Often times I find myself with a lot of destinations in mind, but often not a lot of specific planning. Unfortunately this meant that I would get to a destination and not really know what to do which led to a lot of stress, guilt, and sometimes unenjoyable travel. I was too broad with my planning which left a lot of holes. Here are some of my tips to make the most of your trip planning so you don’t feel like you’ve wasted any time!
I was never one for itinerary (it felt way too strict) until a recent trip where someone haphazardly planned our trip on the back of a receipt in the hotel that night (mostly surrounding where we’d eat our meals). It looked something like this:
Mornings are usually relaxing – don’t push yourself into too much in the mornings, let yourself wake up, eat, and have time. We planned ours around where we would be eating each of those meals because eating well on vacation is an important part of travel for both of us! Then for afternoons or even after dinner plan your bigger adventures and such. This is if you’re staying in one place, if you’re moving cities you can include your travel timings as well. The point is, it’s rudimentary, it isn’t done at specific times, things can be changed, added, or modified, and you don’t feel stuck, however, you do have a plan for each day, and that direction makes everything easier!
I more or less stay off social media when I travel, my phone becomes a map/google centre and I tune out other peoples’ lives for the time I’m away. It’s time just to focus on yourself completely. However, prior to my trip, even while waiting in the airport for my flight I browse social media.
It’s ineffective to me to follow official tourism blogs unless you’re planning to spend wild amounts of money and only want to do day trips (often times requiring a car or long travel times), or you want quick gimmicky ideas. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with getting the feel of a place and seeing what is essentially the highlight real of a country (from a tourism perspective), but the best way to use social media to your advantage is to follow people who live in the place you’re visiting. Live like a local, see which cafes, interesting shops, bars, galleries, parks, etc. the people in that city are visiting. What sparks your imagination when you see photos? That’s how I plan my travel and find the gems I want to see!
On Instagram, try: hashtags, watching the location videos in the city you’re in, searching location tags!
Expectation Kills Joy
Okay, so that sounds a little bit much, but when it comes to travel the two worst words you can bring into the mix are expectation and assumption! This one I suppose is more mental than a physical task you can do (though perhaps there are physical routines you can do to minimize both). Try and avoid replicating someone else’s trip, it’s likely their photos weren’t an authentic representation of 100% of their trip, and you should do the things that you want to do (psst, not just because someone else said it was the cool thing to do). Maybe you’ll go to Las Vegas and you won’t win big, or go to Rome and not a single beautiful Italian will flirt with you, or head off to Germany and hate every beer you try. That’s completely fine. Your trip will be fun, and wonderful, and amazing because you’re doing it. The mistakes, mishaps, and changes of plan are what are going to make it special and unique – and isn’t that what we’re all striving for when we go away?
I hope some of these tips help you to make your future travel plans easier and more enjoyable!
Take your time, plan a little, and then let the magic of adventure take its course!