In the perfect world, travel is a luxurious experience and one where you can leisurely wander from one destination to another, taking your time to soak up the culture in each place that you visit. In reality, however, travel is a whole lot different. Usually a lot messier, real travel experiences often involve lots of rushing around and lost time due to disorganisation.
On that note, the following are 7 ways to maximise your time in any city so that your travel experience will be more like the former rather than the latter that we’ve mentioned above.
- Download a map of the city before you leave.
Before leaving home, try to download a map of the city you’ll be visiting to your phone. This map should feature its public transportation system and any other details that you feel will be important. By doing this simple task, you’ll never get lost, even when don’t have Wi-Fi or a phone signal.
- Get some trusted recommendations from the locals.
If your time spent in your planned city destination is going to be short, this tip will be even more vital. Although guidebooks are always useful, asking the locals of a city for recommendations on what to see and where to eat is always a great idea. By doing so, you might just find a way to get cheaper Rome opera tickets, skip the long lines at the Eiffel Tower or you might even uncover some new attractions that only the locals know about.
Photo by: NG Matthew
- Rent a bike to get around.
There’s simply no better way to get around a new city than to bike it. It’s faster than walking, it’s cheaper than using public transport, it’s good for your health, and you’ll be on no one else’s clock but your own. Most cities have caught onto this and have bike lanes and special routes that make getting around city centres a breeze for tourists.
- Do not arrive unprepared.
Doing some research before you arrive is absolutely vital if you want to avoid wasting your time looking through guidebooks, getting lost and arguing over what to see and where to eat etc. Putting in the effort to discover the city before leaving home will also add to the excitement of the build-up to the trip.
- Check what attractions are open late.
Chances are that you’ll want to squeeze a lot of sightseeing into a short amount of time when in a new city. If this is the case, you should check to see if any of your must-see attractions have late opening hours. This way, you can leave these until late evening and get to see the ones that close early first ensuring that you don’t miss out.
- Try staying in a hostel.
All big cities have great hostels these days. Hostels are not just cheap and generally a great accommodation option, they are also an excellent place to meet fellow travellers and have some fun. Hang out in the common area for an hour or two on your first day and you’ll be sure to meet some cool people and learn a lot about the new city that you’re in. It’s that easy.
- Go with the flow and have fun!
While you do have to be organised and have a little bit of pre-planning done to maximise your time in a new city, don’t be afraid of a little spontaneity. Ultimately speaking, going with the flow and making a conscious decision to have fun on your trip will be what makes it an experience to remember.