A friend wrote and asked our opinion for a trip she was planning, “Barcelona, Spain or Porto, Portugal?” With a dizzying array of places to go, it’s a dilemma for anyone who travels. How to decide between so many wonderful places?
May we suggest that answering five easy questions could point our friend — and you — in the right direction.
How much to spend?
Everyone’s got a budget. A number that, if you went over it, would leave you feeling that you’d spent “too much.” Figure out what a good number is for this particular trip. The same amount of money could have you living very well indeed in Hoi An and living like a pauper in Rome.
What to do?
Follow your interests. Shopping? Go to Paris. Big city with beaches? Head for Sydney. Public art? Try Porto, Portugal. If you love the great outdoors, the urban scene of New York may not be your thing. Read up on the cities you’re looking at and make sure they’re a fit for you.
How easily can you get around?
When we’re in a city, we like to walk or use public transport to get around. If you have an idea of places you’ll want to go and know where you want to stay, can you get to most or all of those places easily? Who wants to have a long commute on their vacation?
Where to stay?
Plan to stay in a great central location and not 10 km outside town at a chain hotel where you could get a good deal. It makes all the difference. It’s worth it to be there early in the morning as the town wakes up, to be able to pop back to your room for a nap in mid-afternoon, and to stay up late with a short walk home from a nearby bistro.
Does it have the magic?
Everyone wants a vacation with charm, charisma, history, and romance. How do you find that place that is right for you? Know thyself. Over time and each trip, the qualities that make a trip “magic’ for you become clearer. For us – it starts with a warm place, near the sea, very peaceful, beautiful setting.
So, back to the question of whether to go to “Barcelona or Porto.” Stay tuned for the next post…..