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Travel Time

October 2, 2013 , ,



I have learned to budget time by planning many trips for myself and travel clients. When tour companies take groups out on an excursion the itinerary is published to give all a sense of unity. Planning time for commuting in a city or check in at a strange terminal must be done with precision and plenty of lead time. I think travelers are often too optimistic about the amount of time it really takes to get across town or out of town.  Being on time for appointments or performances is essential to enjoying a visit.  I also think free unstructured time to explore is an important element of happy tourism.

Here are the ways I like to expand my world when I travel.  I use time in new ways:

  • Explore museums of all kinds, usually by myself
  • Enjoy a lot of walking outdoors, cityscape or natural path
  • Try food I will not find at home, both new preparations and new items
  • Rearrange my at home routine by eating breakfast
  • Meet with friends for special performances, events, or meals
  • Use a big part of each day taking taking photos

I learn before I go.  My research into options can take weeks for some destinations.  I study maps and transit systems, look up details and make notes if there is something I want to make sure I see. No matter what I learn from reference materials I always ask for a local’s opinion if I can.  Once I have made the arrangements for the elements of the trip, lodging, transportation, dining, and exploration I believe it is important to give in to serendipity as much as possible.  I find that being open in both mood and schedule allows  the magic of the place to speak to me.  Sometimes I meet cool people who inform me; other times I am called by special architecture or botany.  I find that when I plan and inform myself just enough to know where I am, but not too much to make assumptions, time is my ally.  It expands and allows me to turn a few days into an exciting yet easy to accomplish new adventure of discovery.  I am working on turning next week in San Francisco into just that.  If you know about something special I need to know before I go, please pipe up, gentle reader.  I do enjoy the unusual, and already know about many of the usual highlights of the bay area.  I am open to learn more.

What do you think?

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I do admire people who have the time and make the effort to research properly before they go. I have learnt so much from this year’s press trips where the hard work is done for me…


The pieces you wrote will help other tourists learn and decide before they go, so it is all very cool, Fiona.



October 4, 2013

That’s definitely things I like to do too……. though performances aren’t usually an affordable option, I do like events, festivals and local farmers markets and meals. and I take tons of photos too


Stevie Wilson (@LAStory)

October 6, 2013

I agree with the “learn before you go” approach. I think this really gives so much of a better understanding of the culture and region, and heightens your appreciation. Even watching films on the area can be enlightening.


Jess @UsedYorkCity

October 7, 2013

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