Tips #1: Plan 6 months ahead … at least … if you can. Why? I start to check for flights early to get a better rate. This gives me time to do a proper price comparison. Planning ahead also gives me time to select the most optimum flight time and arrive at my travel destination at the time of day that is right. For a long flight, 8 hours or so, I’d rather arrive at night and get a good rest for the day and start my day fresh the next day. For a short flight, 2 hours, I would want to arrive noon time, just nice for me to check in the hotel and start to visit places in the afternoon.
Tips #2: Do check hotel surroundings.
Of course the next thing to do is to look for a place to stay. Nowadays, there are so many options available, Airbnb, Booking.com, and many more to research for a place. But whatever tools or apps you use, don’t forget to check for nearby amenities.
I prefer to stay near train station. Our last trip to Bangkok, we stayed at Novotel Siam Square, with BTS Siam Station just outside the hotel.
Places to eat must be nearby. Siam Paragon just opposite Novotel offers amazing varieties of food.
We use google map street view to do a rough “walking” feeling of the surrounding area so that we are a bit familiar when we are finally there.
With street view, we also check if the walking path stroller friendly.
Tips #3: Pre-Book entrance ticket in advance and enjoy low price. Pros is that we get to enjoy cheaper rates but cons is the date is fixed, we can’t change it if we need switch of itinerary. Klook is one of the apps I use to look for prebook tours and tickets for Asia travels.
Another good thing about pre-book ticket is we don’t have to queue at the ticketing counter. Save a little bit of time there.
Do remember to read the fine prints on whether you need to collect the actual ticket and where to collect them. Some places do not accept web printed tickets.
We did a prebook ticket to go up the Eiffel Tower prior our trip to Paris. The collection counter was about few mins walk from the tower itself, NOT at the base of the tower.
Tips #4: Check weather and seasons on the places you would like to visit. This is really important, not just checking if you need to bring the correct clothing for the season or umbrella or raincoat for the rain OR straw hat for the sun, but if that is the right season to go to a certain place.
I planned a visit to Munich in November timeframe, good season not too cold. But to see the Neuschwanstein Castle was a disappointment. It was extremely foggy that I could not see the castle until I was few meters away. I could see the wall up close but not the whole castle.
Tips #5: Lastly don’t forget to include “where to eat” in your tour route. I always forget to do this. In many occasions, I have wasted a lot of time walking and searching and googling for good restaurants and by then have no appetite to eat and sometimes end up having to eat at lousy food. Doing some research upfront, not only benefiting our tummy but also our pockets 💲 too!!