I’ll be honest; even I’ve made these mistakes before… All in my first trip to Italy
These 3 mistakes are ones even tour professionals, like me, have made...
My very first trip to Italy, was to Rome… And I made EVERY mistake possible. However, 3 of them were critical and avoidable before we even left home, and probably would have been the difference between my husband catching pneumonia and staying healthy.
The 3 Common Mistakes Are:
So let’s break this down a bit…
Not planning can cause you to get lost, waste time and pull out your map! Pick(pocket) me! I'm a tourist!
1) Not Enough Planning In Advance
It’s easy to do. We have busy lives and even though we are very excited about this upcoming trip, we have so much other work to do, we push it off until it’s too late.
What’s wrong with not planning? I want to have the freedom to go with the flow!
Not planning can:
How to avoid this mistake is pretty easy. Have a plan before you go. Know which sites you want to see, what days they are closed, if they require advance booking and what area they are in (it might be right next to something else you want to see). Is there a good restaurant you heard was great? What’s the most efficient route to where you are going? One great way to make sure plan what you need in advance is to have a checklist of things to remember when planning. You can get our Ultimate Trip Planning Checklist here (it's free).
You might still be thinking… “But I want time to explore with out a plan, I want freedom.”
This brings us to the next common mistake…
Avoid waiting in lines by planning the right way!
2) Planning Too Much In A Day
This is the number 1 thing I tell people when they are planning their trip ANYWHERE. Don’t plan too much in a day. Leave time to explore and have freedom. (That’s what you want right?)
There are literally Thousands of things to do or see in Italy, and you CANNOT see it all in one trip (and besides, who really wants to see ALL of it).
Planning too much can:
The best way to avoid this mistake is to plan approximately half of your day for seeing major sights or attractions that you have a set time to see, leaving the other half for smaller sights or completely unscheduled and just see what happens.
Obviously if you only have one day this won’t work. If you have 3 – 7 days, I suggest you force yourself to try it, with maybe 1 full packed day. If you have more than 5-7 days, try to leave at least one day completely unplanned.
There’s a fine balance between not planning enough and planning too much. Figure this out and you are halfway there! (Again our trip planning checklist can help you avoid over-planning. Get it here.)
But wait… what’s the other half? It’s our last common mistake…
If you don't plan your time out strategically, you could find yourself on the bus... A LOT!
3) Not Planning Strategically
This mistake comes down to knowing what you want to see and where it is. If you have this information you can plan your days to be in specific areas, saving you even more time and money.
Not planning strategically can:
Avoiding this mistake can change your whole trip. I suggest setting up your days to see specific areas of the city, this way you make sure you get the most out of every minute. You can even get ideas on where to eat or even make a reservation for a place that is sure to be packed with locals in that area. You can spend the day relaxed seeing what’s around until you are ready to head back to your hotel.
That’s it! Those are the 3 most common mistakes. I know it seems like they would be easy to avoid, but almost everyone I talk to has made at least 1 if not all 3 at some point or even repeatedly.
You probably noticed some common theme between them too. These mistakes can easily cost you precious time and money as well as raise your stress level. Typical vacation time for Americans is already too short, so avoid these mistakes get the most out of your trip to Italy.
(NOTE: Want Our Trip Planning Checklist? Make sure you don't these 3 common mistakes (or any others) when putting together your dream trip to Italy... You'll be sure to save time and money...... and reduce stress. Get it here.)