I've always said planning for a weekender plays a big part in the overall experience. I like to spend as much time as possible researching before my weekender; whether it's finding the best flight and accommodation deals, things to see and do, or museums and restaurants to visit, preparation is key. Remember, you are on limited time on a weekender. The more research you do, the more you are likely to see.  Now it's all well and good doing all of this research before your weekender, but have you thought about what to do once you arrive? Simple things such as knowing how much you should pay for a taxi from the airport to your hotel are essential. Researching beyond what to see and do is key for a stress free weekender, so with that in mind, here are my top 4 tips for when you arrive at your destination.

When you arrive It's important to try and get accustomed to the time zone you arrive in to avoid jet lag, so when you arrive at your hotel drop your bags off and take a wander around to get your bearings. Usually a hotel will be able to provide a map so get outside for some fresh air, grab a bite to eat and try to stay awake until it is an appropriate time to sleep. This way you can get a full nights rest, get your body in the right time zone, and wake up ready to tackle some serious sightseeing.

Make a plan Before you set off for the day, make a plan. Map out the sights you want to see and the places you want to visit. Ask the locals what else you can see and do whilst you're in the city. This will ensure you get to see as much as you can and don’t waste time each day deciding what to do, as well as helping you discover what you need to book in advance, when tourist attractions aren’t open etc so you don’t miss out on doing anything important. Be prepared that not everything will go to plan and a certain level of spontaneity is always good! Whilst travelling, things can go off track – transport strikes, delays, loss of luggage, issues with communication…take it all in your stride and deal with any issues calmly and rationally. Believe it or not, sometimes the things that go wrong on your trip are the ones you will laugh hardest about in the years to come.

Money Get a small amount of money out in the correct currency as soon as you arrive and try as best you can to stick to a daily budget. If you keep your budget in cash in your wallet each day you can better keep track of your spend. Remember, each day may be different depending on if you are paying to view tourist attractions or just lying on the beach. No matter how hard you try a budget when travelling can only ever be a general guide but even this will keep you from massively overspending. Any money you don’t spend on one day’s budget can be put forward to the next for a larger spending day.

Safety If you have access to a safe or locker, be sure to lock up your valuables before heading out. If not, keep them locked in your suitcase. Keep at least one card (debit or credit) locked with your valuables so you have access to money if you lose your handbag or wallet. Be aware of your surroundings – keep in mind you are not at home and safety is key. Keep your bag zipped up and preferably positioned slightly to the front of you where you can keep an eye on it. A strap that goes across the body is a plus too! Stick together as a group, stay safe and take care of each other. Be sure to keep an eye on your friends as well as their belongings. If you are at a train station or airport, always leave someone to watch the bags. Be aware of your surroundings but don’t let it ruin your good time!

Most importantly, have fun! This is your time. Enjoy every moment and don’t be afraid to try new things. Absorb the culture, try to speak a few words in the language and see and do as much as you can. There is a great quote that travelling is the only thing you buy that makes you richer – so be sure to seize the day and appreciate every minute. These are the memories that last a lifetime.

TipsJaharn GilesComment