Travel Tip: How to Plan for Your First Big City Trip

Big City view deck

You’ve done it! You’ve saved up and are all packed for your trip to the big city. Forgetting your toothbrush and worrying about not packing the most fashionable (or practical—whatever floats your boat) outfits are just part of what you need to consider when traveling to a major city.

From sports to the arts to cuisine, big cities are buzzing with excitement and new adventures, no matter how often or your reason to travel to a big city. These simple tips will help you save time and prevent headaches during your big-city adventure.

Explore By Neighborhood

You want to see the sights and not the inside of your car or a taxi during your big-city adventure. Traffic jams can be a nightmare and can make a vacation feel like work!

To avoid this, plan your activities by area. When creating your itinerary, plan what you want to do and see based on neighborhoods and locations. Grouping everything together helps you see everything you want to do in one area and accomplish it within a day!

Every day, explore a new area by ranking your “want to see” list based on priority and timing (after all, it won’t do you any good if you want to visit an art museum on the day it is closed). If you run out of time or see something else you want to explore, you can always come back time permitting or plan another trip!

Figuring Out Parking (Or If You Need A Car)

Planning parking ahead of time can be a huge time-saver—and a headache preventer. Most of the time, it is easier to find parking spots for compact cars, which is something to keep in mind when renting a car.

If you move your car during your vacation, research free parking lots around the attractions/places you’re visiting. You can play your day and order of activities around these free parking lots to optimize your route.

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On the other hand, do you need to rent a car? If you are exploring a bit city, take a look at its mass transit options, rideshare and taxi services. After all, taking mass transit is a great way to learn more about a city and its residents. Not renting a car can save money, time and heartache.

Save on Food

Partaking in local cuisine can be expensive in a big city. Luckily, there are several tips to help offset cost while still eating out:

  • Stay somewhere that offers free breakfast and take some fruit or a sandwich for lunch.
  • Talk with locals to learn more about nearby inexpensive food options.
  • Eat a larger lunch, so you eat less for dinner (the more expensive meal).
  • Spend the money you’re saving on these more economical meals for a fabulous meal once or twice during your vacation.

Stay in the Right Location

Big City - Dubai, UAE

Big cities tend to have different groupings of hotels throughout the area. If you are heading to a city that has a hotel district, consider staying outside of that zone. Search surrounding areas for cheaper rates. Sometimes, these surrounding areas are just as convenient!

Another tip is to read the reviews! Before you book, read customer reviews, particularly the most recent! TripAdvisor is a great place to start for accurate reviews. 

Don’t forget to use Google Earth. Look at your potential accommodations on this tool, and check out the blocks surrounding it. This could help you determine if you want to say in the area.

Not sure which big city to travel to first or need help planning your next trip? THE TRIP ATELIER takes the stress out of vacation planning. Schedule a consultation and start crafting a memorable vacation today.

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