While we would all love to take a months-long vacation that will allow us to fully explore a destination, the reality is that most of us don’t have an unlimited amount of vacation time available to us. Sometime, we can only fit a trip into a short weekend, which amounts to really just two full days of exploration. With careful planning, this can actually become a very enjoyable trip that won’t make you feel like you missed out on anything. Here’s what you need to do in order to fully make the most of a short trip in a city.
First, you should do a bit of research in order to get a real understanding of what the city you’re visiting has to offer. The best thing to do is to rank everything that interests you into categories, which can include “must see,” “would be nice to see,” “good for extra time,” and such. Check all of the sites on a map and see how far away everything that you want to see is.
Determine what the best way to get around the city is, whether it’s walking, public transportation, taxis, or different combinations of the three. Now that you have a sense of what you want to do and where everything is located, you can build yourself an itinerary that takes all of these factors into consideration and makes sense according to your time constraints.
To maximize each day, it’s best to get up as early as you can. Of course, it doesn’t mean that you must get up at 5am, and chances are that not everything will even be available so early in the day, but it is definitely best not to sleep in and miss a third or even half of the day. Also, if there are any popular tourist destinations on your list, the earlier you get there the better so you can avoid large crowds.
One of the best parts of taking a trip somewhere is to become more familiar with its local cuisine. While you certainly can enjoy splurging on a large and fancy meal, you can also sample street food, which will likely give you more of a real sense of what locals are eating. Look out for local eateries, they tend to be better priced and often even tastier than trendy options.
A great way to fit a lot of sightseeing in is by going on a walking tour. Many cities offer affordable or even free options, so it can be a low-cost activity that will really get you seeing all of the main sites and with a bit of an explanation as well, which is perfect for a short trip.
That being said, it’s probably a good idea to book your accommodation in a spot that’s centrally located, that way you can save a good deal of time. While it’s not always the most affordable option, it is certainly the most convenient.
Of course, while you are packing as much as you can into those two full days, make sure to plan some rest time in between your activities so you don’t end up feeling like you’re about to completely collapse. You can kill two birds with one stone by looking up a nice cafe you’d like to explore and schedule your chill time there, where you can enjoy a nice drink and snack and rest your feet at the same time.
Lastly, while it is important to plan out everything you want to do while on a short trip, you should also be open to embracing some spontaneity. Sometimes the best part of a trip can be something you happen to stumble onto without knowing about it beforehand. Unexpected detours can bring you some fun surprises you may have never found out about otherwise.