I’ve been banging on about heading to Canada for what seems like forever but today’s the day! I have wanted to visit Vancouver for years so I am so over-the-top excited to finally spend some time there this week. City breaks are by far my favourite kind of trip – I love being able to take in the sights and sounds of a brand new city. With that in mind, planning a trip can be stressful but here’s a few tips I find that really help to settle those nerves.
Create an Itinerary
This can be a full blown excel spreadsheet of places to visit and rough timings to something as simple as a list on your phone. Getting in some research and noting down all the places you want to visit saves so much time in the long run and ensures you get to do all the things you had intended on doing.
There are tons of websites out there to help you create an itinerary. Sygic Travel (used to be Tripomatic) is one that I’ve used in the past that also shows you how close the locations are of the places you’d like to see which is super handy when working out which day’s you’d like to spend where.
I’ve only recently realised the importance of pre-booking activities. Not only does it help to spread out some of the costs, it also makes sure you avoid any disappointment, and minimal time queuing means more time for fun! On this trip, we’ve pre-booked daytrips to Whistler (gimme dat snow!) and Victoria on Vancouver Island. We may also head to Capilano Suspension Bridge but this is more weather-dependent. These trips can also be slotted into your itinerary.
Although I do love a guidebook or two (Lonely Planet’s are amazing), city guides from other bloggers are perhaps my favourite way to get to know the place we’re visiting. Especially when it comes to restaurants, coffee shops, bars and shops. Tom and I usually have a routine where he’ll pick out a highly recommended burger places and I’ll find a good Mexican restaurant. It isn’t essential but I do like to have a few stops in mind, away from the standard McDonald’s and Starbucks of the world.
Don’t forget to have fun! You don’t have to be strict with your plans and it’s a holiday so relax. If you want to sleep until 11am, do it. I’m preparing for a week of seeing a lot of sunrises (damn you 8hr time difference).
What are your favourite ways to plan a trip? And let me know if you have any recommendations for Vancouver? You will be able to see what I’m up to on instagram : @charlieemilyhart