With the advent of the internet Do-It -Yourself trips are becoming more popular. The whole trip planning experience can be exciting or daunting depending on your approach. Here are few helpful tips which helped/would have helped me.
#1: Choosing your destination[S]:
This is the hardest part if your trip is as general as a ‘Eurotrip’.Where do you want to go? Spain? Paris? Rome? Italy? Greece?
The best way to deal with it is to reflect on what do you a) enjoy doing? and b) Would like to do?
A) is very important because if you are more of a foodie than a Gaudi fan then it would be logical to spend more time in Italy than in Barcelona.
#2. Research :
I cannot stress on the importance of research for a DIY trip. Find out the train timings and connections; Do not put it off till you get to the train station. You may have missed the only connecting train by 15 minutes. Also find out openings and closings of museums and galleries and remember they vary depending on the time of year. The internet is the single most powerful weapon for a DIY trip.
While looking for a place to stay, it is advisable to find one near a metro station or near the city centre.This way you spend less time in commuting and do not have to worry about taxis late at night.
#4 . Book in advance
Especially during the peak season. This saves time otherwise spend in long serpentine queues. You may also get lucky and land up with an early bird discount.
#5. Read blogs:
There are hundreds of blogs written about almost all places on earth, by locals or by visitors. Read them. There may be unpleasant experiences they have had or may recommend places that are absent in guide books. It is good to know; after all, wise men learn from others mistakes where as fools they learn only after their own.
#6.History of the place:
Take time to get to know the history of the place. A walk by a silent street will be more exciting when you know the history of the door knob of the unassuming brick house.
#7. Plan B:
However detailed and fool-proof your plan A be, somethings always go wrong. So a plan B may come in handy.
..to the fact that you cannot see/do/go everything/everywhere. You will have to miss out on a few things. Just make sure you know the ones that are really important to you and change your plans accordingly.
The anticipation for your trip offers as much happiness as the trip itself. So do not put off the planning till the last-minute. It kills the joy and replaces it with stress.
#10: Just plan the structure:
Do not plan for every minute of the day. Just have a general idea of where are you going to be when and what you would like to do. Once you get there just follow your instincts.
and a bonus
#11: Beating post trip blues:
Sort out stuff at home before you leave or you will be overwhelmed on your return. Get started on a new hobby or a new personal project. This will help you settle in to the routine. Something that works like a charm for me every time is planning my next trip.
Have a wonderful’ Big’ trip!