7 travel rules for an amazing trip

It’s been over 5 years now that we travel around Europe regularly for short city trips as well as longer road trips, visiting many cities along the way. Over the years, we learned a lot on maximizing our travel success and sticking to these travel rules almost guarantees an awesome trip.

We gathered our best traveling advise to make sure your trips are as amazing as ours!

48stops - 7 travel rules for an amazing trips

1. Travel the right period

Pay special attention to what time of the year you are visiting a certain city. Bear in mind that northern, colder cities are most popular during summer months. This means that prices go up and most tourist attractions might have plenty of people gathering around. However, you will most certainly enjoy the nice weather, meaning you can spend more time outside and take those awesome holiday pictures to impress your friends!

If you know how to handle bad weather, consider visiting in off-season where prices are low and tourists are scarce.

The same goes for warm countries. Since most of the popular Southern European cities such as Barcelona, Rome and Lisbon are favoured during Spring and Fall, avoid these seasons to save some cash. However, visiting during summer months might mean you have to handle very hot temperatures.

Key is to look at what you are comfortable with and plan accordingly, but bear in mind possible downsides!

2. Perform decent research

Research hotels and their location, transfer from the airport to the city centre, city transportation methods and things to see… There is a lot you can research in advance that eases your mind once you arrive at your destination.

Doing the research in advance and performing a bit of planning is crucial to enjoy a more relaxing trip. As a plus, you won’t miss all those lesser-known hotspots you might have never found out about!

Among our favourite sites to use are Like a Local for some insider tips, tripadvisor for its extended list of reviews and 12hrs.net for an alternative take on design, fashion, art and food. Obviously any sites or blogs focusing on the city we want to go to is worth a peek!

Walking around Cologne Streets of Toulouse

3. Prioritize what you want to see

Once you have done your research, make a list of all the things you want to see. Prioritize all items so you have a clear distinction between “must see” attractions and the “nice to see” ones.

In most cities – especially the most popular destinations such as Paris, London or Berlin –  it is impossible to see everything you want to within the limited amount of time you probably have. It’s often a hard choice and therefore it might be worthwhile picking your favourites in advance!

4. Have a back-up plan

Even if you prepared the tiniest detail and planned every minute of your stay, things sometimes go wrong! This can be as simple as a museum that is closed unexpectedly, causing a 2-hour gap in your planning.

Sure, you can spend this time visiting one of the nearby attractions or by having a drink somewhere, but a better alternative might be to list a few of those second-best things you would like to check out.

This makes you more confident when something doesn’t happen as planned. Additionally, it doesn’t ruin the day and prevents you from visiting the local pottery museum because the theme park is suddenly closed!

5. Check the weather forecast and pack accordingly

Never take the weather for granted, especially not in certain parts of Europe! Living in Belgium I can tell first hand!

Visiting a sunny city during summer does not guarantee a rain-free trip and evenings can get chilly. Therefore, make sure to check the weather forecast before leaving. Make sure you prepare for the worst as well as for the best weather.

6. Travel on foot as much as possible

Most cities in Europe aren’t too big, meaning that the majority of the things to do are within walking distance. In London, Paris or Barcelona – to name a few – public transportation might be required to a certain extent, but in others we generally use public transport only from and to the airport.

This results in a more active holiday, but also provides some other advantages.

Walking around Cologne streets

Starting with the obvious: you get to see so much more! Busses and trams mainly use the large roads and taking a metro will give you no view at all.

By walking you often take the shortest route from A to B. As a result, you find yourself walking in lovely streets and parks while there is always a chance of discovering the city’s hidden gems.

As a plus, it is healthy, you save some money and a good night’s sleep is guaranteed!

7. Wake up early

The one I’m struggling most with might be the best of our travel rules. By waking up early you often get to know the city from a different perspective. There aren’t many tourist walking around and you can behold the city waking up. Also sunset can give an amazing different look on a city!

But the biggest advantage might be simple: there is so much more time to spend in the city!


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