Depending on the location, there could be so many “Things to Do” options that it could become overwhelming to select which activities you want to do in your precious and limited time while on vacation. Below are the strategies and resources I use when determining which activities I want to take part of.
My Golden Rule
I’m the type of vacationer who wants a bit of adventure and relaxation in every vacation that I take. Consequently, I aim to do one activity or excursion each day on vacation. Now of course, I may choose to do more than one if the activities are short or don’t require a lot of energy. However, the last thing I want to do is have a vacation filled with so many activities that I come back home more tired than when I left.
Research Your Interests
Check Out Your Favorite Blogger (ME!)
The first place I go to when researching activities for my upcoming vacation is to go to my favorite blogger’s websites to get their personal experience in the location I hope to visit. That is one of my main goals with this website- to help you take the guesswork out of travel by giving you details of my experiences. You can find these details under the destinations tab on my website.
The other resources that I provide are my travel guides. These guides are a high level guide on the key features of this location- including things to do, restaurants, and lodging. My travel guides are available under the tips and tools tab on my website.
One of my favorite family bloggers is The Traveling Child. Their family has been all around the world with two toddlers. She details their adventures and gives tips on how to travel with kids as well.
Tripadvisor and WeWorkToTravel
Additionally, I like to get an overview of all of my options as one person can’t possibly do and/or know all the activities a location has to offer. Therefore, I always head to Tripadvisor as it’s a collection of hundreds of thousands of people’s experiences. In addition, you can review and book excursions directly from their website. It’s one of my go-to resources for every trip.
Similarly, there is also a new resource, a “Black Tripadvisor” for people of color, WeWorkToTravel. They provide city guides and thousands of reviews from people of color about their various experiences around the globe. It’s great to get insight on how other people of color experience a location, because as we know, everyone’s experience is not the same.
Last but not least is Airbnb Experiences. My last few vacations were rooted in Airbnb. I absolutely love the small one-on-one experiences with locals. Getting their viewpoint on their country and the world is indescribable and an experience of a lifetime. After my discovery of Airbnb Experiences, every trip has included at least one activity from them.
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Make an Outline of your Potential Itinerary
It’s something about actually seeing something written out; reality comes knocking on your front door. You now have the opportunity to see if your proposed agenda is reasonable. Here are a few things to take into consideration:
- Transportation Time: Take the time to do a quick Google map search on how long it takes to get from one destination to another. For example, most of our activities in Costa Rica took two to four hours to travel between. Most places aren’t like this, but just double check.
- What’s Included in the Excursion: Some excursions, especially the full day ones may include “fillers” like stops at certain boutiques and museums that they have partnerships with and provide little value. I’d hate for you to spend your time stopping at places that don’t provide value to you in your limited vacation time.
- Length of Time: Some activities are just an hour or two while others are a full day. Take the time to understand the various options and what’s included.
I’d like to reiterate, this is YOUR vacation. Do what YOU have interest in- not because someone else liked it, not because it’s Instagram worthy, just because it resonates with your desires and interests.