Recently I was in Prague and will use it as an example of my travel tips. To make a short visit of a week memorable requires three things -some research, allowing space to allow the place to show its surprises to you and participate in an activity you enjoy at home. Let me explain.
To save time and money, I learn about the place before I arrive there. Some map reading and google information does not go astray. It helps me to hone in on the essentials that I want from this trip. I am aware it is impossible to see everything. It also stops me from information overload. Psychologists tell us we will forget 35% of what we learn today by tomorrow. So going on tour after tour is time consuming, expensive and does not always fit into the weather of the day.. I am not against tours but by walking on an interactive tour we may, eat, dance and drink the local alcoholic brew in preference to a history monologue. When we do that we will remember the fun and our feelings. Facts can be forgotten.
Some things you learn by being in a place eg I was used to Ecuadorian lemonade which is lemon juice lightly sweetened. I had forgotten the mistakes I had made on a different trip.. In Prague lemonade was commercial lemonade or if you like sugared water. Watch pricing. Tickets for all kinds of concerts in Prague seem cheap but the concerts have a time limit of 65 minutes. In summer anyway. Likewise the hop on hop off bus which I think is a brilliant way of getting an overall picture of a place is slightly different to anywhere else. Buenos Aires, London and Santiago have double decker buses which avoid overcrowding. In Prague, people found the small buses full when they wanted to get back on. Most tourists were unaware they had to put over 20 euros as deposit for the electronic card they had to use. This was to be reimbursed after the journey ended
Don't be rigid with your plans. For example, I was strolling down PARIZSKA street in the old city in Prague where all the best known brands are sold and suddenly saw about 25 people, men dressed in dinner suits and women wearing long black skirts and very smart pale pink jacket tops. This was amazing on a Saturday morning at 11 am. I had heard that over 60% Czechs regard themselves as atheists with only 35% religious. I was tempted to ask them where they were goingbut had fallen too far behind them having tried to take a photo. I decided to follow them. It didn't take long. They turned down some passages and we ended up at a modern church. On the front door was a programme of all the international choirs participating in that day's festival. I enjoyed a couple of hours listening to German, French and Portuguese choirs. I didn't watch them all of course.
This reminded me of one of my classmates in a Spanish class in Quito. He was an amateur soccer player who invited himself to a local soccer club because of his interest in the game. His social life increased enormously, he felt he had learned about another culture by participating in it, and he had wonderful stories to tell for evermore.
For me Prague was a paradise for music - all kinds of music: rock, jazz, and classical. So I used that interest to meet up with people of like mind who then invited me to their homes. This made my time there more memorable than just taking photos.
To wiew the trailer of my second book click
To buy my book about 8 years' in South America click