Believe it or not, vacation planning can be a bit more complicated than simply booking your flights or trains and accommodations. If you want to make the most of your experience, it’s a great idea to do your homework and make some plans for activities and experiences ahead of time.
Make restaurant reservations
Whether you’re headed to the hottest new sushi spot in town or just trying to make dinner plans for Friday night, it can’t hurt to make a reservation ahead of time. It’s free, and you’d be surprised at how busy popular spots get—especially on weekends. So, why take the risk of missing out on a great meal? You’ll be thanking yourself when you’re chowing down on a delicious dish.
Have a loose itinerary
It’s important to be somewhat spontaneous. But, having a rough agenda for each day of your trip can go a long way toward making your experience more enjoyable. Even something as simple as a list of attractions and museums you’d like to explore on a given day will get you ahead of the game.
Consider the time of year
Aside from thinking about the weather—spring and summer bring more crowds and longer lines at favorite spots—it’s worth doing a bit of research to find out about any events that might be taking place in the city (or cities) you’re visiting during the dates you’re targeting. You might be able to avoid more expensive flights or hotel stays by going during off-peak times. On the other hand, you might discover a cool music or food festival that you want to plan your trip around! It’s a win-win.
Read reviews (and ask friends)
Sure, you have to take everything on the internet with a grain of salt. However, reputable review sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor can steer you in the right direction, especially when it comes to hotels and activities. Don’t be shy on social media, either—asking your Twitter or Facebook network for recommendations can yield some great ideas that you can trust, and most folks are more than happy to share their favorite places.