Have less than a week to spend a rewarding vacation? It’s okay. Limited travel time doesn’t necessarily mean poor travel experiences.
It doesn’t matter if you’re given a two-week getaway, a brief 3-day tour, or even an overnight trip. You can experience more and make the most out of your short vacation with these 9 expert travel tricks.
1. Have your hotel accommodation near target attractions
Your vacation time is too short to be spent on the road, traveling from your hotel to your most awaited destination. That said, book a hotel room that’s near to the sites you want to see.
Your hotel accommodation may be pricier, but if this means paying less in transportation and having more time to explore, then you’ll get your money’s worth.
2. Do some research and game plan before you arrive
Nothing’s worse than spending more time thinking about what to do than actually doing something.
Planning is the key.
- List down the sites you want to see and check their schedule or business hours, cost, and other requirements.
- Take the time to research dining options.
- Check out nearby souvenir shops, ATMs, and other essential places.
- Check out transportation available to know how to get around your destination.
- Create a detailed and realistic itinerary that features a list of must-sees and must
- dos, as well as a rough estimate of the time spent on each activity.
- Check how long it will take to get from one activity to another.
Make necessary reservations.
You can use technology to your advantage.
3. But don’t rely too heavily on reviews and blogs
Reading reviews and travel blogs are a great way to investigate whether the place you’re visiting is worth the time and money. But it’s like reading critic reviews prior to seeing a film – they could backfire, heavily affecting your sense of the place and kill the authentic experience.
You’re better off asking a local to suggest a good place or reading menus on display and try out the intriguing items.
4. Focus on attractions that matter the most to you
After listing places you’d want to see, rank them. Ask yourself: is there something I can’t afford not doing? Or a place I’d regret not experiencing? Focus more on the top destinations in your list.
Visit them first, or schedule them in a time where your energy is at its peak. Should the sun go down and you’re still not done with the rest, there’d be no regret, knowing you’ve seen the “highlight” of your short trip.
5. Split up
Are you traveling with someone of a different interest? Would you love to see the art section of the museum while your friend wants to see more of the archaeological displays? It’s okay to split up.
Time is too short for sticking together and not enjoying. Meet up for lunch, go on from there, and meet up at the end of the day.
6. Hire a guide
In contrary to the misconception, guided tours aren’t an activity for amateur tourists – they’re a great way to make your travel experience more fulfilling while staying organized. This is ideal for short trips, especially if you’re in a place where you don’t speak the language.
You just need to find credible and valuable ones. Don’t forget to shop around and compare rates and inclusions.
7. Make sure you’re well-rested
Sleeping in your expensive hotel room and skipping outdoor activities aren’t a wise way to maximize your short vacation. But going out to see places, sleepy and irritable from lack of rest, is just as awful.
To supercharge yourself for your short trip, make sure to get enough rest the night prior. As much as possible, don’t do anything stressful the day before the trip. Put yourself into travel mode beforehand.
Can’t make it through without sleep? Set your alarm and take power naps of no longer than 20 minutes.
8. Make the most out of your 5 senses
Disconnect to connect. Your vacation time is too short to be spent looking down on your phone, finding the perfect camera angle and filter for your IG story. Make sure to grasp every experience with your bare senses before taking a photo.
See and appreciate the colorful world through your eyes, not through the camera lens of your phone. Enjoy the sounds of the busy streets. Take time savoring local cuisines. Touch thought-provoking objects that are new to you. Communicate with locals and fellow tourists.
9. Slow down and take your time
If you’re traveling on a limited time, planning an itinerary with too many activities might be the first thing that comes to mind. However, fitting 7 places in one day and rushing from one place to another can be a recipe for ruining your vacation. High, unrealistic expectations are bound to lead to disappointment.
Embrace “slow travel” – a trend of spending more time exploring fewer remarkable places, thus creating more genuine, easy to digest travel experiences. Make a realistic itinerary with only a few selected destinations and activities. Schedule 1-2 sights in the morning, and 1-2 in the afternoon. Remember quality over quantity.