Travel: How to get the most out of your holiday (part I)

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I love to travel and I always want to make the most out of a holiday, weekend break or even a daytrip!

Much to my ‘art of planning’ I can fit a lot into our holidays and today I fill you in on some of my secrets 🙂

Before going on a holiday I do a lot of research… where to go, how far apart are all these locations, where can we park the car, what are the opening hours of the house we want to visit, can we book tickets in advance, what is the schedule of the boat trip we want to do,… I must admit that one time I even looked up in advance what time the sun would be setting 🙂

Some might find that the spontaneity gets lost when a holiday is planned, but it’s not that I plan our days by the minute! No, I just do heaps of research in advance to avoid surprises (like a castle that is closed or ending up walking miles and miles because X is way further from Y than it looked on the map).

So here are some tips on how to get the most out of your next trip!

1.Opening hours & schedules

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When you plan to visit a certain museum, castle, house, exposition, or even a certain shop, make sure to check the opening hours to avoid disappointment.

When on holiday I also like to make a boat trip. I check the schedule in advance to be able to fit in the boat trip in our day and just to know until what time you can get back of course!!

That brings me to that one time we visited Saint-Tropez… I had found out on Tripadvisor, that finding a parking spot in Saint-Tropez during the summer months is practically impossible and sometimes you have to park your car 5-10 kilometers from the city centre!

Of course I wanted to avoid that so I had planned the most fantastic day even if I say so myself: in the early morning we drove towards Sainte-Maxime and had no problem finding a car park close to the harbour. We took a ferry towards Saint-Tropez. The boat trip towards Saint-Tropez was so beautiful as we crossed the Golfe de Saint-Tropez in the most beautiful morning light. We arrived in Saint-Tropez in the midst of the harbour and straight into the hustle and bustle of this coastal town… without any parking stress!

At night we took the boat back… and that’s when I had looked up the time the sun would be setting to make sure we took the boat back to Sainte-Maxime during sunset! The planning sure paid off that day 😀 (see also top and bottom pictures of this post!)

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Leaving the Golfe de Saint-Tropez at sunset is a sight on its own 🙂

2.Locations

Do you want to visit several locations in one day? Make sure to check the distance between them not to be surprised! On Google Maps it’s also easy to check the driving/walking time as of course 60 kilometres somewhere in the mountains will not give you the same driving time as 60 kilometers on a motorway.

3.Car parks

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On a daytrip to Utrecht, we park our car at the P&R to arrive stress free in the city center!

When we plan to visit a city, I always look up several car parks in advance. Nothing’s more stressful than ending up in the centre of a busy city and not knowing where the car parks are!

We usually park our car at the edge of a city. A lot of cities have park and ride facilities which sometimes offer good deals for your parking ticket + public transport.

In Utrecht for instance, you pay 5 EUR to park your car at Park and Ride De Uithof. This includes the bus to and from the city centre for a maximum of 5 people!

4.Filling up the tank

Make sure your tank is filled up when you’re planning to drive a long distance. Usually the petrol stations on the motorway are much more expensive than the ones off the highway. So perhaps you could fill up the tank before you get on the motorway?!

5.Events and public holidays 

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When you’re travelling abroad, you might not be familiar with the public holidays. Check whether there’s a public holiday during your visit and be prepared!

Public holidays may bring extra festivities at your holiday destination. This can be ever so fun as you get to see the locals in a different perspective. We once were in St-Remy-de-Provence on August 15th which was celebrated with a fabulous procession (see above picture).

But public holidays may also mean closed shops and museums… So if you want to visit a certain museum, check in advance if it’s open or not on that specific day.

Once we were visiting Normandy as the Tour de France was passing this area. As we are no cycling fans, we avoided the places the Tour was passing to avoid detours and the hustle and bustle that goes along with such a big event.

Below you see a picture of a fabulous garden in Normandy… a day before it would have been hell trying to reach it because of the Tour de France!

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6.Local markets

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I sometimes look up if there’s a market day as spending a couple of hours on a local market during your holiday can be fun.

Make sure to know where to park your car as market day tends to be busier and often the market takes place on what is normally… a car park 🙂

7.Have plenty of options!

When we go on a 7-day holiday, I always end up with things to do for at least 10 days… that way we can choose what we want to do according to our moods and the weather!

At night we look through the several options and decide what we want to do the following day.

Do you have more tips to plan your holiday? Make sure to mention them in the comments below as I’m eager to learn more about planning a holiday!

Love, Kathleen

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14 thoughts on “Travel: How to get the most out of your holiday (part I)

    The Emma Edit said:
    January 14, 2018 at 5:39 pm

    Great post Kathleen! I like to plan trips in advance as well 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    You Can Always Start Now said:
    January 14, 2018 at 3:04 pm

    great advice.

    Liked by 1 person

      kaybe610 responded:
      January 15, 2018 at 12:28 pm

      You’re welcome 😉 Love, Kathleen x

      Like

    iwozereblog said:
    January 14, 2018 at 10:41 am

    Some excellent tips there! I pre plan too but leave time for spontaneity.
    Most check bargains and things that locals like to do, so I can really embrace the place I’m visiting.
    Thanks Kathleen x

    Liked by 1 person

      kaybe610 responded:
      January 14, 2018 at 11:08 am

      You’re very welcome 🙂 Perhaps you can use some of these tips on your Bali trip!! Love, Kathleen

      Liked by 1 person

    Saydee said:
    January 14, 2018 at 10:35 am

    I remember going on a weekend away with my boyfriend and we didn’t know anything about the place and just decided that from there one we are planning every single trip, spontaneous or not. Lol

    Liked by 1 person

      kaybe610 responded:
      January 14, 2018 at 11:09 am

      Hahaha! Good for you 🙂

      Like

    Kerry LifeandLoves said:
    December 15, 2017 at 9:07 pm

    I love how organised you are! I so need to take a leaf out of your book. I do plan things when Im going on a city break, but I should do it for our beach holidays too. Good tips here! Thanks for sharing x

    Liked by 1 person

      kaybe610 responded:
      December 16, 2017 at 2:30 pm

      Hope they were a bit helpful and that you can get more out of that next beach holiday 😉 Have a fab weekend Kerry! Love, Kathleen x

      Liked by 1 person

    Samaja said:
    December 14, 2017 at 2:43 pm

    I am just like you and want to be prepared. Some people think that going on a trip with me means a strict schedule, but that’s just not true. Like you, I just want to avoid unpleasant surprises. If I hadn’t researched about parking places we would have been struggling a lot in those small Spanish streets this spring.

    Liked by 1 person

      kaybe610 responded:
      December 15, 2017 at 12:48 pm

      I can imagine!!! Hear hear to proper planning 😀 Love, Kathleen

      Like

    Ann Ages Gracefully said:
    December 14, 2017 at 9:04 am

    I usually have two types of holiday, the one in summer when I try to do as little as possible just sun, books and good food and then the ‘shorter’ city trip kind of breaks where I try to get out as much as possible.

    Liked by 1 person

      kaybe610 responded:
      December 15, 2017 at 12:49 pm

      Now that’s what I call perfect balance 😀 Have a lovely Friday Ann x Kathleen

      Like

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