What makes a great trip?

For everyone that can be different I suppose.  But for most travel aficionados like myself, I think these 10 things are key to making a trip into an adventure.   As a matter of fact, let’s call this Ten for Tuesday.

  1. See the iconic sights.   For instance, my recent trip to Seattle wouldn’t have been complete without lunch at the Space Needle.   Yeah it is an overpriced tourist trap and all that, but hey that view on a clear day is hard to beat!
  2. Get local recommendations on where to eat.   I always ask pretty much any local who will talk to me where the best places to eat are.   Last time in Moab we took a recommendation and drove south of town to Susie’s Branding Iron.   Great meal and we got to visit with some wonderful people.
  3. Where to sleep?   It is always a balance between location and price.   I tend to lean towards location because of #4…….
  4. Explore and wander.   Almost always my favorite parts of the trip are the times when I go explore and wander.   My most distinct memory of my trip to Rome was when jet lagged I woke up at 4am local and proceeded to go explore the city.   It was the only time I had the city to myself.
  5. Find something under the radar……..for instance during my penchant for over planning and trip planning, I found out about a wave organ in San Francisco.   http://www.exploratorium.edu/visit/wave-organ.   Back then it didn’t have a website and was something that even locals didn’t always know about.
  6. Leave some time to be spontaneous.   Last year on a trip from home in Atlanta to the Grand Canyon…..that hour we on a whim spent out of the car looking at the lava fields in El Malpais National Monument was a highlight of the trip…..or maybe we were just loopy from 18 hours in the car the day before!
  7. Enjoy the journey—-whether that is trying to see the sights out the window of the plane or searching for that elusive last license plate on a road trip (where are you Rhode Island!).
  8. Take some pictures.   Not all selfies mind you. Get the scenery and all that is around you.   I often look back at a picture album and see a picture and that will bring back a wave of fond memories.
  9. Do something your travel partner wants to do.   Whether it’s one more hike at Zion or a Broadway show in NY.….make time for everyone on your trip to do something they want to do.   You’ll be surprised and happier for the experience.
  10. Get a momento.   Not something crazy…..I tend to grab a t-shirt or if at a National Park one of those cool coasters.