Short trips are the appetiser of the travel world. Gap years and long voyages are the main course. A spa trip or pampering getaway is the dessert. Learning to master the art of the short trip is vital. We can’t always travel for a year or more, but we can all get away for a weekend.
Figure out what’s close to you
By its very nature, a short trip needs to be a close trip. You can’t go from Melbourne to London in 3 days. Make a list of all of the places that are close to you. The list is probably longer than you realise. Do a little research to see what each place has to offer and pick the place that you intuitively respond to.
Pack wisely and don’t book a hold bag
The great thing about a short trip is that you don’t need to pack for 20 people. You only need essentials. I’m a bit of a panicky packer – I tend to overdo it. I’m still learning to pack wisely. Packing wisely involves packing what you need and no more. You can avoid huge fees if you pack one cabin bag. To pack wisely you need to pack critically. If you need it, pack it. If you merely want it, leave it behind. Most of what you need you can buy (and dispose of) on the other side if need be.
Don’t try to cram too much in
This tip is dependent on the kind of traveller that you are. Some people love a whirlwind weekend where they do it all. If this is your style, please stick with it. If you are new to the weekend break, pick a few things and focus on them.
Either pick 3 feelings that you want to experience:
Or, pick three things that you want to see or do:
- The Colosseum
- Eat at an authentic Italian restaurant
- Vatican City
Or, focus on three things that you enjoy generally:
Tailor your trip around your three choices. This really helps hone your focus.
For instance, you might pick Nice and choose:
- Visit a winery
- Go on a yacht
- Try authentic French food
- People watching
- Staying in luxurious places
- Eating lots of food
Fly early and leave late
If you’re only going away for a short time, you want to make the most of it. Book an early morning flight and leave as late as possible on your last day. This maximises the amount of time that you get to spend in your country of choice.
Stay close to the centre
For a short trip, staying close to the action is vital. You don’t want to stay so far out of town that you’re having to take taxis everywhere. This will eat away too much time. You’ll end up paying more for transport too. Figure out what you want to be near, and stay there.
Take your time
When you have a short amount of time, it can be tempting to try to cram too much in. Ultimately, it is better to explore slowly and to take your time. The rushing around can be boring, stressful and counterproductive. Taking your time is often more worthwhile.
For a short flight, flying direct is probably common sense but make sure that you don’t accidentally book a flight with one or more connections. These flights are often very cheap but they don’t leave much time for having fun.
Do make some plans
You don’t want to book up every minute of your day for the entire trip. You’ll exhaust yourself. In saying this, it is useful to make some plans. You might want to make a dinner reservation or book tickets to a museum or Big Bus Tour ahead of time. It’s nice to have something to look forward to and it stops time fleeing from you unused.
Factor in your new time zone
In England, when it is 22.38, it’s 00.38 the following morning in Greece. Even small time zone differences can make an impact so it is useful to keep track of them when you travel. Make sure that you don’t miss pick-ups, reservations and trips based on your old time zone!
Map your path
I’m a poor map reader with barely any sense of direction. Please don’t be like me! A lot of people only start figuring their way around once they get to their country of choice and end up wasting time trying to figure their way around. If you are planning to get the subway to your hotel in Manhattan, New York, know your stop and the route to the hotel. This saves valuable time.
Factor in time delays
Don’t book anything too close to when you arrive, or you may not get to do it at all! Imagine that you land in Berlin at 9am and you’ve booked a boat tour that departs at 11am. If you end up with unexpected flight or transport delays, you will not get to experience that fun tour. Give yourself a little space to factor in any disruptions.
So, that’s how you master the art of the short trip! I hope these suggestions help and if you have any more, please feel free to comment below!
All my love