When I first booked my trip to Los Angeles, I was overcome with excitement over how much fun I was going to have. My mind wandered to all of the sights I wanted to see — Hollywood, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, Downtown LA. Then it dawned on me — I only had five days to explore all of these places I wanted to see. Being a seasoned traveler, I knew I had to follow some steps in order to make this trip run smoothly and truly enjoy vacation.
Schedule flights that don’t take up the whole day
A common mistake many people make while traveling is that they schedule flights for times during the afternoon, so the whole day is wasted by a long plane ride. If there is a time difference at your destination, it could be even worse. Since I knew there was a time difference of 3 hours in California from where I live, I scheduled to leave my location at around 6 a.m. This meant that I arrived in California at around 9 a.m., and my friend was able to pick me up at the airport and we had lots of time to do things that day.
Schedule a vacation during the off-season
It’s difficult to avoid crowds when traveling to desirable locations, but one way you can minimize waiting in lines too long is going during an off-season. This will allow you to travel to many different things without being caught up in the masses. Although I didn’t necessarily follow my own advice during my trip to California, I did have to deal with a considerable amount of traffic (which inspired me to put this one on the list). No one can truly enjoy vacation during the busiest months at your destination!
Plan, plan, plan!
The key to getting all of your goals accomplished in any situation is to plan, so it’s important to do so before a vacation! Plan out the days you are going to be there with a rough outline because chances are your plans will have to be a little flexible depending on the weather and other obstacles. Also remember that a vacation is a time for relaxation, so make sure you schedule in some downtime so you don’t get overtired. When I traveled to California, my friend and I put one major activity on the list for the day, and let the other minor details fall into place. For example, one day we headed to Hollywood for a tour, but on the way home we stopped in Downtown LA.
Stay on the same page with your group
Whether you are traveling with friends or family, it may be difficult to stay on the same page with your plans. To make sure the day goes smoothly, discuss what each person wants to do that particular day. This way, everyone will know exactly what is on the agenda and you won’t be set back by other people being unsatisfied.
Don’t let work get in the way
A vacation is meant to be a time to get away from it all. That being said, do not let your work get in the way. Some job or school responsibilities may not be able to wait, but don’t put your plans on hold to get them done. Instead work on them on the plane or during downtime, so it doesn’t interfere with the reason why you came here in the first place!
Talk to the locals
Instead of focusing on the tourist attractions of your destination, talk to the locals to find out other fun things to do that won’t be filled with other people. Often times these activities and locations end up being the highlights of many trips because they offer a new perspective on the destination and aren’t crowded by the many other tourists in the area. Follow these tips to enjoy vacation, but don’t forget that the most important part is to have fun!