Posts Tagged ‘MET’

Planning Ahead

Monday, February 24th, 2014

The most important thing a traveler can do before a trip is to plan.  Planning beforehand allows for the optimization of options and efficient use of time.  Taking out two minutes of the present can save hours of hardship and disappointment in the future.  Two essential steps of planning are having goals and being able to properly prepare.

Goals

Although sometimes it is fun to mindlessly wander around a new and foreign area, I found that the most rewarding feeling came from checking off something from my to do list.  Having an idea of what to accomplish during a trip creates the sense of fulfillment and duty.  Simple things like taking a picture with the Hachiko statue in Tokyo, spinning the big Cube in Astor place or taking a stroll in the botanical gardens in Singapore can make for a great story down the road!  Even simple things such as using up a coupon booklet can be something to work with.  Unlike those dreaded bus tours, creating a personal itinerary won’t have people staring into the air for hours.

When writing goals, two big questions should which should be asked are what do I like and what interests do I have? 

Preparation

I cannot begin to convey the many hours I have wasted because I made the mistake of traveling without being properly prepared.  When I travelled to Japan, I made many small mistakes which could have been avoided had I properly prepared for the trip.  In fact, I had to walk aimlessly in the humid town of Chiba for three hours because I forgot to print out the address of my hotel.  Had I took ten minutes out of my life to print out a piece of paper before I journeyed to Japan, I would have not only saved three hours of my life but also avoided the blazing heat of the sun.

 

     With proper preparation and research, savings can be had on many expensive things such as Broadway shows!  Did you know that certain Broadway shows hold lotteries and have discounts on certain days and times?  Another example of how research can help increasing savings while traveling can be seen through the admission fees of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.  Upon entering the museum, many people examine the admission fee and pay $25.  However, did you know that the admission fee is actually a suggested donation?  Small little tidbits of preparation and research can open up amazing new routes and doors for the voyage ahead.

 

Of course, knowing where to look for information is a very vital part of the planning process.  Although a Google search can provide many possible locations to visit, having a second point of view on an area provides a lot of valuable insight for planning.  Always cross reference and visit more than one page about a certain location in order to get all the details.  Sites such as Yahoo Travel, Yelp, Trip Advisor), or even one of these travel blogs can help you find out if a place is the perfect fit.  By doing this, more developed opinions can be made by using past experiences of other people.

 

Gary Chen Stony Brook University

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