Whether you’re visiting taking a cruise or traveling by plane, it’s tempting to try to cram in as many adventures as possible during your vacation. Here’s how to streamline your plans, so you can make the most of your time, build in some downtime and head home feeling refreshed, inspired and ready to start planning your next getaway.
You want to experience the historic architecture or try the must-eat local foods. First, ask yourself one question first: How long will you be there? After brainstorming, trim your to-do list by keeping only the things that excited you to see and do. Prioritize the places and events that you would regret missing.
As a general rule, plan one daytime adventure per day — a visit to a museum, a historic site or a park — and then figure out where to eat nearby. Evening plans might involve an event, or just dinner or drinks.
Keeping your daily to-do list short gives you time to stroll, take breaks, reflect or debrief with travel companions. It also leaves space for the unexpected opportunities that you are bound to stumble upon as you roam around the town.
Quick tip: Have a satisfying breakfast before you head out for the day. That way, you are not spending your morning searching for a place to eat. Save that energy for other adventures.
Taking in street life is one of the most direct ways to experience a place. And lounging over a drink or a meal at a place that locals love, off the tourist path, is a fantastic strategy for getting a feel for its rhythms.
You might find your favorite parts of the trip are often the times spent sitting at a restaurant or a cafe, people-watching and absorbing the sounds and sights.
Depending on the weather, it might make sense to bring an extra layer in your handbag or backpack. But don’t try to cram in extra kilos worth of "just-in-case" accessories. It will just weigh you down and cramp your style.
Go through your bag before you leave your room for the day and clear out the clutter. Make sure you have essentials like your wallet, phone, keys, maybe a small notebook and pen. Then, toss out the rest.
Quick tip: Always bring along a hard-copy map of a city, or just the areas that you are planning to explore that day. Though you’ll usually end up using apps and maps on your phone, a compact paper map comes in handy, just in case you can’t get a signal or forget your charger.
Have fun and do not forget to pack the most impant things with you on your vacation - your flexibility and sense of adventure.