Visiting a new place locally or traveling to a new city doesn’t need to be scary anymore. If you are looking for the best way to explore a city without getting lost, planning a self-guided walking tour will help you maximize your time and maybe even feel less anxious.
Before you keep reading: GoldenAgeTrips.com is making use of affiliate links, which in some cases will end up in a commission for purchases originated from this website. However, all referred companies/products/accommodations have been tried out or researched by us first. This post is sponsored in part by GPSmyCity.com.
I don’t know about you, but going to a new place or visiting a new country is not only exciting but also nerve-wracking. What if I can’t see all that I want to see? What happens if I get lost? What do I do if I don’t know how to get from point A to point B?
Well, it might sound boring or even tedious, but planning in advance where you will be going, including your walking routes, might help with all the questions and doubts previously mentioned.
To start planning your self-guided walking tour take into account the following:
Where are you staying?
It is not only important to pay attention to the price of the accommodations, but also to their location. Read more about How to Avoid a Disastrous Stay at a Hotel Here.
Choosing a strategically placed hotel/place to stay will help you arrive at your destination quicker, and save you time (and maybe even money) in the future. For example: if you are only interested in exploring the Downtown of a city why not stay there?
Maybe at first glance, it appears to be pricier staying in a Downtown location than staying a bit further. Nonetheless, when you take into account the price of a rental car, gas, or another type of transportation the stay might even help you save some money. Choosing a hotel equidistant to your must-sees would be the perfect scenario, but something close should work.
What are your must-sees?
Make a list with every place you need to see, but keep an open mind and don’t try to cram too many places in a short amount of time. Talking about time, think about how long would you like to spend in a certain place. Don’t forget to add time to eat. Walking around while hungry is not good for anyone.
Choose a topic or a theme for your self-guided walk.
Street art, food, shopping, museums? Everyone likes something different. If you are traveling alone, this will be relatively easy, but if you are not going alone ask what the other people want to see and make an effort to include those places on your self-guided walking tour.
Be creative, what about a Nightlife Tour, Art Walk, Photography Tour?
Check on the internet or call beforehand to find out if a place is open.
Depending on where you live you might not be aware that there are places where almost entire towns close seasonally. It is always good to do your research, or find a travel agent that can give you more information about your destination and their high and low seasons. It wouldn’t be nice to plan a whole trip around a specific place and then find out that place is closed.
Be mindful of distances.
If you’re not very active, don’t try to push yourself too hard during your vacation. You might end up tired and sore the rest of your trip, or even worse. If your self-guided walking tour includes hikes make sure you are prepared (clothes, gear, etc.), and that you have done something strenuously similar in previous weeks.
Don’t forget about the weather or temperatures.
At least in Florida, if you are planning on an outdoor activity during the Summer, you need to check the weather. Not only are temperatures high, but we also get thunderstorms and rain in the afternoon, frequently.
Make a decision whether you will need a coat, an umbrella, or who knows, maybe to stay inside.
After gathering all the necessary information, you can go and manually build your self-guided walk using Google Maps for example. Or, you can also download an app, such as GPSmyCity, which has travel articles and self-guided walks already pre-planned for you.
GPSmyCity makes popular iOS, and Android apps that feature self-guided city walks in over 1,000 cities around the world. Each walk contains from a few to over a dozen attractions in a city and is fitted with a detailed route map.
The app virtually turns a mobile device into a personal tour guide, allowing visitors to explore on foot the best local attractions at their own pace.
As a traveler we know we can’t rely on mobile data when traveling, and conveniently this app works completely off-line. Just make sure you download your maps, guides, and routes before you go on your trip (preferably at home).
GPSmyCity would like to offer Golden Age Trips readers 10 annual subscriptions to the mobile application free of charge. Each yearly subscription, which usually costs $18.99 USD at the App store, allows access to all the walking tours in 1,000+ cities worldwide, included in the app, for one year.
Sounds great, how do I participate?
Leave a comment (100 Words or Less) at the end of this blog post telling me what city are you most eager to explore and why. You have until September 18, 2018, at 11:59 PM EST to enter. Entries that meet the requirements mentioned above automatically qualify for the annual subscription.
If there are more than 10 eligible entries, 10 winners will be drawn at random utilizing an online random picker. Winners will be contacted by e-mail or FB Messenger depending on how the comment was made. Goldenagetrips.com is not responsible for compatibility issues with your phone or phone software.