Hi fellow travellers,
I'm wondering if anyone else has this problem. My husband and I have been considering visiting several cities on a European tour and we keep going back and forth amongst a range of places (eg. Amsterdam vs Barcelona, Marrakech vs Istanbul, Lisbon vs Istria etc).
Sometimes we wish we could just hire someone to walk around some of the main attractions in each city for us and live stream it back to us on Skype just to help us make the decision easier. We also keep getting stuck on which neighbourhood to rent our Airbnb accommodation in for each city, and we wish we could just get someone to show us before we commit hundreds or thousands in booking costs.
Does anyone else have this problem?
Honestly, I think you're waaaaaaaay over thinking this.
Those are all famous cities with lots of famous tourist sites, you'll have no problems finding countless guide book and internet suggestions of the "usual" famous tourist places. I'd suggest not worrying about that so much and perhaps consider that just being there can be its own reward, especially if you keep your eyes and ears open and be ready to check out other situations.
Remember, a trip doesn't simply consist of checking off a long bucket list of tourist destinations, the very essence of travel (for many people) goes much deeper. You can find extraordinary sights and situations off the beaten path, you don't always have to be doing the very same things that every other tourist is doing.
Tranquilo. Have fun.
Really appreciate your feedback. You're absolutely right.
Still, sometimes I wish there was a way we could "travel" before we "travel"! Especially when it's a large financial commitment and the more I read up on places, the harder it gets!
Why do you feel the need to "travel before you travel", to avoid a dud?
Every trip is an experience so there aren't any duds. That large financial commitment was never a waste in the past, was it? So just pick somewhere new and do just enough research to ensure you don't miss a must-see.
If it's getting difficult, plan two trips! :-)
If you're traveling from Australia, the perfect entry point for your European trip would be Istanbul. I'm just finishing five days here; and it's been a wonderful encore visit. You'll get a sense of history by visiting Istanbul before going to other parts of Europe, including the Balkans and Spain. You can't go wrong with all the places you've mentioned. Look at a map; then decide what your priorities are. You can easily get to where you want to go in Europe at reasonable prices. Flights are not expensive. Marrakesh is a bit out of the way, unless you're also visiting Spain. Sometimes I use YouTube to check out places; and to get travel ideas. Few places in the world have yet to be discovered. Use the travellerspoint mapping tool. That will help sort out your itinerary. Good luck!
Thanks again for both your replies - really fab. We'll just take a punt and go for it I guess.
We are travelling from Australia, I guess it's just that fear of missing out - the 'oh, we should have stayed at the other place and not this one!' type of thing, if only we knew!" Especially when it's somewhere we're not likely to return to anytime soon.
And I was thinking other travellers might have that urge of wanting to really 'stake out' a place before going and how they dealt with it. But I suppose travelling is all about taking a leap into the deep end! =)
Cat, many times the ultimate travel experience happens right around the corner and down the street from the famous tourist attraction. It happens in a doorway, an alley, a chance meeting with a local or with your taxi driver. It's not in any guide book... it's a legitimate glimpse into another culture and another place on our planet.
Honestly, stop worrying about this bucket list stuff. Trying to duplicate every "best" thing that every other tourist sees on every other tour is utterly pointless. If that's what you think travel means then why would you ever bother doing anything more than reading travel books, using Google street view and watching documentaries and travel shows?
I wish I was more articulate, but with all due respect I think you're missing the entire point of packing a bag and getting on an airplane...