Map out your ‘must sees’ before you go 🔎
Technology has massively lowered the barriers for travel. One particularly effective way to plan a weekend trip is to map out the points of interest you would like to see before you leave. You can pin different locations on Google Maps to plan your itinerary for example.
Cross-referencing the locations you want to visit with information about waiting times, ticketed access to locations and community reviews on Google or TripAdvisor will help you to form a realistic and time-effective plan for your weekend. Also, in places where you don’t have regular access to mobile data this approach can really help you to navigate at your destination.
If you are taking the trip with friends involving them in the planning and pinning makes for a fun way to understand what other people want to do on the trip and helps build the excitement for the weekend away!
Get familiar with local transportation 🚌
Now that you know where you want to go and what you want to see, the next step is understanding what your options are with transportation. One of the biggest time-wasters on a short trip is figuring out how to get from one location to the next, so it’s important to know how to get around at your destination.
For public transport, key things to keep in mind are:
- How much it costs - is it better to buy a multi-day pass or single tickets?
- Can you use a multi-ticket on different types of transport? (buses, trains, trams etc.)
- Opening hours - how late does public transport run and how frequently?
- Check if they have public transport network apps or use navigation apps like Google Maps or CityMapper
With private transport like taxis, don’t assume that Uber and other popular ride-sharing apps are available at your destination. It is wise to know what types of private transport are available, how you can book it and what you can roughly expect to pay per km.
For car/scooter hire, do some research on the hidden costs associated with having your own transportation like parking fees and fuel prices.
Consider using a Travel Card 💳
In a previous article, we explored a few of our recommended travel money hacks. One piece of advice when it comes to managing your money abroad is to use a Travel Card especially if your trip is outside of the Eurozone. Understanding average local prices for the basics (meals, transportation, accommodation, entrance to museums, etc.) can help you to develop a budget.
When it comes to exchange rates, a Mastercard with ZeroFX can offer you significant savings on foreign exchange and ATM fees. This will free up more money to enjoy your trip!
Besides always getting the real exchange rates, our Mastercard can help you to plan your trip more effectively with the Travel Assistant feature with tips for different locations, whether or not your card is enabled for your destination as well as local approaches to cash and card acceptance.
Make an effort to enjoy local experiences 🌍
Sometimes the most memorable experiences while traveling come from something unexpected. There are hidden gems in any city and the best way to figure out what they are is by interacting with the locals. Learn a few key phrases based on your interests in the local language by using a resource like Duolinguo before you go. This is a great way to find local markets, attractions, points of interest, nightlife and much more.
You will be surprised at the enthusiasm and rich recommendations you will receive when engaging with locals in their own language, even if your pronunciation isn’t perfect! Give it a try and you may just find the highlight of your trip in this way!
Ditch your bags to carry less and see more 🧳
It’s a fairly common scenario while traveling, your departure or arrival time and the ability to check-in/check-out at your accommodation don’t quite match up. It could also be the case that your accommodation is located far away from the method of transport you need to get back home or to the airport.
To avoid the dilemma of what to do with your bags during your first or final hours in a destination, we recommend using a luggage storage service like the one offered by our partners Stasher to free you up to get around easily. Stasher offers affordable storage services in over 200 cities around the world as well as being fully secure and insured. For bunq users and their friends, you can use this link and code BUNQ20 at checkout to enjoy 20% off luggage storage!