Planning a Walking Tour this Summer? How to Make the Most of the Trip
One of the most exciting ways to truly explore the hidden charms of a city, its culture, cuisine, and people is by taking a walking tour. Backpackers and walking tourists are quickly emerging as the new class of travelers who prefer to get under the skin of their destination instead of whizzing by in a tour bus jumping from one typical attraction to another. If you’re more interested in developing fresh perspectives of the town from your own experiences, walking tours are the way to go. Keep in mind that every city now has operators offering to show you around the city like, for example, Free Pittsburgh Walking Tours. Such tours could be led by representatives of agencies or individual guides enthusiastic about welcoming people to their city.
If you would like to explore the next city you visit with a walking tour, plan the excursion carefully so you get the most of the experience and enjoy your holiday to the fullest. Here are a few factors to keep in mind.
#1 – Choose Sights and Spots that Match Your Interests
Most cities are a multi-layered treasure trove of delights which obviously you cannot unveil entirely in a few hours each day. For this reason, you may want to choose your itinerary according to your interests. Like, for instance, if you love to experiment with cuisine, go on a gastronomic trip that takes you to sample the local delicacies and other street food. On the other hand, if you’re a history buff, get a guide who can help you walk down memory lane and reveal little-known facts about how the past unfolded in the narrow lanes and boulevards of the town. Of course, if you’re vacationing with kids, you may want to choose child-centric activities like amusement parks, aquariums, zoos, or any others.
#2 – Design Your Walking Tour Around Your Fitness Levels
Like this feature on Smart Travel explains, plan your walking tour according to your fitness levels. You could practice hiking on similar terrain around your home town before you leave. Keep in mind that you should be able to walk for a steady pace for two to three hours. If you tire out quickly, work on building stamina levels. Also, prepare for uncertain weather conditions such as heat or rainfall. Sore joints and muscles and blisters on your feet are other possibilities for which you may want to prepare. If you think you cannot tolerate the discomfort or if you have kids with you who cannot walk long distances, consider opting for other excursions that are less exerting.
#3 – Plan Your Walking Tour According to Your Experience Levels
If you’re used to going on walking explorations, go ahead and plan your excursion independently. You can book your transportation to the city and then, research the internet and study city maps for the best places to see. Enjoy the feel of excitement and adventure and take in the sights, sounds, and scents of the city. But, if you’re new to walking trips, it is advisable to contact a reputable travel and tour agency that works with local, experienced guides. The agency will book the accommodations you need and assign a guide who knows the city well. You may enjoy a whole new experience by dipping into in-depth information that only a native will be able to share just as this article on The Guardian advises.
#4 – Economize for a Budget-Friendly Vacation
You can safely expect that a walking tour is possibly one of the most economical ways to explore a new city. Stay at a budget stay over and have your meals at the small eateries and cafeterias around the town. When you’re ready for some sightseeing, sign up for one of the free guided tours. Most excursions take around an hour and a half to two hours and introduce you to hidden facets of the city. While they do cover only a limited area, you can always sign up for excursions in other parts of the city that are particularly interesting for you. At the end of each trip, you can “tip” the guide any amount you feel is appropriate. Feel free to pay in cash, debit or credit cards, or any other convenient payment option.
#5 – Combine Walking Tours and Conventional Sightseeing Trips
When visiting a famous city, you’ll want to check out the iconic and famous landmarks and typical places of interest. An increasingly popular trend in the tourism industry is opting for a combination of the traditional bus tours where you can cover the main points quickly with a few walking tours for a behind-the-scenes view.
Director of communications, Laurel Greatrix reveals on TripAdvisor, “We’re seeing more travelers balancing their itineraries with a mix of classic sightseeing and more unique local experiences. Of course, travelers heading to Rome want to explore the Vatican and the Sistine Chapel, but they’re also booking experiences like food tours to enhance their trip, and see the city like a local.” But, as she adds, “Travelers are also being more economical with their time.”
#6 – Take Breaks In-Between Walking Tours
Even if you’ve opted for walking tours for your vacation, expect that it could become difficult to keep up the pace each day of your holiday. Take breaks every now and then by taking an evening or morning off to relax and simply take in the charm of the city. Spend leisure time over a meal or shop for souvenirs with a casual stroll. Simply wanting to hang out in the hotel lounge or chat up with some local people or other members of your tour can also be fun. As the folks at Very Well Fit advise, give your muscles to repair and rebuild energy stores with a break or two.
A walking tour can be a memorable way to discover a city and spend a vacation. Keep these essential pointers in mind and you’re sure to have a wonderful time.