Cover photo from my friend Casey.
I introduced my next trip to Europe here where I also talked about planning a budget. (You can check out another post about planning a budget here). Typically when I travel, I prefer being non-stop, on-the-go, never-sleep: doing as much as possible in the little time I have to explore (like my trip to Europe last March to London, Dublin and Northern Ireland). However, I recognize that not everyone likes travelling the way I do and it’s exhausting (see my post here about travelling with friends and talking about expectations).
I also recently read this article about “The Art of Slow Travel” where the traveller spends more time enjoying the new places they visit rather than shove as much into one day as possible. It is a great way to immerse oneself in the culture and atmosphere of the place you’re visiting rather than being a tourist and just seeing the sights. I thought it was a great article and while it didn’t shift my perspective for solo travelling, it did for travelling with others.
That being said, I still did some planning for my upcoming trip to Europe: Prague, Vienna and Budapest. I might be travelling with a friend but, even if she can’t make it, I’ll be taking more the of “slow travel” mindset. I think for this trip, we’ll adopt a new mindset: perhaps spending the first day or two in a whirlwind of sightseeing and the next day or two in the city relaxing and enjoying the city more like a local than a tourist.
I’ll be flying roundtrip to Prague, so my plan is to spend the first day in Prague, jet down to Budapest and then make my way back to Prague to spend the last few days of my trip. I haven’t booked my accommodations yet, which is totally not my normal style, but I wanted to be able to spend time in each place before taking off. I figured I can find a place to stay the night before I head to the new city.
The first thing I did for Prague was talk to a friend about her experience. She joined me and three other friends in Berlin, Cologne and Amsterdam but visited Prague for a few days before meeting us. The BEST place to get tips is from friends or people who have been before!
I love reviewing lists from Pinterest and adding the most common ones to my list of places I want to visit.
Google Maps (MyMaps)
This is my number one travel hack for those of you who prefer walking to get to know a city. After I’ve created my list of potential places to visit, putting each location on a “MyMap” helps visualize where everything is in relation to the other. If there’s a cluster of places to visit, you can bet I’ll be heading there first!
Finally, I love excel and created an excel file to organize where I should go each day. I typically organize based on geographic location of places I want to visit.
- Charles Bridge
- Prague Castle
- Malá Strana
- Old Town Square
- Prague Clock
- Old Town Hall (ascend to the top)
- Wallenstein Garden
- Pub Crawl – I’ll do it my first night in the city to meet new people and enjoy the nightlife!
- Beer garden in Riegrovy Sady
- A day trip to Karlstejn Castle
- Try the Prague chimney cake (Trdelník)
- Jazz Club
- The Royal Garden (should still be early enough it won’t be a wasteland!)
- John Lennon’s Wall