City breaks have a special kind of joy to them. Beach holidays are wonderful, you know you are going there to rest, relax and dip your toes in the sand. Countryside breaks are all about fresh air, and long strolls – watching the sunset from your porch while you sip cocoa.
City breaks give you the opportunity to soak up the culture, try new cuisines, and really get a feel for a place.
But how do you get the most out of any city break?
The first thing you need to do is start researching the cities that make your must-see list. You might not have something that springs to mind, but a few minutes on Google will give you more options than you know what to do with. A great way to choose a location is to think about what you are passionate about. Is it art? Maybe it is wine. It could even be history that makes you fall in love with a place. So you can Google ‘best city for X interest’ and start going through the options.
This can be tricky if you don’t know the city very well. Guides from people who live in the areas and bloggers who have traveled there can give you some great insight into where the best (and cheapest) places to stay are. Airbnb is a popular option when heading to a city for the first time. But think about where it is that you want to stay. Tucked into the city streets, or on the outskirts? And do you need a suite or just a room?
Most budget hotels are very well placed and can be useful with what events are on in the area too.
You can book on sites like Booking.com, and some will let you cancel without a charge with enough notice too.
Now you know where you are going, and where you are staying, it is time to do some research.
Pinterest can be a hive of information and guides for pretty much every city in the world. Not only that, but you will be able to make a note of all of the places that you don’t really want to go to. Something you need to pay keen attention to is the transport options available AND how the traffic looks in the area. If you have chosen to drive, then make sure you understand the laws in that city (if it is a different country). Renting a car can be great, but make sure you know you can contact a lawyer after a car accident injury – you never know when you’ll need it.
And if you are catching taxis, be aware that some countries have specific places where you can catch a cab that is regulated. Outside of that area, you might be dealing with a rogue taxi and extortionate prices.
Before you go on a trip, make sure that you have a day or two to get into the getaway frame of mind. Take your time to pack all of the stuff that you love to wear on a daily basis – because that will be the most relaxing and comfortable clothing to wear. Finalize all of the travel and transfer details and notify your bank that you will be in a new country – so that your card won’t be frozen.
So packing for a short getaway is a lot of fun. Because it gets you in the frame of mind for relaxation and exploration. You have to pack appropriately for your destination. So make sure that you check the weather for where you are going a few times in the run-up to jetting off.
If you have booked a meal at a restaurant, then make sure that you have a clothing option for that. And remember that the shoes that you wear will have a big impact on how the trip goes. Breaking in new shoes is usually a bad idea because of blisters. So while many people like to wear new clothes and shoes on holiday, just because it isn’t every day that you are sightseeing – try to be comfy and shoe-smart.
Layers are always a great idea too!
As soon as you arrive, try to get yourself nice and hydrated, because traveling can take it out of you. Try to explore as much as you can as soon as you land so that you won’t feel like you wasted too much time in your accommodation. Google Maps has a great feature that will show you where restaurants, coffee shops, and ever parks are. So you can find what you need in seconds.
The key thing is to take it at your own pace – because you can always go back for round 2!