When you plan a trip there’s limited time, a budget and, of course, the yearning to make the most of the place you are in. Over the past year, I’ve come up with my process for trip planning. And through trial and error, I’ve found the resources that work for my travel style.
Lonely Planet: The most important part of Lonely Planet is the safety section. It is always update-to-date with travel notices. Also, they have a comprehensive list of warnings for tourists such as scams, political climate and cultural notes. So I check this to make sure the place I’m going to is safe and what I need to be extra aware of while I’m there.
Atlas Obscura: This website is my favorite. They have a comprehensive list of strange sights and places with a short synopsis for each. I enter in the city I’m going to and a list with a handy map shows me where the weird is.
Look up Walking Tours: I like walking tours because I get to see all the main tourist sites in a short amount of time and by the end of the tour I have a good idea of how to navigate the city. Personally, I try to look for ghost tours or any specialized tour so that it’s not the cookie cutter tourist experience.
Look up Pub Crawls: If I have time and I want to party in a city I always opt for the pub crawl. It’s the safest way to enjoy nightlife and also cost efficient. Many pub crawls include reduced entry fees, drinks and a built in group to have fun with. There are also designated guides that watch out for me. However, I want to note that getting drunk anywhere, especially abroad is a terrible idea. BE RESPONSIBLE!
Research Accommodation: So you have to look at the pros and cons of couch surfing versus a hostel. This all depends on your preference. I usually go for hostels over a couch surfing host unless I know someone. A few reasons why:
- You have to spend a little time with your host and be a good guest. This can be time consuming but if you enjoy getting to know a culture this could be great.
- Most hosts won’t live in city center while hostels make it a priority to be in city center.
- It’s easier to meet other travelers going to similar places if you stay in a hostel.
- Hostels have more resources like tourist information, tours, amenities and more.
- Also, if you are specifically interested in a certain site, book your hostel near it to make your life easier. This isn’t an option if you couch surf.
- *I’ve also written a post about making the best of your hostel experience so check that out.
Look up blogs that posts: Bloggers are a great resource for finding well-rounded opinions about certain places. I use bloglovin and wordpress and just enter the city I’m going to.
Look up the weather: Pack practically! If it’s going to rain the whole time you are there you might not want to plan an early morning hike. If there’s a hurricane warning you may want to just change your plans. If it’s cold pack more sweaters.
After all this research I use a google maps to look at the sights and see what is where. From there I can map out what I want to do in order of location. Usually, I pick 3 places to visit in a day and that varies depending how close things are together. I like to schedule in down whether it’s taking an hour to read or nap somewhere at the hostel, at a park or at a cemetery, you’ll make the most of your day if you plan for some rest in all the sightseeing.
Other posts with travel tips:
Good luck planning your next trip!