Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Is It an Adventure or a Vacation? How to Decide What to Do While Traveling

For today's Travel Tuesday, I discussed how to decide what to do while on vacation:

The first decision when planning a vacation is to decide how we were getting to where you want to go. Are you driving, taking a train, or flying?

If you're taking a train or flying, you want to make sure you know how you're getting from the station or airport to your hotel. Most cities have several options you could choose. Public transportation, shared troubles, or private transfers.

Public transportation can be a bus, a train, or a hybrid of both. To investigate that, the best place to go is the airport's website. Not the airline, the airport. The airport website will indicate what are the public transportation options leading into and out of that airport.

If you want a shared shuttle, the first thing to check is to see if your hotel offers a free shuttle to the airport. It is sometimes listed on the hotel's website or you can call the hotel directly and ask. Shared shuttle service like Super Shuttle should also be listed on the airport's website.

If you’d like to travel with only your own party, then you have private car options. This includes taxis, Uber, or car service. Taxis or Uber can be arranged at the airport. Car service is better if you arrange it in advantage. You can choose between sedans, limos or larger vans.  

A little pre-research into activities before you leave can go a long way. First, what do you like to do? Are you looking for outdoor activities, roadside attractions, great restaurants, festivals, sporting events? What would be the most interesting to you?

If I haven’t been to a city before, I have a go-to list of topics that I google:

·        The dates, the city, and “festival” or “fest”

·        “Must See” and the name of the city

·        I always check if there is a Hop On/Hop Off bus. Even if you don’t want to take that type of tour, the routes will show you the most popular tourist attractions.

·        Restaurants

o   I watch a lot of food shows so I visit http://www.tvfoodmaps.com to check for restaurants that have been featured on TV.

o   For more high end restaurant options in the US, visit the James Beard foundation to check for award winners at your location.

o   For international restaurants, the Michelin guide is a great resource.

o   I also google to see if cooking classes or food tours are available. It’s a great way to learn more about the local culture. We took a cooking class in Australia and it was a great way to meet local residents.

·        Sporting events – I check the major sport team schedules.

·        Local newspaper – I search for the major newspaper in that area and check the Things to Do or calendar section.

·        Excursions – I check the local tourist board to see what the popular activities are in a given area. Is there snorkeling? Zip lining? ATV tours? That’s a great way to get an overview of what’s available.

What’s your favorite activity on vacation?

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