In an ideal world, we would be able to travel to any destination for as long as we want. Unfortunately, that’s simply not the reality for so many. So, how do we take advantage of the short amount of time that we have in a new country or city?
Because we’re often in a race against the clock when traveling, it’s generally best to prepare in advance of the travels – whether that’s mentally, physically, or logistically. Here’s how to make the most out of short visits to new destinations.
1. Mentally prepare to be busy
Since you’ll likely be traveling, touring, and seeing a whole lot, make sure that your body and mind are prepared for travel. If possible, try to be well-rested before the trip.
Along this same line, be sure that you know what you want out of the trip. Obviously, a popular pastime for youth is to drink and/or go to nightclubs in foreign places. While that might be exciting for some, it’s definitely a deal-breaker for others (the recuperation period alone uses up valuable touring time). As long as you know your trip’s priorities, you can begin to mentally prepare in advance.
2. Book accommodations – preferably close to the city center or your touring route – beforehand
This might be variable to some, but most people prefer to have some sort of accommodation plans before arriving to a new place. One of the last things most travelers want to do is worry about accommodation for a short trip.
3. Research tops things to do/see and design a transport route in advance
As with accommodation, some people may prefer to “wing” this side of the travels, as well. For others, every minute may be precious and not one should be wasted. If that’s the case, you’d be surprised how much time is saved by planning out some (if not the majority) of your daily activities in advance.
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4. Take a walking tour early in the trip
One of the best ways to capitalize on your time in any city or country is by scheduling to partake in a walking tour early on in the visit. When you do this, it’s not only a great (and sometimes even free!) way of seeing the city and learning about its history, but it’s also an excellent opportunity to talk to a local (or city resident) and discover even more to do. If you don’t mind walking, these tours are definitely worth it.
5. Book major tour or restaurant reservations in advance
If you have places on your bucket list that just have to make it onto your itinerary, try to book as much as possible in advance. Generally speaking, especially for high-traffic cities and during peak tourist season, it will be necessary to make reservations for certain tours or dining experiences. If something is on your wish list to experience, make sure you don’t forget to research reservation options beforehand!
6. Keep a travel journal of your thoughts and experiences for future travels back
One of the best ways to use your new travel knowledge into the future is by recording it in a travel journal. It’s a great way to remember your adventures and the things you liked/disliked the most about your visit. It’s also wonderful for aiding your memory when things become hazier in the future.
We hope that you have the opportunity to enjoy the amazingness of short trips one day! Travel on, friends.
How do you make the most out of your short trips? Please share your tips with us in the comments!