Traveling is amazing in itself, but why not try a few of the ideas here to make your trip even better?
Ask any frequent flyer you know, and they will tell you, they have a set of rules they follow and times they deem essential to get them through the long hours getting from place to place. It makes sense, that for those who are away from home for long periods of time, that they will have a system in place to help them manage their time and make the whole journey more bearable.
But if you are new to travelling for work, implementing little tips and tricks can help stay sane and make the most of your time so you feel more organised and ready no matter how long the flight or road trip and where in the world you are.
If you love to travel, you’ll know how great a city break can be. For me city breaks as my mantra, as working full time doesn’t always allow me to travel long-haul or take two weeks off at a time. Therefore city breaks have become my best friend.
Top tips for Travellers
It is imperative that you leave enough between travelling, transfers and flight times so you aren’t rushing. Rushing is not a good look and the most important part of planning is to be early or at the latest, on time.
Packing for a work trip is slightly more different than packing for a weekend away with your friends. You want to make sure you are connected as much as possible and able to make the most of your time as and when you can.
Your carry on for flights should have everything you need for work if you plan on working on the plane.
- Charger – charge all your devices before you get on the plane. don’t rely on the ability to be able to charge whilst in the air. Consider taking a portable charger too.
- Collapsible drinks bottle – you can’t take fluids through security but you can take a collapsible drinks bottle to refill before you board. Drinking plenty of water during your flight will help to keep you refreshed and hydrated.
- Check flight times as well as prices – especially if the time zone in your destination is a lot different from your home time zone. It may be that you will need to sleep on your flight as opposed to working to make the morning meeting on time. However early morning flights mean you get to avoid rush hour traffic and busier flights. Red-eye flights can be much cheaper but will they afford you the option to work and/or rest whilst onboard. This again is dependent on your destination.
- Don’t take luggage – Chances are, you won’t need many outfit changes so a carry on will suffice. This will allow you to leave the airport faster and be cheaper too.
- Set an alarm after security – When you are clear of security, set an alarm on your phone for your flight’s boarding time. This will mean you can get to work or go shopping and know you won’t miss your flight. it can be easy to get carried away especially if you are in a new airport.
- Always carry a pen and notebook – for obvious reasons, you never know when you will need to write something down or your trusty electronics fail.
- Freshen up in flight – no one wants to give off a bad first impression or land feeling and looking like yesterday’s leftovers. So use your time travelling to freshen up, shower if you can at the airport. Take small toiletries with you or buy in duty-free to help you arrive fresh and ready to take on the task at hand.
Plan your Trip Before You Arrive
Are you going to be travelling to the same destination regularly?
If so, it may be worth you setting up a base for somewhere to call home during your trips. Staying at a hotel is great for the odd night every so often. But living out of a suitcase isn’t something most people relish. So if you know you will be visiting frequently, can you buy studio apartments or a flat to call home whilst you are there? If not consider checking into an Airbnb for something that feels more like home as opposed to a hotel room.
Know how long you will have to get from the airport to any meeting your need to attend or appointments. If you haven’t visited the area before, consult with colleagues or, if you can, visit beforehand to get a feel for the local area, transport links or drive times. This will allow you to plan your trip to make sure you are running on time and don’t miss any important meetings or run late due to getting lost or stuck in traffic.
Hiring a car to help you get from place to place for those trips that require you to move around is essential. Either drive yourself or hire a driver with knowledge of the area. Having them meet you at the airport or train station can help you get on your way quicker.
This will take navigating public transport out of the equation and help you get to where you are going easier and less stressed.
By far, one of the best things to do as a frequent traveller is to sign up for all the airline loyalty programmes you can. If you do, you can collect to points and access perks such as cheaper or free upgrades on your flights. Keep an eye out in your emails and at the airports for offers to upgrade right up until you board. Sometimes this will be at an extra, albeit lower cost to yourself, other times, this could be free.
Use your points to check into lounges to give you space to work away from the busy crowds you find in the departures lounge. Whatever perks the loyalty programme offers you, make sure to use your card to be able to cash in and make your time travelling a little bit easier and potentially enjoy first-class seats at economy prices!
The main thing to remember as a new frequent traveller is to make sure you are taking care of yourself and allowing yourself time to look after you during your trips. Drink plenty of water, eat well and try to avoid as much convenience food as you can. This along with sufficient sleep will help to prepare you for the day ahead.
