Hi everyone! This post is a two for one special because I’ll be posting a related one soon on my Copenhagen recommendations (I just got back and I’m still buzzing about the city!). I thought it would be good to preface a travel post with how I like to travel and what goes into my decision making process when traveling, ESPECIALLY for a short, weekend visit.
I used to be TERRIBLE at planning trips. Not the booking the hotel and flight part (I’ve been my dad’s travel agent since I was thirteen), but the what to see and do part. I have been fortunate to travel a fair amount with my family and now I travel with friends. I took for granted how much preparation my mom would do before we took a trip. Planning an itinerary, finding unique restaurants, making reservations. So thanks Mom for being an ace planner!
Some of these things I’ve learned from my mom and others were just from doing it and some I’m still learning! Maybe this will help any people new to travel…
TAKE THE TRAVEL PARTNER COMPATIBILITY TEST
This is all about expectations versus reality, y’all. No conflict will occur if both people are aware of what the other person wants (I believe this is also good relationship advice…). This can be easily remedied by asking a few simple questions before or at the beginning of your trip. What’s your budget? What do you want to spend on hotel and food? Do you like museums? Do you like shopping? Will we go out at night?
All super simple but nice things to know before the trip! Luckily my friend and I were in sync, which made for a nice, cozy Danish weekend. All about that hygge life.
BE SELECTIVE ABOUT ACTIVITIES
It’s only a weekend, so you can’t see everything. Just as I’ve discussed, it’s good to get a sense of what is important to you and your travel buddy. Don’t go to art museums because you’re petrified your mom will ask what you did and people watching/trying pastries doesn’t cut it in her book. But it’s YOUR book, so do what you really want to.
Fortunately, neither of us were super keen to walk around art museums (thank the lord!). We had the talk (the one I mentioned above!) and decided that, yeah, we preferred other activities like simply walking around neighborhoods and cute streets and staring at the unbelievably beautiful and fashionable Danish people.
SKIP THE SUPER FANCY HOTEL
I don’t mean to say that you have to stay in a hostel (not my thing) or go camping (sooo not my thing), but you don’t have to marry your hotel. If it’s a short city break, realistically you will sleep in the hotel, maybe take an afternoon nap if you’re cheeky like that, and have breakfast there. So it doesn’t need to be the Ritz that weekend. Look for clean, normal, and safe. ***Breakfast included is such a good idea. Roll out of bed and eat immediately with all you can drink coffee.
GOOGLE MAPS IS YOUR BEST FRIEND
One of the main things I’ve started using as a tool when traveling is “staring” or saving places in my Google Maps app. I do my research at home, pin the places as I look up their distances from the hotel and city center, and then they are all there when I open the map in the city.
In the morning, I would open Google Maps down at breakfast and my friend and I would decide on a few things in each area to do for the day. I even saved restaurants and cafes that were recommended so sometimes I was able to be cheeky and take us to a good spot when our appetites were on fire (so much walking!).
EAT AND DRINK RESPONSIBLY
There are only so many meals you have to consume in one weekend, so choose wisely! Look up the local cuisine for the area and try it all! Food is a big part of culture; so whether you try a full traditional meal or just a dessert, try something. This is why looking up restaurants ahead of time is clever so you aren’t stuck eating at tourist traps because you’re starving and it’s the first place you see. I don’t want to hear about people eating at chains they recognize and things they could get at home (unless it’s this pizza place we went to that was definitely a local joint with cozy Danish vibes so we got some culture in…).
Also, be aware of what people are drinking around you. Every city has its popular cocktail or drink. In Copenhagen, we noticed a lot of people drinking this aperol cocktail, so don’t be shy to ask what people are drinking.
Ultimately, just enjoy yourself. You can’t be the master of a city in three days, so do what you’ll get the most out of. Let me know your top travel tips and what you look forward to most when you travel. I just like getting lost in the streets…not really lost though because of my Google Maps tips!
Thanks for reading,