Though travelling for weeks and months on end is an ideal that many people hold in their minds, you often don’t have that kind of time on your hands. That means that holidays tend to be shorter; city breaks or long weekends. If you only have a limited amount of time to travel, you will want to make sure you squeeze every last drop out of it so you can really make the most out of your trip. How you enjoy travelling really does vary from person to person, but it is a nice feeling to come home knowing that you have used your time wisely. To give you a helping hand, here are some ideas that will show you how you can make your short holiday a roaring success.
Set Realistic Expectations
If you only have 48 hours in Rome for example, you are never going to be able to see the entire city. Instead, you need to work out your priorities so you are in the best position to see as much as you can. Write out a list of what you would like to accomplish while you are there, and try to start putting together a rough itinerary. Some people don’t like to stick to plans too rigidly, but if you have a general idea of what you would like to see and where it is located, it will help to stop those frustrating times when you are standing around wondering what to do next.
Book as Much as You Can Before Your Trip
Obviously, before you go on a trip you will go about booking all the regular things like flights and accommodation. But you should also see if there is anything else that you can book that will save you valuable time while you are there. Going back to Rome as an example, the queue to get into the Vatican Museum is often several hours long, especially in the height of summer. If you book online, you can skip the queue and get inside much sooner. If there is a particular tour you want to go on, book this as well and factor this into your itinerary. As well as saving time, you also may end up getting a better deal, so also check out websites like DontPayFull.com for other vouchers and coupons. The internet has become a valuable travel tool, so it makes sense to use it as much as possible.
Take a Tour
Taking a tour of your destination will give you a much better idea of the layout of the place, as well as giving you access to exclusive local knowledge that will stand you in good stead for the rest of your trip. Many cities now offer free walking tours, so it is a good idea to take one of these as early as you can after arriving at your destination. You will have a good overview of the place, and the guides will also have specific recommendations that you can take advantage of during the rest of your trip.
Download Useful Apps
Nowadays, pretty much all of us travel around with an incredible device in our pockets. It makes sense that you should be using your smartphone to its full potential. Arguments about directions are a thing of the past if you use an app like Google Maps or Maps.Me. You don’t even have to be connected to the internet as you can download the map of the place before you go and use GPS to find your way around. You can also get apps which help you out with the local language like iTranslate, or give you specific recommendations about places to visit like TripAdvisor. All of these things can help you make the most of your time when you are on your trip.
Don’t Forget to Take Some Downtime
Part of the pleasure of being in a new place is simply taking some time to soak up the atmosphere; sitting with a drink in hand and watching the world go by. Though you want to take full advantage of the time you have, if you have just rushed from one place to the next ticking off tourist attractions, you will not have got the best impression of the place. Taking some time to relax will give you that added burst of enthusiasm and vigour so you can enjoy the rest of the time that you have.
Speak to Someone Who Has Been Before
Though you can get a myriad of useful information on the internet, a lot of the time it doesn’t beat the first-hand advice that you can get from someone who has been there before. You can also ask questions directly rather than having to wait for answers when you post them onto internet forums. Factor their advice into your plans and you can end up getting a much fuller picture of the place you are about to visit.
Eat Some of Your Meals on the Go
Rather than going to a restaurant for every meal which can be both expensive and time-consuming, try eating at a place that serves food quickly or going to a street food vendor.
Often, these types of places are where the locals gather anyway, so you are getting a more authentic experience without using up a great deal of your valuable time as you wait for service.
Treat Your Trip as a Snapshot
When you only have a limited amount of time in a place, it is impossible that you will get to see and experience everything. Rather than becoming frustrated, you should treat your trip as a snapshot that gives you a good first impression of the place. It will give you a better idea of whether you would like to one day return and visit again at some point down the line.
These are just a few ways that you can make the most of your short trip. Ultimately, it all comes down to being as well prepared as possible.