Every time you start preparing your trip, you probably head to the book store to search for some guides and maps because you get more engaged and you want to get a better idea of where you’re going. Sometimes it means getting a little bit further from that dreamy outlook that you had when you decided to travel to that destination. You start planning more specific things, finding sights, restaurants, museums on the map, trying to figure out transportation etc. Some of us buy a guide and ignore the bad map in the guide saying “We won’t get lost, we have travelled before and we were just fine…” or “Why would we need a map? We don’t plan, we like to wander around more…” That’s all great, and you definitely won’t get lost, you can wander all you want but you start changing your opinion when you are at your destination or when you come back home and realize you haven’t seen anything or done much.
It’s about time management. What does that mean??
Some of you may have bought a city map. One of those pretty, colourfull, rainproof paper maps with some information on the side that at first looks “cool”, but later you find it to be just an attraction factor, nothing useful. The thing is, it’s not easy to know what you should be looking for if you are not an experienced traveller; or if you don’t know much about the place you’re going to. These maps start to loose their charm once you search for a street that is not marked, once you are having trouble folding and unfolding that huge map, or when you really wish you knew where your stations and stops were or how to get to where you want to go.
If you’re like me, you probably thought of downloading and printing out public transportation maps from the net. That might be a good idea if you already bought your guides and maps. The tricky part comes when you’re on the spot, trying to find the map you need Just kidding… but if you don’t like a million papers, go for National Geographic Maps of cities. Except the city map, they include:
- points of interest
- airport diagram
- public transportation map
There are things you should find by yourself and mark them on your map such as stores, restaurants, bars, hotels, museums and sites you want to visit. And things that you should get marked like public transportation information, all sights, legend, time maps and useful phone numbers.
Stella – European Travelling Advisor