How To Plan Your Next Trip….Anywhere

We have been to 50+ countries collectively and generally travel 2-3 months out of every year internationally,  we try to visit 1-2 new countries or cities each year which makes us a quasi-expert on a trip taking. Figuring out what to do and see and where to stay can be a headache if you don’t have a plan on ‘how’ to find this information. We realized over many years, that we have been following the same routine every time on how to plan our next trip. We decided to write it an explanation on ‘How To Plan Your Next Trip.’

We approach planning according to our own personal trip style. Your style will be different than ours but once you figure out your approach to travel i.e. history, art, adventure, eating, etc, you can build your days around that. We love trips where we can do local pools, see a sunset, hike, drink coffee & wine and see funky architecture/art. We absolutely love street art and taking walking tours of cities. We are not huge museum goers anymore, but a couple of exceptions are the DDR Museum in Berlin and the ABBA museum in Stockholm, 2 absolute musts.

How We Begin:

First, Google the top 10 things to do in the city. This provides a nice list of the most popular things to do. These things act as the base for our trip. We usually plan days around morning and/or afternoon excursions. The rest of the day, we fill in with coffee shops, sitting in parks, or just walking around.

Second, Look for a local news magazine that lists cultural events, bars with happy hours & musical acts passing through town during my stay. We also look into buying a city card as many have good deals on museums & mass transit. Time Out is a good series for things like this.

Third, Google funky/hip hotels for that city. We like to go there for drinks, and the architecture & art always impress. So what if you spend a few more $$, the vibe is the reason we go.

Fourth, Google the best coffee shops and burgers for the city. These are two of our favorite things. For example, we found a restaurant in Reykjavik that serves the best reindeer burger. If you like beer, seek out the best pubs or breweries.

Fifth, Seek out local food blogs written by local ex-pats. They seem to know local places very well and offer amazing insight on local restaurants and neighborhoods not necessarily on the top 10 lists. Plus they give you the inside track on cultural norms of that city, like when you are supposed to eat dinner in Portugal (after 9 pm) and why you can’t have a cappuccino in Italy after 10 am.

Sixth, Everything that interests us we mark/star on a Google map, which we download for offline use when there. We hate walking around a city with a map, preferring to use my phone for guidance. Since GPS works wherever you are in the world. you will always know how far away you are from the best gelato in Florence.

Seventh, When it comes to where to stay, we usually google the hippest neighborhood or depending on the city look for places near the train station as those are usually centrally located. Price is a big indicator on quality, but again that depends on where you go. You can find entire, amazing apartments in Porto or Split for less than $40/night but not find anything under $175 in Reykjavik.

Hope you enjoyed a breakdown of our steps on how to plan your next trip…anywhere.

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