Other top tips
Learn A Little Of The Language Before You Go
If you’re traveling somewhere with a foreign language, do your best to learn the basics before you go. This will make your trip so much easier and more enjoyable, and you’ll be respected just for trying.
Avoid the typical tourist spots
While it’s great to enjoy some of the more popular city break destinations, it’s good to mix it up and head to somewhere lesser-known. Europe has some great cities that exist outside of the capitals which can make excellent places to visit. Add some unusual and alternative European city breaks to your bucket list and enjoy seeing some hidden gems just a couple of hours’ flight away.
Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone
Do something a little out of your comfort zone and you’ll boost your confidence and create memories that last a lifetime. This doesn’t mean do something dangerous. You could just try something that scares you a bit, like surfing!
Make the most of free activities
Nearly every city has worthwhile things you can do for free. Start with the local tourist board, which will often list free walking tours and more and you can also find a lot of tours for free just by googling. A quick search revealed this Berlin walk, free admission to The Museum of Modern Art in New York between 4pm and 8pm every Friday. And of course there are many parks, museums and riverside walks that are totally free too!
Choose your destination wisely
Smaller cities lend themselves better to weekend breaks such as Paris, Budapest, Amsterdam and Rome. And cities such as Copenhagen, Lisbon and Ljubljana are the ideal size to explore in 48 hours. If you want to go somewhere a little more ‘rogue’ then check out Skyscanner’s ‘EVERYWHERE’ tool where you can find the cheapest destination to fly to on the dates you want to travel.
Get a city pass
City passes – usually covering public transport for a given period as well as, sometimes, entrance to museums and other attractions – can be such a good deal for tourists that more and more places are offering them. But, before buying one, check what’s included and match it with the list of things you want to do – just to be sure you’ll actually be saving money.
Stay Off Your Phone As Much as Possible
Don’t live through your phone. You’ll want to update friends and family and take pictures, but there’s nothing worse than getting stuck on your phone while you’re trying to enjoy your trip. Have it on airplane mode where you can and set yourself times for checking for messages beforehand.
When you’re short on time, it’s all too tempting to hop on the metro, tram or bus. But I’d always recommend walking, not only will you get more of a feel for different neighbourhoods, but you never know what you’ll stumble on if you get a little bit lost. Its also much cheaper and its great exercise so you can then go and eat all the tasty food you want.
Splurge On Something
Maybe you’re traveling on a budget, maybe you’re not. Whatever your budget is, by agreeing to splurge on one thing you really want to do, you can make your trip extra special. For example, you could splurge on show tickets – get an idea of the show you want to see by using the infographic below.
Do a movie tour
There’s something thrilling about seeing the locations of some of your favourite films up close in real life. It almost makes things feel more real somehow. Adding a movie tour to your city break can be a fun way to celebrate your favourite movies, and Travelbag.co.uk has some excellent recommendations for blockbuster tours in Europe and beyond. It’s a great way to explore different cities, and can feel like you’re stepping straight into the movies! Many cities will offer movie-themed guided tours, or you can have fun putting your own tour together by doing some research and rewatching some of your favourites.
Take a cruise
Want to hit multiple cities in one go? Then a cruise could be just the ticket. Cruises are becoming more popular among young people, and it’s easy to see why. Enjoy several destinations at once, while also getting to make the most of the luxury facilities on board. You can enjoy some fantastic cruises around Europe and beyond to help you fit as much into your trip as possible. Pack your bags for a Mediterranean cruise and enjoy some of the best that Europe has to offer by boat.
Book accommodation in advance
It’s better to either book really far in advance, or right before you go – even on the day you arrive. With two to three months notice, you can snag the coolest apartments, the most romantic bed and breakfasts and the chicest boutique hotels, taking the time to research the best areas of the city.
Make it a foodie trip
While a city break will inevitably involve some food, it can be fun to base the whole trip around eating and drinking. From wine tours to culinary courses, you can experience some of the best parts of a city through its food culture. Whether you want to learn to make pasta in Italy or bake beautiful artisan bread in France, you’ll find plenty of great trips you can make that will add another dimension to your getaway.
City breaks are an easy way to see many destinations and enjoy short-haul getaways. It’s easier than ever to find cheap flights, and with Airbnb, you can enjoy central, luxury accommodation too. Where will your next escape take you? Start searching now and add a little something extra to your trip to really make the most of your city break adventure.
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Thank you for reading and as always happy adventuring!
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