Travel has always been one of my favorite things to do. I was the first of my siblings to go to Europe – not amazing but I am also the youngest.
There has always been something magical about seeing a totally different place, the people, architecture and the nature surrounding it all. I love old buildings and art so Europe has always been appealing to me. I tell people I am a back alley person as there is something about doing down an alley way and walking into an incredible square with amazing buildings on all sides. So I thought I’d share some of my tips for travelling.
1. First thing is what do you like to do? Eat? Hike? Museums? Is there a city you have always wanted to explore? I love a big city – the different neighborhoods, art galleries, theatre and restaurants. Also look for organized walking tours if that is your thing. We did one in Ireland (below) where they gave us a map and took care of getting our bags to the next destination. The rest was on us. There are bus tours to consider if you want a more organized, taken care of experience.
2. If you want to do a specific tour your best bet is to book ahead. We hiked The Giants Causeway and booked ahead of time to make sure we had it organized before we went. Plus it gave us a booked block to work around.
3. I use Trip Advisor to check out reviews of places and hotels. They have travellers’ pictures to check out – that is where you can really see what the place looks like. They also have lists of tops things to do and restaurants in pretty well any place you want to head to. Plus, you could do your own reviews on hotels, restaurants and tourist attractions. Just make sure you jot down details and feelings rights away. FYI you could also review places in your own city for Trip Advisor!
4. Airlines – well what to say only check them all out. If you don’t have to book your vacation months in advance see if there are any seat sales comings up to places you want to visit.
5. Last vacation we used Airbnb and we enjoyed it. We stayed in Dublin for four nights and it was fantastic to come home to an apartment. We picked up some groceries so could have coffee in the morning while getting ready. It was also nice to crash in a living room at the end of the day. For me it felt like I was more immersed while staying in Dublin. So if you are staying somewhere for more than a few nights think about getting an apartment.
6. If you don’t like to book too much ahead your first stop after you check in should be the local tourist bureau. Some day trips only leave once or twice a week and you don’t want to miss it just because you didn’t get there until a few days into your stay.
7. Most importantly be open to new experiences and don’t compare anywhere to home. Every place has it own unique features. We are travelling to gain experiences – fine if it makes you appreciate home more. You can acknowledge that when you get back. Just enjoy where you are.
You can always start now !