Friday, 8 September 2017

Preparing To Travel To A New Place

I travel a lot, and as we book more spur-of-the-moment trips, we have more trips where I truly have no idea of what the city holds before we go. Having said that, we're usually only staying for a short amount of time, and so I like to put in the legwork to look into this, to make sure that we make the most of our short breaks and see as much of these cities as possible, knowing that we might not go back in the future, instead favouring new destinations. So; with that in mind, I have a tried and tested system that I like to use to make sure that I'm fully prepared when travelling to a new place - so, if you're travelling and don't know where to start? Look no further.

1) Check Tripadvisor for the more common tourist things to do
Normally we like to stray beyond this list of things to do, but it's good to know that you can fit the big things in; there might be huge, world famous things where you're going that you didn't even know about - and you wouldn't go to Paris and avoid getting a picture of the Eiffel Tower now, would you? This is usually a pretty good jumping off point; you have an idea of the big things and know when you need to travel out of the centre (if at all) to fit them all in, I tend to use this as my framework for the rest of the things I look into.

2) Plan your route to and from the airport
If you're flying in in the day and you're getting the train or a taxi from the airport - try and work out if you can stop at any of the big things on the way to where you're going; especially if they're a 'grab a photo and go' sort of deal, of which there are usually at least a couple in each city. It might be completely fruitless and you might not pass anything worthwhile, but if you do, it's a good way to ensure you don't waste your first afternoon in a city just getting back and unpacking.

3) Look on Atlas Obscura for some less common tourist things to do
As people from the community can pop their favourite bits of their holiday on here, you'll nearly always find something outside the norm to take a look at; from cool buildings to incorruptible corpses, from the prettiest beaches to the most hidden of book shops. In my experience, these have always been how we've found the cooler things to do, the things you want to put on Instagram - but as a word of warning, if things say free on this site, it's always best to double check as we've found quite often that this might not be the case.

4) Figure out your area on google maps
On more than one occasion we have been caught out paying for taxis only to find out on the last day of the trip that, actually, we were just around the corner from where we wanted to be anyway; so now I always try to get a feel for the area using google maps before we go. This way I know if there's a shop by us, where we need to go to hit the centre of town, and whether we have been walking around in circles and called a taxi to go about ten metres down the road (which we accidentally did in Riga, it was embarrassing).

So there are my top tips!

I know there are much more basic things like checking the currency you need, booking flights and accommodation, but these are the big things to do that I never really thought of doing until we started travelling more regularly; do share any preparations you take that make travelling easier.

Sammy xo.


  1. I haven't gone on a trip to a country I haven't known much about in ages, I went to Paris recently and obviously had an idea of all the tourist spots, but my next trip is to Berlin and I'm definitely going in blind and going to need to research all these things! x


  2. That would be impossible if you had your own car or if you rented one, but fortunately with an airport transfer you can "recharge your batteries" all the way to your destination. milan malpensa transfer