As I often tell those around me, a trip is always a good idea. I also tell people that it is much easier to plan a trip to a place you've never been than you are imagining. Yet it's also easy to plan only an okay trip. Here are Babette Travel's 5 tips to planning your next amazing adventure.
- Plan your trip in accordance to the amount of time you have. I used to be a strong proponent of 6-week+ trips but I have learned that it is equally possible to have an amazing week long trip. The trick is to make sure what you're planning actually fits into the time you've allotted yourself. I know this sounds basic but it often is the bane of most trips. You get excited while planning and simply include too many things. If you are visiting Europe for 2 weeks, do not plan to visit 5 countries and 8 cities. You will exhaust yourself.
- Speaking of exhaustion, include at least one day to just relax. As great as it is to be out and exploring a new place, it's also exhausting. There is not much worse when traveling than when you're simply too tired to enjoy whatever you are doing. Allow yourself a day to chillax and enjoy a lazy morning and early evening. If you're planning on bopping around to different cities/countries allow a few relaxation days. Trust me, you'll thank me.
- Do not over plan. This may go against everything your nerves are telling you but there will be hiccups along the way and if everything is already booked/planned it makes changing these plans very very difficult. My go-to for planning is really this simple: book my main flight, book all of my accommodations (make sure it's flexible booking) and know how I'm supposed to get from the airport (or train station, ferry, etc) to my accommodation. I also research to have some ideas of things I want to do and unless it requires tickets (a specific show or game) I leave it until I get to my destination to figure out the smaller details so I can decide as I go what I feel like doing. Yes, I plan that little.
- Be open to different experiences. Most of my favorite travel experiences are all due to the fact I was open to doing something that I typically wouldn't do at home. Be this a different kind of bar, club, restaurant, walking tour, local shop, activity or whatever, including these will give you an experience and go beyond just site seeing.
- Use airbnb, Couchsurfing or MeetUp to get to know locals. If you want to really experience a city and go beyond the typical 'top 10 things to do' chatting with someone from the city will be your golden ticket. They will be able to tell you where to avoid, what's actually worth visiting and more often than not know of something interesting to do that all the travel sites failed to mention.