Everyone should take a city vacation at least once in their lives. If you have never been to one before, it can be a real culture shock. There is always something happening and there is constant noise everywhere. You will be able to see so much and it will probably be very different from your hometown. Going to a big city can give you some new memories, new culture, and the most exciting vacation possible. Now despite all of the amazing parts of cities, they are not always the easiest vacations. They are so much larger than the suburbs, there are so many more buildings, and there are so many more people. If you have never been to a big city before, this can all seem very scary and might cause you to get a bit nervous. That is why you need to be prepared for anything. You shouldn’t just decide to go on a plane and get off a plane. Make sure that you are ready for every scenario. Here are some tips for how you can best navigate a big city so that your next vacation will be the best one ever.
1. Have A Plan
When you are in a new environment, you are probably not going to recognize anything. You might think it is fun to play it by ear in theory, but that might not turn out so well. You could get lost and not know how to get from place to place. Not to mention that you might not know how long everything takes and you will lose track of time. That is why when you are in a big city, you need to make a plan. Write out an itinerary for each day of you city vacation so you know exactly what you are doing. That way you will always know where you are going and avoid getting disorientated. That doesn’t mean you have to stick strictly to your schedule. If you see something fun on your way to your destination and you have a little bit of spare time, you can look inside. The itinerary is meant to give you a bit of a structure so that you can be organized and have a wonderful time.
2. Bring A Map
Many cities have a lot going on. After all, they are called “big” cities for a reason. They are filled with many skyscrapers, museums and other buildings that may blend together. There is a good chance that even if you have some locations in mind, you could still get a little lost. That is why you should make sure you have a map on you. These days, most people use the map that is on their phones. However, your phone could run out of power and they are also kind of small. A paper map will always be there for you and they come in large sizes. You may think that you look like the typical dorky tourist in the city with a large map, but it is better that happens as opposed to you getting lost or late. Maps will help you point out where you are going and they will allow you to see the whole city. Being aware of your surroundings will help make sure your city vacation has no stress.
3. Use Public Transportation
If you have never been to a city, you probably have some preconceived notions about public transportation. You might think that it is crowded, dirty, and too confusing. Some of this may be a little true, but public transportation can also be very useful. It would be very difficult to walk everywhere as it could possibly take hours and your feet would get sore. Public transportation also usually ends up being cheaper than a taxi or an Uber/Lyft. Before you arrive at your planned city, take a look at the different types of transportation and the different routes. This is so that once you get there, you will be aware of which trains and buses you need to take. As long as you avoid anything or anyone that looks suspicious, you should have a straightforward ride. Large cities can take a while to get through, transportation will help make your trip easier. You will now be able to go anywhere you want in a flash.
4. Look Up Reviews For Food
If there is one thing that you can guarantee in a metropolitan city, there is sure to be some good food. The challenge is that you have to be able to find it. You may think that the places with the most people are where you will find the best food, but that is not always true. That can often just mean that the restaurants are in the touristy areas. Some people just think of convenience when they are on vacation, and those end up being the places that get the most buzz, and those restaurants may not try as hard. That is why you should look up some restaurant reviews when you are getting food. Look for places that people rave about and where the food sounds the most interesting. Those places may not be close to the hot spots or your hotel, but they will be worth it. Nothing makes a trip better than an absolutely delicious meal.
5. Buy Tickets/Make Reservations
No one likes to wait in lines. Lines are filled with a lot of standing, are often very boring, and cut into your exciting times. That is why you should check ahead of time to see if you need to buy tickets anywhere. That can help make sure that you have more time for thrills and less time of doing a whole lot of nothing. Some places may allow you to buy tickets at the actual destination, but it will be a lot easier and quicker to buy the tickets ahead of time. This also applies to whatever restaurant you go to. A lot of restaurants in big cities will recommend you have a reservation so that you are able to eat when you want to. There is a lot of research that you have to do before you go off on your vacation, and there should be know skimping. Be prepared for every single location that you want to go to so that you can get straight to the enjoyment everywhere.
6. Stick With A Group
Vacations are always filled with excitement and adventure. You get to go to brand new places and step outside your comfort zone. While exploring is exciting, it is usually best to do that in a group. There is always safety in numbers. Your group doesn’t have to be experts on the city, these people could know as much as you. Even so, it makes for a more calming vacation if you have people with you. Some people who live in a city may take advantage of tourists by causing them to get lost or put them in danger, so being in a group will help keep travelers safer. Also, if you are by yourself, you are relying on one phone. There will probably be at least one phone working if you are with other people. Traveling in a group will help you give more confidence so that you will always stay on track. Not to mention you will get to make some memorable experiences with your friends, which will make your trip much more meaningful.
7. Try Not To Cram Too Much Into One Day
There is so much that you can do in a big city. You can go to museums, see monuments, go to fun stores, eat great food, and check out many more sights. Your possibilities are endless. That means that you probably won’t have time to do everything. So you shouldn’t try to do everything possible. It may be tempting to try to see all of the famous sights, but that is not really feasible. You may think that you have the time to do a lot, but doing too much in one day can cause you to run out of energy quickly and you will be really tired by the next day. Not to mention that some of these sights can be a little pricey which will add up by the end of your trip. So try to pick the locations that you are the most excited to see, and leave anything that just seems okay. Leave some time in between so that you can recharge for a bit. Your vacation should not be too intense. It is a time for relaxation, so treat it that way.
8. Don’t Stay Out Too Late
You might be the type of person who likes to go all out at nights and spends most of your nights partying. You like to be out long after the sun has set and wake up barely remembering the night before. This can be a lot of fun when you know your area well, but it might not be the best idea when you are in a new city. Many big cities do have thriving night lives that many people would want to check out. However, that is probably not the safest option. It is one thing to try to navigate a city you don’t know very well in broad daylight, it is another thing to accomplish that task when it is pitch black. It will be more difficult to see the city and it will be hard to figure out how to get home. It can also be more difficult to avoid strangers when it is really dark out. If you really want to see the nightlife, try to get home earlier than you normally would, and the staying in a group rule still applies. You are allowed to have some wild times, as long as you have them while staying safe.
9. Ask For Help If You Need It
There is no shame in admitting that you do not know what you are doing. It is kind of par for the course when you are somewhere new, especially a confusing city. You may want to try figuring everything out for yourself, but that does not always work out. That is why you should not be afraid to ask for help. If you don’t recognize the area that you are in, find someone that looks like they know what they are doing, and ask them for directions. There are some people that might be afraid to talk to strangers and other people might think it is embarrassing to ask for help. However, it is better to be nervous or embarrassed than completely lost. Look for someone that seems approachable and doesn’t look like they are in too much of a rush to get anywhere. You are sure to find someone that is more than happy to help you. No one knows a city better than the people that live in it. It is important to always know where you are going to make sure you don’t have a vacation full of worrying.