How To Get The Most Out Of Your Vacation

When you go on vacation, of course you want to SEE and DO EVERYTHING! But it isn’t always possible. Think of traveling to a destination for your first time as trying out a new restaurant. You want to try almost everything on the menu but doing so would cost too much money and give you a stomachache. Instead, you notice that there is a sample platter that gives you a few different foods to try giving you a better experience. Now compare this to travel. You go to one country (one restaurant) and now need to decide you want to see. In order to get the best travel sample platter out there I suggest doing one or more of the following:

Set realistic expectations
Setting realistic expectations all starts out with asking the big questions. For example, if you are going to Europe, your first question may be – Country or City? If you want to see both, how much time do you have and what towns or cities are you going to visit? Realize that the more you absolutely have to see, the more days you should plan to be on vacation.

Divide and Conquer
Divide the places you want to go and sights you want to see into the following:

A- You have to see no matter what
B- You would love to see, but can live without
C- It would be nice, but no big deal if you can’t get to it

Plan your trip with hitting all the sights in the “A” column first, followed by “B” and then “C” if you have time.

Create an itinerary
Creating an itinerary allows your vacation to be organized so you don’t waste any time. You can have a travel agent do this for you and makes it all that more convenient as they book your trip. If you want to do this on your own, check out free online itinerary builders that are easy to use. For example, you can use the free TripIt app. Insert your travel plans and they will generate an itinerary that you can update anytime.

Take an escorted tour
Escorted tours are quite ideal. They already have an itinerary planned and the tour guides put a lot of sites and activities into their tours. They can even tell you more about the history and give you tips and insider knowledge on where to get the best food. Or find free walking tours that help you get to know the city better. Learn what you want to know more about and come back later.

Live like a local
Immerse yourself in the culture by doing what the locals do. Go on a hike, enjoy a treat at a pastry shop, or relax on the lawn in front of the Eiffel Tower. Not only does this result in a relaxing vacation, but it also saves you money. Who knows, you might just appreciate the sights and sounds more if you take time enjoying your surroundings rather than consuming all of your time hurrying and scrambling from one place to another.

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