I like to plan, so trip planning is as much a part of travelling for me as taking the actual trip!  It can almost become an obsession as I try to seek out things to do and see — what not to miss.  As I get closer to the day I leave, I start to remind myself that I do not need — or want — every second planned.  Just the essentials.  Here is a brief list of my “essentials”

  • Transportation to and from my destination
  • Hotel for at least my first few days
  • Plan how to get from airport to hotel
  • Is there ONE thing I have to do and should I plan for this — like attending a tango show in Buenos Aires on New Years Eve
  • Study map of transit system (if any) or general map of where I am going
  • Is there a tourist pass that can be ordered?  The Madrid Pass is excellent — I never had to wait in a line for a major attraction and could use the Metro for my stay!
  • If there is something I want to do, is there a discount if I order a ticket online? When I went to Rome, there was a discount for the Coliseum and Forum that again saved me from standing in line!  Same with getting reservations for the Uffizi Museum in Florence.
  • Suggestions for different types of tours, walks, etc.
  • Information on “hop-on hop-off” busses — sometimes a good way to just learn the “lay of the land”

I also gather some very practical things like information on the local consulate, emergency numbers, banking information, etc.

My personal “trip advisors” have helped me find my way around and take care of emergencies when they arise — yet still leave me with the freedom to explore and enjoy, especially since no matter how well I plan for a trip, I am going to get lost somewhere along the way!

If you are interested in some of my trip advisors, let me know.  I have information on Barcelona, Madrid, Toledo, Malaga, Lisbon, Florence, Rome, Naples, Venice, Dubrovnik, Kotor (Montenegro), Athens, Santorini, Rhodes, Crete, Katakalon, Cyprus and Tunis.  Or let me write one for you!

So, here is to getting lost on the next adventure!