

Step 7: Finances consciously for the journey

There are TWO methods you may prep your trip finances.

  1. Get monetary savings for journey
  2. Earn cash for journey

Each will be easy, painless, and actually enjoyable (severely).

How to save cash earlier than you intend a trip

Certainly one of my favourite methods to save cash for a visit is thru a course of known as “psychological accounting.”

Just about what psychological accounting seems like.

Psychological accounting is a psychological method whereby folks deal with cash otherwise relying on how they obtained it and plan on spending it.

A terrific instance of this: Utilizing a sub-savings account.

Most banks permit you to create a sub-savings account alongside along with your regular financial savings account (you may even title them too!). You’ll be able to put cash into this account every month and know that it’s going in direction of your touring targets.

By mentally accounting this cash for journey, you’re leveraging a strong psychological trick of focusing your financial savings targets.

You’ll be able to even couple the sub-savings account with one other nice system I really like: Automated funds.

Automating your funds is a system whereby your cash works passively for you. It’s the final word treatment to by no means figuring out how a lot you will have in your checking account and the way a lot you may spend.

Once you obtain your paycheck, your cash is funneled to precisely the place it must go — whether or not that be your utilities, hire, Roth IRA, 401k, or your financial savings account.

“I at all times have a finances for journey,” Naveen says. “That features saving a pair hundred {dollars} a month in direction of a journey fund. That is the cash that I saved by the IWT system. I take advantage of for resorts and eating places.”

ACTION STEP: Automate your funds

If you wish to study extra about how you can automate your funds, take a look at this 12-minute video of me explaining the precise course of I take advantage of under. Setting the whole lot up received’t take a couple of or two hours out of your day, however it’s going to prevent hundreds of {dollars} over your lifetime.

Incomes cash whereas touring

Saving cash isn’t the one means you may maintain onto money throughout your travels. There are literally a wide range of methods you may earn cash whereas overseas too.

That’s why my crew and I’ve labored laborious to create a information that can assist you navigate all of the programs that’ll assist you earn extra money at this time: The Final Information to Making Cash.

In it, I’ve included my finest methods to:

  • Create a number of revenue streams so that you at all times have a constant income.
  • Begin your individual enterprise and escape the 9-to-5 for good.
  • Improve your revenue by hundreds of {dollars} a yr by facet hustles like freelancing.

Ceaselessly Requested Questions About Planning A Trip

How a lot cash ought to I save for a trip?

If you happen to’re pondering of an excellent finances for a trip, a very good rule is to spend round 15% of your gross revenue for holidays for the yr. So divide that amongst the quantity of journeys you need to take and that’s your finances per journey, though some journeys will be costlier! They don’t all must be the identical value.

What is an ideal trip?

It depends upon you! An ideal trip is on which may embrace the right place with the right folks, plan, & nothing goes incorrect – or it does. There are issues out of your management to contemplate like climate, temper, exercise instances, and different issues that assist or damage your plans.

How a lot cash do you have to journey for per week?

On common, folks spend between $1500-$2500 for a one week trip journey. That’s about $180-$310 a day for lodge + meals, and round $400 for airfare alone. That doesn’t embrace different journey like automotive bills or attraction charges.

Obtain a FREE copy of the Final Information at this time by getting into your title and electronic mail under — and begin blowing up your web value at this time.

100% privateness. No video games, no B.S., no spam. Once you join, we’ll preserve you posted



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