Your dream vacation may still be some months away with the continuing border closures, but you are already raring to go on a much-deserved trip. You’ve just been to your bankruptcy lawyer and finally decided to give yourself a break from all the stress this year has dumped on you. Thankfully, some places have now opened to tourists once more, albeit with many safeguards for you to follow.
Whether you could book a vacation to a different country or just a couple of states over, condition yourself to relax and enjoy this trip. Instead of running from one place to another to see as many as you can in a day, take things slowly and savor your new environment. Below is a simple morning schedule you could consider. You may not follow the time recommendations but at least understand the rationale behind them.
One of the ordeals in traveling is the time right after arrival. You need to wait for your luggage and drag it to your lodgings. To save time and be less stressed, try to have carry-on luggage. You’re often allowed another smaller bag for your electronics and personal essentials, so make use of these spaces.
Book accommodation with airport transfer services. It would be more efficient than finding the hotel or being anxious that your taxi driver is ripping you off by driving you around meandering roads.
If you’re traveling to a different time zone, try to get a flight that would arrive at night so you could immediately rest. Sleeping following their time would help you get over your jetlag fast.
5:20 am: Wake up early.
The jet lag could help you with the early start. Starting your day when the place is still asleep gives you the chance to adjust to your new surroundings while it’s still calm and quiet. Have your morning coffee while watching the world slowly come to light. Afterward, take a quick shower and prepare to go for a walk.
6:30 am: Take a stroll near your lodgings.
Around this time, the place should be starting to wake up. You will see cafés setting up their tables outside, delivery trucks parked at the back of restaurants, someone sweeping up the previous night’s debris. Maybe one or two people hungover will be sitting on a curb.
This is the best time to see scenic spots if you want to take a photo of a plaza or a cityscape without fighting through crowds. Most tourists would still, at this time, be preparing for their excursions. You would see other early birds like you, enjoying the quiet streets.
7:30 am: Get some breakfast.
A hole in the wall serving breakfast should already be open. It would not be a café or restaurant you would find on travel lists. Rather, it’s more likely a place where locals drop by for a quick coffee and sandwich before heading off to work.
If you have free breakfast at your lodgings, you could go back to eat there. But otherwise, get the local fare from these cheap and efficient food places. You could enjoy your time absorbing the sights, scents, and sounds tourists don’t often experience.
Create a list of places you would want to see or things to do for that day. Have a maximum of three so that you could spend enough time on each item.
8:30 am: Head to your first destination.
Museums and other tourist places usually open at ten so you could first go somewhere that doesn’t close. For example, in New York City, this would be Central Park. In Geneva, it would be the lake. And in Rome, you could go to the Trevi Fountain or the Spanish steps.
You should wait until after the morning rush hours if you’re taking the subway or other public transportation. It had been seven to nine am in New York City but had gotten later due to the COVID-19 work schemes. It could be as early as six in some countries. Walking to your destination would be the best option, so consider your daily itineraries when choosing your lodging.
The start of the day is always important when traveling. It usually sets your pace. If you wake up rushing to change your clothes because your tour operator is already in the lobby, you will feel the stress throughout the day. If you skip breakfast and make up for it with a big lunch, your stomach will be interfering with your experience. Take care of your mornings to have an enjoyable and relaxing vacation.