How to plan a day out

A common question asked is "..... and ...... doable in a day?"

One thing I have learned is that people do not travel the same. So what my husband and I might be able to accomplish in a day is not possible for others. I have learned this with my friends and family who say I am a "professional tourist". So I think that you have to know about the people that you are travelling with. Some people like to read every plaque when they go through museums and others like to pick and choose what they read. Here are my personal tips on planning a day out.
  1. Know how long it takes to get where are going.... and add 30 minutes. Why add additional time? Because to be honest traffic is horrible in Britain. Period. That is why I choose not to drive to work and why I don't drive to London. I cycle to work and train it to London. It took FOREVER when my parents and I drove from Cambridge to Windsor, Wimbledon and Hampton Court Palace. You can look on Google Maps to see the best way to get there. It even shows you methods of public transportation you can use.
  2. Make sure that you know when things open. Things in Europe close earlier in than in the US. So generally places are open 9-5 during March-October and then have shorter hours in November-February. One reason for this is the lack of sunlight.
  3. Don't be insane with your driving. Some people say that they drive all the way to Dover and back in a day, I think its insane. You generally have to leave early which means its a long day and you risk falling asleep at the wheel. So instead maybe make a weekend of it. Drive to one place spend the day, then drive to the other and stay in a B&B or hotel. Then spend the next day at the other place. Not only do you get to see two places but you are not putting your safety at risk. Some people do not think about this which worries me. If you plan ahead and shop around, you can get some great deals which really means you are saving on gas money!
  4. See if there is a pass for the place you are visiting. These are only worth it if you wanted to see the places that they offer. When I planned a trip to York and they had a pass for 1-3 days but I am just trying to work out how many days to get as we will be meeting up with friends on our trip.
  5. Remember you need to stop and eat. This is another question that comes up a lot, "are there any places to eat in ...?" I can understand why people ask this question but when you do this it limits yourself. Also when I ask my British friends this question they think I am ridiculous, There will be chain restaurants that you will be familiar with so if you are not the adventurous types, stick with them. Many are listed here. Otherwise try a pub. Not only do they have character, serve food at an affordable price but you do not have to drink to be here. Also if a place is busy, it is good, that is all you need to know. If you are trying to save in this area, pack a picnic or grab a sandwich from a grocery store.
  6. Have change for parking. Most parking places do not give change to always good to have some handy.
  7. Watch the news for the weather. This will tell you how to dress. Otherwise you will be too hot, cold or wet to enjoy yourself.
  8. Pack for the weather. You know what it is like here so best to always layer up and wear comfortable shoes. A day out can be ruined if your feet are killing you.

All the Best!

American to Britain