You finally were able to save up or earned money from your credit card (points) to book your next vacation. Now you are wondering what you can do on your next adventure? You’ve been searching the Internet, and there are so many things you can do, but you cannot pin it down! Here are my top 3 things you should plan to get the most out of your vacation!
I absolutely love tours! Most will take you to the top tourist spots, which cuts down on your planning time. There are also tours that are unique such as food tours, walking tours, bike tours, etc. Some tours are short, lasting for a couple of hours, that way you have much leisure time. There are long full day tours that will take you almost anywhere. If you want to go outside your destination, as I did in London, you can book an excursion tour. I booked a 2-hour bus tour that took me to Stonehenge, then back to London. These tours also pick you up at your hotel. If the hotel is not on the list of hotel pickups, you more than likely can find another hotel you can either walk, drive, take a bus, or taxi.
My favorite kind of tour of all time are Hop-on Hop-off bus tours. They take you to all the top tourist areas where you can hop-off at the spot of your choice for however long you want. Then hop-on and go to the next one. That beats having a rental car, or finding a bus or taxi, or paying for parking! You can purchase a hop-on-hop-off bus tour for just a day, but there are some you can buy for 2-3 days. A lot of tours include another for free such as a boat tour, walking tour, or even a cruise. If you don’t have time, you can stay on the bus and just enjoy the ride! Most have audio guides where you can learn about each attraction!
Where to go to find these tours? First I start at Viator. They have TONS of tours you can choose from at your selected destination. Then I look at TakeTours to see what they have. When I find a tour that I want, I Google it to locate the company’s website. Sometimes it is cheaper booking directly with the tour company itself who may have specials! Viator does not show the tour company’s name until after booking. You’d have to look in the customer reviews to find out.
Two: City Pass
City passes are something a lot of people overlook for their vacation. City passes are a great way to get discounted tickets to various local attractions. Most city passes include at least one FREE attraction as well. You can also find discounts on restaurants, public transportation, and even skip the line tickets (tickets you pay a little extra to avoid long lines). Do not miss out on city passes!
Where do you buy them? Viator and TakeTours sell them too! Check out the CityPass website to find passes for the top destination in the United States. Or, you can Google the city. For instance, if you’re going to Amsterdam, simply google “Amsterdam city pass”, and it brings up the city’s website to purchase their city pass. After you buy the city pass, it’s best to have it emailed or mailed directly to you. Most city passes can be picked up at designated places within the city, but it’s best to buy it ahead of time to avoid the probability of a long line.
Three: Rental Car and Public Transportation
Some people don’t worry about transportation until they are there. It is important to decide what kind of transportation you will need beforehand. You also may want to take food and shopping into consideration as well. It depends on the location of your hotel, how far everything is, preference, and money. You may have booked a cheap hotel outside walking distance of restaurants and attractions; then you may need a rental. You may want more freedom to come and go as you please. Public transportation is not always the best option. The rides may be longer because of multiple stops or may tally up to cost more. If you are in a busy city known for heavy traffic, public transportation may be best. Of if you book a tour where pick ups and drop offs may be included, you may not even need a rental. Whatever the case, plan ahead. You don’t want to waste your precious time getting lost thinking you can wing it in a place you’ve never been. It’s best to check out the city’s public transportation site ahead of time to get an idea of the cost and map of public transportation. Check out Amsterdam’s city website with info on their public transpiration.
Make sure you look at the city’s map before you go. It also makes planning easier! You want to get an idea what is around you. Viewing and understanding the map lessens the stress and fear of being in an unknown area. You can utilize Google Maps, or even download the city’s public transportation map directly from their website as mentioned above.
It is always best to plan ahead! Even if it’s a tour, city pass, or your metro card. Your focus should be fun, laughter, adventure, and relaxation. You’d want to have as little stress as possible. Yes, most of these things you can plan when you are there. But what if there are lines? What if it gets sold out? Then you are wasting precious time to find something else to do. Safe travels!