The Do?s And Don?ts Of City Breaks
Autumn and early winter is a great time of year to go away for a quick short break. The long months between the summer and Christmas period can be depressing at the best of times ? getting away for a few days to an exciting new city can be a great way of lifting the spirits. However, condensing a holiday into a short city break can be a fine art as you only have two days to get things right! Here are some do?s and don?ts the will help ensure a great time is had by all.
1.Get to the airport as soon as possible
If you are rushing to get to the airport or even worse miss your flight it is going to get your city break off to the worst possible start. Try to start as you mean to go on ? in relaxed fashion. By getting to the airport early you can check in and enjoy a nice drink at the bar, it certainly beats falling into your seat pouring with sweat after a frantic sprint across the departure lounge.
2. Book your hotel in advance
There is a school of thought that suggests you should wait until you reach your destination before you pick a hotel. By getting there first you can get a feel for a city and then pick your hotel in an area you like. People who do this also probably still believe in Santa. While over planning your short break is definitely a faux pas ? basic organisation such as booking your hotel in advance is just common sense. Who would want to spend half there holiday walking around a city with all your luggage trying to find a room? Clicking a mouse is a lot easier and sites such as http://www.superbreak.com have a wide choice of hotels around Europe.
3. Learn some language basics
If you are visiting a foreign country for a couple of days it is always worthwhile to learn some basic words in the local language. Locals won?t expect you to be fluent but making that little bit of effort goes a long way and in cities such as Paris you are not always guaranteed to find people who can speak English.
4. Check for local holidays
Its always worth looking into whether there is a local holiday on at your destination of choice. If there is visiting popular tourist attractions could quickly become difficult with long queues and crowded atmospheres the order of the day. When going to theme parks especially, it is worth looking into local school holidays etc...
1. Over plan
A certain amount of planning is crucial to the success of every trip, but leave yourself some room for pleasant surprises and the opportunity to be spontaneous. If you are visiting a city such as Paris or Rome you almost don?t need to plan ahead your daily activities, simply walking the streets and exploring whatever takes your fancy is an experience in itself. If you find something that you really want to do but didn?t include it in your original plans ? just do it! The main goal of a city break is to have fun and enjoy yourself, don?t let rigid plans get in the way.
2. Over pack
Speaking from the point of view of a harassed boyfriend who usually has to carry everything ? don?t over pack! You are only away for two days, you don?t need seven pairs of shoes! Having to carry around a heavy bag either around an airport or when you are sightseeing can put a real dampener on any trip. The idea behind short breaks is that they are quick, easy and stress free. Unless you have a trail of servants following you (like my girlfriend?!) leave the big bags at home.
3. Leave your baggage without a label
This is a simple one but it is amazing how often people forget. When you check in your baggage to the airport, always make sure it has been correctly labelled to maximise your chances of getting it back should something go wrong. Losing your bag for two days on a two week holiday is inconvenient ? losing it for two days on a weekend break is a nightmare.
4. Go straight back to work
City breaks are great fun but they can leave you quite tired. Catching flights, 2 nights of wining and dining and walking around the various attractions can leave you quite physically drained. If you are catching a flight back late on the Sunday night, try and ensure you have booked the Monday off work too. Knowing that you have a day to relax when you get home will let you unwind a lot better on your actual holiday.
About the Author: Robin is a freelance travel writer living in Edinburgh. He is also the webmaster for http://www.travel-tips.co.uk