Making the Most out of a Short Trip
I couldn’t be more excited to be headed to Scotland in less than 3 weeks! The trip will be a short one though, just 4 days. Here are my methods for getting the most out of a short stay.
KNOW THE SPOTS YOU WANT TO HIT
Back on my first big trip out of the country on my own, I spent a week in London and 1 day+night in Paris. It had been a dream of mine to visit Paris, but I knew that with such limited time I wouldn’t be able to soak in everything I wanted, I’d have to plan strategically what I wanted to see.
Fast forward to present day, I’m doing the exact same thing for Scotland. Thankfully I’ll have more than just 24 hours to enjoy the city of Edinburgh, but I’m still keeping the same strategy in mind. I’m currently drafting up a list of exactly what I want to see, and if there’s 20 things on that list, I’ll star the ones that are most important and highlight the ones that are near each other.
Sure, it’s an amazing thing to stroll aimlessly through the streets of a faraway place. To not have a plan, or a care in the world, stumbling upon unexpected things. In fact, there probably is no better feeling, but when you’re on a time crunch I feel you want to be as strategic as possible so you don’t feel like you missed anything.
KEEP IT IN CLOSE RANGE
As I mentioned before, noting places that are near each other is key when you’re trying to hit as many things possible in a short amount of time. But just in general, seeing the amazing castle that’s two hours outside of the city might not be the best idea when your time is limited (the hard pill I had to swallow whilst in Madrid). Try as hard as you can to pick things that are within city limits, and that won’t require too much bending over backwards with transportation.
KNOW YOUR ROUTES
Planning ahead doesn’t just mean what sights you want to see, it also means planning how you get there. Even if things are near each other, to the point where every place you want to visit is within walking distance from your hotel, it’s still a good idea to map out our your walking route, and definitely map out how to get from the airport to your hotel. So much time can be wasted where you could be visiting wondrous sights, but instead you’re searching for a train instead of the subway and you’re confused as to what the difference is (can you tell I speak from experience?). Especially when you’re battling a language barrier, you’ll want to check and re-check that you know what your doing, whether you’re alone or not. Google maps is handy, but if you don’t have service or your phone dies -thanks Apple- it’s best to be prepared with printed maps and transport times, or street directions.
PLANNING YOUR MEALS AND BUDGET
These two, I think, go hand in hand. Yes of course, falling into a little hole in the wall grub spot only to find the best meal of your life is awesome, but you can’t count on that always happening. Pick out a few spots, next to your hotel or the places you’re visiting, ahead of time. Check reviews and check if it’s in line with your budget/attire. If you’re decked out in backpacking gear with 30 USD to your name, you’ll probably want to skip that classy 5-star next to the Ritz. Again, it’s all about saving time so you have the most time possible to explore.
Hope this helps, and happy travels! What’s the best short trip you’ve ever done?