Carving out time from that busy schedule to go on a short break, such as a city trip, for a few days, is a true luxury and a great way to recharge your batteries. We all know that time becomes even more of the essence, the less of it you have. Whether you are a single who can only set aside a few days for one or more solo holidays, a tourist on a stopover to another country, or a business traveller on a tight agenda, read on. We have five time management tips for you that should prove especially useful during first-time visits to a new destination:
Book a Hotel Near the Airport
Time spent in transit from your arrival airport to your accommodation can eat up a lot of precious minutes. Try to find a hotel that is not too far from the airport but also in easy reach of any places you wish to visit. That way, you can drop your bags at your accommodation and hit the ground running on the day you arrive.
As an example, if you’ve got a trip planned to a metropolis such as the Lion City, book into one of the hotels near Singapore airport so that your accommodation, the city’s major transport hubs, and major commercial centres are all within easy reach. Time spent in traffic and crowded public transport can have a major impact on the amount of leisure time you have in a big city. By choosing your location wisely, you will need to travel less and decrease your risk of missing your return flight.
Research your Location
Do any research on your destination and place of stay before you travel, so that you know where the nearest ATMs, public transport links, markets, restaurants, and convenience stores are. This will cut down on the time you’ll otherwise spend wandering around looking for essentials like cash, food, medicine, and transport. It is particularly important if you are travelling solo as you don’t want to get lost in unfamiliar places, which can be distressing and unsafe and will invariably eat up your free time.
If you are unable to prepare your short break in such detail, ask someone when you arrive. Don’t just set out on a whim – airport staff, the management at your hotel, and any other local contacts you might have in the country can help you with their local knowledge saving you precious time. This extra awareness of where things are relative to your vicinity will come in handy throughout your short trip.
Make Prior Arrangements for Meetups and Scheduled Events
If you’ve got a schedule that you need to follow and people that you need to meet, it will be in your best interest to make prior arrangements for each of these. Ask them to meet you close to your accommodation, even if you are staying at an airport hotel. Larger airports always have a variety of dining options at or near the airport.
Naturally, meeting up at the airport or near your accommodation is not always practical or desirable. For those occasions and where you need to travel further afield and can’t afford to be late or need the extra convenience, make sure to book private transportation ahead of time. In some countries private transport must be booked in good time before a meeting.
Structure Your Outings
Having limited time on your city trip abroad means that you should maximise the time you spend in a particular area. After all, you do not want to waste your time, money, and energy on shuttling back and forth between places. A good way of going about this is to dedicate a day to activities based in a particular district or suburb of the place you’re visiting. If you have a meeting in a particular district that also has a museum you wish to see, schedule your museum visit for that day or evening. If you have the option, you could also set aside days exclusively for business and exclusively for leisure. Be sure to properly divide your time between the things you’re doing for business, the things you’ve got scheduled for quality time with the people you’re meeting, and the things you’ll do on your own on your free day. Allow yourself a little legroom but try to stick to a general schedule for your outings.
Avoid Crowds and Tourist Attractions at Peak Hours
Lastly, to avoid the pains of waiting in a long queue or navigating through a big crowd, take note of peak hours in places such as city centres, major tourist attractions, and even public transport. If you can help it, plan your visits during off peak hours. If you are unable to find out, when your destination quieter and less packed, go in the early morning or an hour or two before closing time. You are likely to save money that way, too.
There are several perks to discovering a new place outside its busiest hours. You’ll be able to appreciate every little detail of the scenery and interact with other people in a relaxed and leisurely state. Just be sure that it’s safe for you to venture out at those hours if you are travelling solo, or that you’re in the company of someone well-versed with the location so you won’t get lost.
When you’re pressed for time in a foreign location, every minute matters. Yet if you keep the tips above in mind, you’ll be able to make the most of your stay. Plan ahead, be smart about how you go around, and enlist the help of other people. Doing these things will ensure that you spend less time worrying, and more time enjoying the trip as you’re meant to!
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