Back in the 1960s when air travel was more of a novelty and airfare was dirt cheap, it wasn’t uncommon to hear about people flying from New York to Paris or some other European destination for the weekend. Leave on a Friday arrive back home late on a Sunday and then it is back to work on Monday.
Life was good back then and TSA and its intrusive and lengthy security screenings did not yet exist.
You can still make a quick trip overseas or regionally and enjoy it. Even so, you may find that a shorter airplane trip is the most sensible one for you, allowing you to arrive at your destination relaxed and ready to go. Here are some tips on how to get the best from your 3-day excursion.
1. The shorter the better.
While air travel is certainly prized by many, it isn’t quite the time saver it used to be. Indeed, you may find traveling from New York to Boston is just as quick by train as it is by plane, considering that you must travel to the airport and wait on long lines while Amtrak is making its way to Beantown.
With this in mind, your best trip should come in on the short side. Figure that a two-hour flight is ideal with three hours your maximum. Then, plot your trip accordingly, allowing for a change of planes where a nonstop flight is not available.
2. Prioritize your time.
With little time to spare you need to rate the places you want to visit by importance. This means identifying where you want to go and what you want to see.
For instance, if there is aquarium you want to visit or a park you want to see, move this “must visit” attraction to the top of your list. That way, you will ensure that your favorite place is covered regardless of whatever else you do while you are away. Keep in mind that short trips give you little room to make big changes, so pick the top places you want to see and then go.
3. Book nearby.
You want to save money so you found a hotel that is 20 miles from all the action. You imagine that you will take the subway or a bus to get to the places you want to go. Unfortunately, you may find that you will spend more time on mass transit than on seeing the sites.
Your best bet here is to book a hotel room in the center of the action. Certainly, you will pay more, but you will also be able to see everything on foot. Then again, time and transportation costs will not be a big factor.
4. No checked baggage.
If you can afford to have your luggage misplaced or lost, then by all means have it checked. Then again, if you are planning to be away for just a few days, you should be able to carry everything you need with you on the aircraft, right?
Lost or misplaced luggage is a real time suck, what requires you to make phone calls, fill out forms and wait. And wait and wait. Chances are your trip will be severely tested if not ruined with the risk of checked luggage problems.
You may also want to plan out your trip before you arrive, accounting for every hour if not every minute to see as much as you can within the shortest amount of time. You should also not dress as a tourist even if the look is especially comfortable for you. You want to fit in and not be a target for panhandlers or worse, such as thieves.
See Also — 14 Foreign Travel Tips Just For Women