20/05/2015

How To Make the Most of Your Trip


Are you going for a holidays soon and do not know where to start? 

My love and passion to travel started from a few adventure camps, which I took part during summer as a child. For a shy 10 year old visiting new places, meeting new people, spending time with them 24 hours a day for half a month was a huge independence and confidence boost. 

I was quite lucky to pursue my passion and travel quite a bit in my life. I have had the chance to visit and travel to Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Czech Republic, Iceland, Poland, England, Sweden, Dennmark, and Scotland, as well as living and working in USA, Iceland, Poland and the United Kingdom. There is so much more to see! My wanderlust knows no boarders.  

As a teen I had the chance to do a few trips. After getting back home I felt I did not make the most of my time. I did not really know how to start and organise myself. However every single business and leisure trip taught me something new I should pay attention to to enhance my time away. 


Dream Come True Grand Canyon Rafting
How do I make the most of my trips now?

Matt Gross, in his article for New York Times claims, that research is a traveller best friend (here). Matt is so right, I can not even express how much I agree with him. Research is always a great idea, especially if you are going to a new place. It is worth it to have a look on Tripadvisor, find even more travel inspiration at Pinterest, and check if you can find local blogs. They very often include places worth a visit. I love to share places I love in Scotland such as coffee shops, bars, tourist attractions e.g. Quirky Footdee, Drum Castle etc. I am sure you will be able to find at least one blogger with the same passion to share all the gems from their city as I do. In regards to the trips I was not fully satisfied with, lack of research was definitely a big factor affecting quality of my travel.

Beautiful Duthie Park in Aberdeen
Do you know the feeling when you really want to go and see the Musee Picasso in Paris but instead you see closed doors? I do, and believe me it is not the greatest when you are craving to see something for so long but will not due to not checking opening times. I would sternly suggest to check opening times, especially when there is a place you want to see. Additionally, it can help you to save money as some places offer free entrance at certain days/times. Win win if you ask me. I get to see what I want to see, and I can treat myself to a fridge magnet (I always buy one when I am way).  

Google Street View is perfect to check where is your hotel is, and how the area looks like. If you are unsure if you want to book a hotel having a look at the are might determine if you will feel comfortable and happy in a place where you will start and finish your days. I would suggest doing this especially if you travel solo. It saved me scary trips back to my hotel in a few places. 

Best things in life are for free - sailing in Cambridge
Talking about saving money: Go online! I always check websites of hotels, restaurants,and  museums as very often they have a special deal for bookings made online. I know they are not as popular as they used to be a few years ago but voucher and coupons websites are still out there waiting for you to save money. Yes, some of us probably have been there having a horrifying hairdressing experience because of this amazing, cheap offer but... More often than not it is worth it. You might only speak English but most of the websites with deals such as Groupon can be translated. I managed to get cheaper tickets to Disneyland in Paris. Remember to check terms and conditions as well as book in advance. 

Tranquil Japanese Tea Garden in San Francisco
Last but not least advice: Ask Locals! I remember being highly disappointed in the middle of Italy due to my lack of luck to find delicious, little restaurants everyone was talking about. It seems like everyone but me was able to find mouth watering food, whereas I was stuck with frozen pizza. However, the magic happened when I stayed in a small, family hotel with a friendly, and extremely helpful owner. I was talking about my experience and within two minutes she prepared a map of La Spezia with places I must try. Believe me, I have done my research before and it seemed like most of the best places she suggested did not even appear on Tripadvisor or anywhere else. If you are an introvert it might sound daunting at first but I promise, it will be worth it! As a rather shy person I know what I am talking about. If you are really unsure about asking locals download apps such as: Foodspotting for gastronomic heaven, and FourSquare with tips of places to visit.   

How do you make sure to make the most of your trip? 
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11 comments

  1. Oh I hope you have fun there! I went to Boston years ago and so my memory of it was a bit blurry but it should still be a nice 1st visit to the US!

    -M
    www.violetroots.com

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    1. I am really happy I will have a chance to visit US. Have a lovely day, Iga xxx

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  2. Wow its amazing, I hope you will enjoy it! I want go somewhere too, probably to Ireland :) lovely

    http://dailywithcappucino.weebly.com/

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    1. I was planning trip to Dublin sometime next year. Let me know how was your trip! Have a lovely day, Iga xxx

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  3. Fantastic post! Thank you for sharing this to us! xx

    STYLEFORMANKIND.COM

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  4. Business or no business, you'll be in AMERICA! How awesome. Hope you'll enjoy it!

    xx Izzy | Qthee

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    1. I know, crazy!!! Can't wait!!! Have a lovely day Iga x

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  5. That sounds exciting. Hope you enjoy your trip!!!

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    1. Thank you! Boston is absolutely great! Have a lovely day, Iga xxx

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  6. Such a great post, I completely agree that doing your research in advance is so key! I like to look through Time Out/Lonely Planet and create a personalised google map with places I want to check out, which I can download to my phone to use while I'm there. Your other tips are so good, I never thought to try groupon for travel before..

    Anoushka Probyn - A London Fashion Blog

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    1. Such a great idea! I am definitely going to check personalised Google Maps! It sounds like a huge advantage! Definitely have a look at groupon, you can save so much more money! The disadvantage is that you have to book often in advance.

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