Secrets to Happier and Healthier Travel Days: Don’t Try to See Everything
Trying to squeeze in too much is a classic cause of traveler anxiety and undue stress. Novice travelers are prone to cramming too many plans in too short a time frame. It’s easy to think “how often do I get to travel all the way to **insert place**, I need to make the most of it while I’m here!” True, it would be a waste to sit in your Paris hotel and watch seasons one through six of Lost, but it would be just as bad to rush through everything the city has to offer and not enjoy or really experience any of it. So find the middle ground.
Make sure you see the sights but allow some time to relax if you need to. Stop for an extended coffee break, if you’re feeling sluggish after sightseeing from 8am to 5pm, skip the last item on the itinerary and call it a day. If you were out drinking all night with that crazy Parisian couple you met, its ok to sleep in an extra hour or two (vomiting in the Louvre is embarrassing for everyone). Travel is stressful enough, don’t make it worse by creating grueling timetables that you’ll feel disappointed for not keeping up with.
Everyone has their own preference for plans and organization, but here are a few tips to keep in mind when you’re planning to see the sights:
Tips for Happier Travel Days
Simple, but it’s nice to have on paper. Make a list of attractions you’d like to see in order of importance and give these first priority when you’re making your plans.
Make the last item on your daily itinerary optional
Plan the high-priorities for the morning and make the last stop a “bonus”. Give yourself the option to linger or cut the day short if you need to. I knew I shouldn’t have eaten from that cart on the street…
Try to limit yourself to 3 activities per day
That is, depending on how involved or spread out they are. I would call an activity a place where you can easily spend two hours. Use your best judgment, it only takes a few minutes to see the Eiffel Tower but you can spend all day in just one section of the Louvre.
Overestimate travel time
If you think it will take 30 minutes, plan for an hour. You’ll appreciate the buffer when your cab driver takes you to the opposite side of town or someone tells you about a great café nearby where Monet used to hang out.
Block out an hour or two for lunch
You never know how long it will take you to find a place, or depending on who you’re with, one that everyone can agree on. Not to mention, lunch is a nice break from all the walking around being a tourist requires. Take advantage of the chance to recharge.
Do you agree? How do you like to organize your travel days? Share your thoughts below!