My next trip is to Amsterdam. One of my favorite parts of traveling is planning. I’m something of a planner. I will write and rewrite my schedules and plans all over my notebooks. I will rewrite notes that I have laying around in order to better remember what I’ve been working on.
I think a place to start with is a destination. When you figure that out, borrow a travel guide from the library and start to put together a list of activities and sites that you want to see. Then start to figure out which are the things you need to do versus things that you would like to do, but will fill in your free time with.
One of the most useful things that I’ve discovered is, going through the activities listed on a discount card that might be available for your destination. Once I decided that I wanted to go to Amsterdam, I went through the activities listed in the iAmsterdam card booklet to see what I was interested in. From there, I decided to add up what the fees would be if I didn’t buy the card. Then, I compared fees to the cost of the iAmsterdam card and found that the iAmsterdam card was a good value.
After I’ve gotten that settled, I usually buy a travel guide to bring along with me, for easy reference, for easy improvisation, especially when I’m traveling alone. I prefer Lonely Planet and Rick Steves books, preferring Lonely Planet‘s breadth of topics and Rick Steves’s details. Another fun thing to do is to watch Rick Steves’s episode on my destination; this has worked for me since so far, all of my trips abroad have been to Europe.
I will probably rewrite these at some point, too. I might even accumulate more places I want to go to. Hopefully, slowly, I will be able to put together a useful schedule of some kind.