How To Make The Most Of A Short Trip

How to make the most of a short trip (Photo: Surkov Vladimir/Shutterstock)
How to make the most of a short trip (Photo: Surkov Vladimir/Shutterstock)

Having only three or four days to make the most of a new city can feel daunting. Rather than feel like you missed out there are a few ways to maximize your time and make a mini-break feel like a full-fledged vacation.

Plan ahead

If you only have a few days to enjoy your chosen vacation destination, it’s imperative to plan so you don’t waste time wandering aimlessly looking for things to do and places to eat and drink. Do your research beforehand and come up with a list of must-sees – and then narrow it down. Add restaurants, bars and shops to your list and then figure out what you realistically have time for. That’s your go-to itinerary. You can also keep a secondary list on hand of places to check out if you end up having more time on your hands.

Map your route

Once you know where you want to go, map out a route from your hotel room for each day that takes you to the places you want to visit that day (from museums to restaurants). Either do this with a travel planning app like TripIt, or do it the old fashioned way and use a physical map and a highlighter to plot your route and a notebook to list the spots you want to hit. The more organized you are, the easier it will be to maximise your time.

Book a room close to the action

A short trip means that staying close to all the places you want to visit is important. While it might cost less to stay outside the city centre, it will also take you longer to get where you want to be. If the attractions you don’t want to miss are spread out around the city, at least stay somewhere close to public transportation to make getting around faster and easier. The closer you are to what you want to see and do, the more you’ll be able to squeeze into your short trip.

Build in time to relax and take it all in

Sure, planning is important and so is staying organized once you’ve arrived, but don’t let the trip pass you by without taking some time to appreciate where you are and relax, rather than rushing around the whole time. This is a vacation, after all. Grab some snacks and head to a local park, sit at a café and people-watch over a coffee or beer, or take a stroll without a destination, just to be in the moment.

Jessica Padykula

Jessica Padykula

Jessica Padykula is a freelance writer based in Toronto. Her work has appeared on Styleathome.com, ElleCanada.com, Slice, Travel + Escape, Thrillist, AmongMen.com and SheKnows.com among others. When she’s not writing or researching a story she can be found planning trips to places near and far in a never-ending quest to travel the world. You can follow her on Twitter @JessPadykula

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