Taking a short trip away from home is an excellent opportunity to experience life in another place, to dip your toe in the activity, the architecture, and the excitement of a city, each with their own character and appeal. But it’s all too easy to risk wasting your time, money, and effort over-preparing for your trip to that city.
Try to keep your plans loose, seek fulfillment in your activities and keep the expenses low so you have more time and energy to actually enjoy the city you’re visiting.
A budget, but not a big one
No matter what kind of trip, you should always prepare the budget for your vacation in advance. However, as expensive as cities can be, there are plenty of ways to save money on the organization of the trip so you have more to spend in the city itself. When it comes to accommodation, services like Airbnb can be a lot more affordable than hotels. Plus, they're good for feeling like a local, or at home while on vacation.
As for travel, using flight comparison and deal sites like The Flight Deal or The Flight Network and being flexible with arrival/departure times can drastically cut down those costs. If you know any restaurants you want to eat at or attractions you want to visit, sign up for their subscriber emails in advance. They send out tons of vouchers and special codes that help you fit even more into your budget.
A plan, but a loose one
Most cities have more attractions than you can hope to experience in a lifetime, never mind a single trip. However, many people have the habit of selecting only a few different things they would like to see in a city. They create a strict itinerary which is not only going to keep them rushed off their feet from one experience to the next, but it’s also entirely ruined if you miss one. When you look at things to do, take note of all that appeal to you, as well as where and when they are. With a more comprehensive set of notes, you can choose to visit whatever attraction appeals you based on where you are and what time it is, making your plans more flexible to your actual experience, rather than having to constrict yourself to a set plan.
A bag, but not a stuffed one
Overpacking is another issue. You do not need every outfit for every occasion. Rather, when packing for a city break, do your research and find out what kind of weather you can expect. Pack a pair of comfy walking shoes as well as ones that you will be more inclined to wear at restaurants or shows, but don’t bring more than a couple of outfits. You want to make room for some souvenirs from the shopping trip, after all. Ask what amenities are available at your accommodation, too. For instance, in most cases, you don’t need to bring shampoo, body wash, towels, or a hairdryer.
A short trip is all about exploring the place you’re visiting. Over-preparation can majorly get in the way, forcing you to adhere to strict itineraries and to pay more on facilitating the trip than actually enjoying it. Hopefully the tips above help you stop that from happening.