When exploring somewhere new, it can be overwhelming to think of all the different things to see and do while there. Regardless of how much planning and mapping you do ahead of time, there are usually countless things you wish you’d had more time for or factored in had you known about them earlier. Popular vacation and tourist destinations are often known for specific landmarks, food restaurants, works of art, festivals, or cultural vibes. So how exactly does one “see it all?”
Picking up city guides at the local visitors center can give you the chance to pick up a map that will save time en route, and help you make the most of the areas you cover. Walking into local shops and asking the employees working there for suggestions on what to see and do usually yields positive results from those who work in the area day in and day out. Getting a City Pass that can be used at several popular attractions, like those offered in New York, Toronto, Chicago and other cities, are often cheaper than paying the regular ticket price to see them independently, which can save you a significant amount of money in the long run.
If you’re into the arts, stopping by a local coffee shop to scour the local publications or newspaper for upcoming events will be well worth the time. Going on architectural tours, boat tours, and walking tours are also a good way to get an overview of the top sites and history of a particular location. Family Duck Tours and other silly spin-offs have invaded many cities like Philadelphia and Seattle, offering tourists a chance to see city skylines by water and by land.
Perhaps the best way to make the most of your travels is simply by finding tour apps that are specific to the place you’re visiting. Tour apps often allow you the flexibility to see and learn what you want to without being on a time crunch to make a specific tour time at a defined location. These self-guided tour apps highlight everything from noteworthy parks, historic B&Bs, beloved shops, local fun facts, past residences of influential people, and more.
For example, Savannah has an interactive app called Historic Savannah that provides anyone with a smartphone the opportunity to take a self guided tour through the rich history of downtown. The Historic Savannah app is incredibly informative, entertaining, and easy to use, with suggested routes that allow you to begin the “tour” whenever, wherever. The app even features a pop-up virtual tour guide with site-specific information based on your current GPS location.
Regardless of where you end up or how long you stay, apps like this give you the freedom to tailor your travels to your wants and needs. While some of these travel apps cost money, most are no more than $10, and they’re considerably cheaper than taking an actual tour. No need to wait in line for tickets, make advanced reservations, or fight to the front of the group to hear the tour guide speak. Additionally, when you go home, you can enjoy having a memento on your phone with pictures and relevant information to share your experience with family and friends.