PRE PLANNING – is the magic word and my secret weapon of choice when trying to maximise my time on short trips and mini adventures. By doing all the thinking, planning and preparing before I leave, does not only allow me to use my time away doing more interesting things, but more importantly it allows me to jump right in to my adventure from the moment I land.
Before you can start to pre plan you must establish what you want to get out of your mini adventures wheather it be centred around relaxation or sight see and experience as much humanly possible or both. once you know that then the rest is easy (ish) here are …..
….My 3 steps to Pre planning:
Research + strategies+ Loose itinerary = A great trip!
your research will depend on your personal interests and what you want to get out of your mini adventure. Here are my key areas of research .
- What does the destination have to offer by way of sights & activates.
- What is the city or country known for, I.e. you won’t go to Rio and not see the beach or try a Caipirinha or three:)
- Where are the places of interest located and how do you get there.
- Night life: where are the hot spots located.
- What events are happening while you’re there.l
- How to get to and from the airport using public transport.
2. Strategies – Accomodaton,
Location Location Location.
The location of your accommodation can be the making or breaking of your mini adventure, choosing the wrong location will cost you both time and money.
>Choosing the right location – Having done your research you should now have a rough idea of the things you may want to do, places you will want to go, and things you may want to see. Also if you are as thorough as me then your even know how to get to and from these places . Right! armed with this information you should us it to pin point the perfect location for accommodation.
The perfect location, in my opinion should allow you to easily access the sites and places of interest to you, and therefore would have great transport links right at the door step. It would also be in a location that has lots happening in its immediate surroundings or a within a short walking distance. When i say short walking distance I mean no more than 15-20 mins.
Example : in prep for my recent trip to Malta we first choose a hotel based on its facilities with no regards to the location, however, after i did the research i quickly realised that for what we want to do a hotel on the other side of town would better suit our needs, save us taxi fare, and time!. The hotel was within walking distance of the two neighbouring towns, given us the best of both world. It was also walking distance to the nightlife of both those towns!. However, the main asset was the bus stop right outside. so was super easy to travel each day, the journey to and from the airport was easy peasy lemon squeasy no fafifng about – and no taxis were need. time saved happy times!
>The consequences of staying to far out or in the wrong location – in my experience this is what always happens:
- You spend alot of your day commuting to the transport links that will get you where you need to be.
- You spend loads of cash taking taxis in and out of town ( wasting time and money) unless you have the cash to burn then crack on! Or
- After a long day out you cannot be bothered to commute back into the centre to enjoy the eve & nightlife and therefore spend your evenings in “chilling” a.k.a missing out, unless you want to chill then obviously, its all good and for get this entire point!
3. Making a loose Itinerary & booking in advance:
Booking in advance: I don’t recommend booking to many things in advance however, on a mini break I like to book a few things/excursions in advance, for maybe the first or second day. This way you can dive right in and get your adventure started! ASAP.
Making a loose itinerary: – I call it a loose itinerary because it should be subject to change at any time for any reason. Your Loose itinerary should be used as an outline to your adventure, a way for you to map out a how to fit in all your must see’s and do’s. I know many people of course like to take it as it comes, discovering everything for the first time with every step they take, and by having a loose a loose itinerary may feel it takes away from that. But I, of course do not feel that’s the case at all. It all still feels new and exciting but with the added bonus of being mentally ready and better prepared! Also encase you never get a chance to return to this new land, at the very least you will be satisfied that you saw and did as much as you could and not feel as though you squander your time.Loose Itinerary Example
My Malta loose itinerary – this was easy as I didn’t want to do much nor was there that much to do
- Monday – Arrive – drop bags of at hotel, then head out for a long lunch, afternoon nap, and then night out to celebrate chantels Bday! –
- Tuesday – Pre Booked from home horse riding lesson in the late morning – rest of the day free to roam as we see fit –
- Wednesday – Valletta and then whatever (encase it rains we had already researched and chosen a Spa’s we would go to)
- Thursday – Mdina – if we have already been then free day! – last messy night out!!
Friday – HOME 😦
How the plan changed.
- we ended up going out EVERY NIGHT! not just first and last.
- We discovered there it was a national day and on the Wednesday, and that a festival was being held in a town called Rabat ( next to Mdina) so we went to Mdina, in the morning then onto Festival after.
- Therefore Friday became Valleta and shopping day!
The weather was great so we didn’t have the Spa day , but i wish we did. we packed in so much that i was exhausted upon my return to London. However, we still had the entire weekend at home which we had already agreed we would use to recover:)!
Wheather im traveling alone, with fernando or friends,by having a clear idea before hand about what I may want to do and where may want to go and how to get there, helps me to feel more, confidant, safe, and therefore more open to new experiences. Of course everyone is different but this is what works for me:)
Remember, If you over plan/prepare you could be at risk of missing out on many amazing experiences. Pre planning is about planning ahead to dodge the silly things that can be needlessly time-consuminand, to familiarize yourself with the destination before hand; knowing you options and ultimately freeing up your time so you can have time to take it all in.