Sometimes a weekend away is just what you need, but when time is of the essence, you need to know how to make every minute count! Here are our 5 top tips for getting the most out of your next city break.
1 – Book Ahead
In my experience, you can save so much time (and often money) by booking ahead, and in pandemic times, visitor capacity can be limited. Many popular tourist attractions across Europe offer a ‘Skip-The-Line’ ticket which guarantees you timed entry when you book in advance. Furthermore, with tickets in hand, there is no need to worry about the language barrier! Flights and accommodation often offer early booking discounts too, in addition to having the benefit of more availability and options. It is my experience that so-called “late deals” have now become a thing of the past, so I advise you take advantage of early bird deals instead. It can also help you spread the cost and take the stress out of last minute decision making.
2 – Location, location, location
On a short break time is money, so save on transportation and invest in accommodation. City breaks can be exhausting, so knowing you are never too far from your pillow is also comforting! Always check the location on a map. Many hotels list themselves as being so many kilometres from a point of interest, but that doesn’t mean it’s good! Rome is a fine example of this. A lot of hotels list themselves as being close to Vatican City, but you could be over an hour’s walk from all of the other things you want to see and do, including the Colosseum, so consider where you want to spend your time wisely and remember to read the customer reviews.
3 – Ask The Locals
When it comes to things like food and drink, often the places in the guide books are either expensive dining experiences or places where tourists love to spend their money. If you want to know where the really good places are, you must ask the locals where they go! This could be the Uber driver, your hotel receptionist, or even the next person to pass you on the street (if you’re brave enough)! One thing I regret on previous mini breaks is wasting too much time pounding the pavements whilst we argue about where to eat. It really shouldn’t be that difficult! Failing that, TripAdvisor is also handy for getting honest opinions about what is enjoyed locally.
4 – Pack Light
Cabin baggage is your friend! Don’t waste time waiting at the luggage carousel or traipsing back-and-forth to your hotel for suitcases. Make your transfer time work for you and plan to experience things en route! A capsule wardrobe is always useful – layers that work well together and go with the one pair of comfortable shoes you are wearing. A stylish backpack with some clean undergarments and a jacket with pockets is all you need for a few nights away. I highly recommend this navy rucksack from Joules – it’s stylish, a good size, has plenty of pockets, is super comfortable and hard wearing. Pair it with this Golightly Packable Waterproof Jacket for the ultimate practical pairing. What’s not to love?!
5 – Don’t Expect To See It All In One Trip
If a place is worth visiting, you will likely feel the need to return and make more memories, so don’t be disappointed that you leave yourselves with
excuses reasons to go back! Setting yourself this expectation will alleviate some of the anxiety that comes with trying to fit too much in. Relax, take time to soak up the atmosphere, and remember… you’re on holiday!
Do you have any top tips for travelling on short breaks? Let us know in the comments – we’d love to hear from you!
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Travel safe and stay curious!