I’m a fairly organised person and when I travel somewhere I’ve never been before I am very thorough in making sure I know how to get to my hotel from the airport, knowing what public transport is available, the walking distance between where I am staying and some of the city sights, and knowing the right customs of the country so I don’t offend anybody. All those things are probably an essential part of travel planning but it is important not to search and plan things to do for every single minute in every single day. Here’s why:
1. You Won’t See Everything You Wanted Too
If you plan to squeeze in an attraction for every little bit of time you have, you will not see everything. There is nothing worse than not having the time to to get lost in that museum or linger over your lunch because you have to move on otherwise you’ll miss out.
2. Kills the Magic
Leave room for a bit of spontaneity in your travels. Put the map away and just walk. Anywhere, doesn’t matter, walk until your legs are tired, stop for a coffee or a meal, soak up the atmosphere, make. Sometimes you need to get lost to find yourself.
3. You Might Miss Out
By planning to do everything, you could actually miss out a lot. Ever thought to just sit at the cafe in Ho Chi Minh city and watch the traffic? Thats what I did and it was very entertaining (I’m told that there are about 2 million motorcycles shooting around Saigon) or better yet watch a local cross the road because let me tell you, you need to walk with purpose and just go for it otherwise you’re never getting to the other side! People watching can be such an effective way to soak up the culture so be sure to spare some time.
4. You Need Time To Relax
Ever feel like sometimes you need a holiday from your holiday? If you are on the go and rushed your whole trip you won’t feel as though you’ve had a proper break when you eventually come home and head back to work, regardless of how long you traveled for (believe me!)
It can be hard when you’re on a tight time schedule to see everything you want to. But to get the most out of your experience, and to save disappointment later, don’t over plan your stay. Instead, pick the top sights you must see and be conservative with the time you give to experience them (travelling Paris in Summer = Queue City!). Arrange to take a long lunch, enjoy that coffee, relax, watch the world go by and soak up the atmosphere of the destination you’re in!