There are a couple of ways to consider activities you should do while planning your trip. There is the practical list of what you should do and when. But there is a prerequisite to my travel philosophy: I suggest you start with deciding what special or unique thing you want to experience in Europe and then build your itinerary around that.

Here’s some examples of what I mean:

—  Pick a special place to stay and look for an event that will make it even more special. Do you want to sleep at Mont St Michel? Then how about on a full moon? Check when the full moon is in the month you want to go then check on hotel availability for that night. Build the rest of your trip around that date.

—  Stay in a special castle hotel … You can coordinate with a play or concert offered on the castle grounds or a super fancy dinner.

—  Attend Wimbledon or see the Tour de France go by. Buy tickets ahead.

—  Attend a concert in Salzburg, Austria.

—  Combine your trip to Greece with a short cruise.

—  Take a Spanish class in Granada, Spain.  You can practice the rest of your trip!

Involve your family and get their ideas. You select 3-4 options and then let them decide.

  • Traveling can be exhausting.

    Mix your trip up with only a couple of destinations and once you select them, stay put and explore the local environs. Pick a city for an urban lesson in that country’s culture and history and then spend a week in the countryside going bike riding, exploring markets and villages. Keep things simple but with a couple of items that will give your trip that WOW! factor. Moving around is stressful and cumbersome and unduly consumes a lot of time and effort without adding a lot of value to your trip. Packing and unpacking isn’t fun. So stay put for several days to a week in each destination point and do day trips. Get over jet lag, nap and try not to do everything in one day. Herding your kids around when they are exhausted isn’t fun for anyone.

  • Go here to review Planning Calendar and print-to-go PDF!