Taking blitz trips — those no longer than say, 36 hours — can be a goldmine and inventive way to squeeze in travel to another city or country without having to plan an entire other extensive and expensive excursion. Short on time during a two week trip you’ve been planning forever? Want to see a nearby smaller city or jaunt over to a nearby country but don’t want to completely shatter your budget? Consider making a quick journey to somewhere close for a short period of time. And if you do, these seven tips will ensure that it’s an optimum experience you’ll do again.
Your trip will be short so let go of the desire to plan every little detail and just plan the essentials: Where you will stay, how you’ll get from the airport, how far where you’re staying is from the airport, what you’ll need to leave where you’re staying to get to the airport, etc.
Choose five things max you want to see or do.
Heading off on a new travel adventure shouldn’t feel like another master to-do list you have to champion. Research and come up with a top five list of must sees and must dos—with nothing else on the list. Let that be your pseudo itinerary for your trip!
Divide your day into four parts: morning, afternoon, evening and late night.
In order to maximize the day, it’s key to divide your day into quadrants based upon the time of the day. If you adhere to the top five things to do, you can choose one activity per quadrant. Depending on what time of day your trip begins and ends, some slight shifting can be done with this formula. For instance, if you flew into Paris on a Saturday afternoon and are leaving on Sunday afternoon, you’d divide your day into late afternoon, evening, late night and morning (of the following day).
Pack everything you need in a small, light overnight bag along with one small personal bag to boot.
Too much luggage will (literally) weigh you down. Pack lighter than you’ve ever packed before: clothes to sleep in, flip flops for the shower, toiletries, one outfit change. Leave your computer if you can. Wear comfy shoes and bring an extra pair for going out late night. Consider finding somewhere to wash your clothes so you don’t have to bring extra clothes.
Go with the flow and remain open
At the crux of resisting the urge to over plan and sticking to five things total of must sees/dos is leaving room for the things which will pop up and add more to your overall travel experience. Spontaneity — and being open when it arises — can flavor your trip in some memorable, unexpected ways.
Squeeze in quick naps when you can to maximize your energy.
This is a no brainer. Taking 20 to 30 minute cat-naps will give you an extra pep in your step and is a tried and true travel secret. In my experience, the best time to take advantage of napping is while in the act of traveling: on the plane, on the train, on the bus. Of course, stay aware of your surroundings and guard your personal belongings closely.
Stay in a hostel to meet interesting people.
Of all the places you can stay while blitzing — hotels, bed and breakfasts, motels — hostels offer the highest potential of meeting fellow interesting people and maybe even future friends, even if it isn’t your normal travel style. Use your time there to get recommendations on restaurant, lounges and more.