Oh hey, guess what? This right here is yet another travel post for you all. Yes, I am seriously milking this whole year abroad thing and no, I’m not even sorry for it.
As you will most certainly know by now, I have taken every possible opportunity to get out there and travel around Spain since September of last year. I am, of course, working whilst here so the majority of these trips have been short but sweet, taking place over weekends.
So, not to blow my own trumpet or anything, but I feel as though I have gotten pretty good at making the most out of a limited time in a new place. And I’ve written up some tips and tricks so that you can do the same, if you like.
1. Nap on the plane. Or bus, or coach, whichever mode of transport you’re taking to get away. I do have a specific reason for this: it will make it so much easier to last through the upcoming long days of exploration (which makes a weekend of wandering & being a tourist sound oh-so fancy).
2. Set an alarm. As difficult as it is to force yourself out of bed at an early hour after a possibly late night (I say this because the majority of my trips have started with a Friday evening/night flight), it is so worth the extra few hours. Even if it is just for a good brunch.
3. Make a plan. Now I’m not talking about a military-precision style itinerary, but knowing more-or-less where you want to be and when will make it so much easier to effectively use the little amount of time that you have. This also makes sure that you get to see anything that you definitely want to, and then if you have any spare time you have the perfect opportunity to aimlessly wander, which is how I’ve found some of my favourite spots when visiting new cities.
4. Do your research. Along similar lines as tip number three, it is always worth doing your research before heading off to a new place. If you’re trying to find somewhere to eat, read the online reviews before making a decision. Trying to decide which kind of ticket to get for a certain tourist attraction? Head straight for the online forums so you don’t end up wasting your time or money. In short, learn from other peoples mistakes so that you don’t make any of your own!
5. Take a tonne of photos. This may seem like a no-brainer, but I will explain my reasoning anyway. It’s so easy to get back from a short excursion and feel like you hardly saw anything, or like you rushed around and don’t have a whole lot to show for it. To avoid this, I always make sure that I have my phone/camera/GoPro to hand so that when those post-holiday blues hit, I can cheer myself up with a load of photos and memories.
6. Grab a quick bite to eat. Don’t get me wrong, fine dining is one of my favourite pastimes. But when you’re short for time, a three course meal in that fancy restaurant just isn’t always feasible. To combat this, I highly recommend finding markets, cafes and bars where you can chow down and then get on your way again. Plus, I think that 9 times out of 10 it’s these kinds of places that offer the best local food at the best prices so, you know, win win.
7. Take the tiredness hit. Yes, being exhausted on a Monday morning sucks. But for me, it’s worth having had an extra few hours in wherever I was the day before. Later journeys are often cheaper, as well, which is an obvious plus, and like we have already discussed, napping is always an option! Personally, I am fan of going back to tip number one and replacing the mode of transport with ‘after work/university on Monday’!
So there we go, my top seven tips for making the most of an short trip away, I hope you enjoyed!