It can be hard to know where to start when it comes to how best to make the most of your time in a new city or country. However, the saying ‘the early bird gets the worm’ has rarely been more accurate.
While there are undoubtedly two types of people in this world – those who thrive in the morning and those who barely survive when prised from the comforts of their beds – there is only one good way to start your day when you’re away.
Sure, it may be tempting to stay between the sheets catching up on some much needed sleep, but here’s what you’ll gain from getting up early.
1. Live like a local
Jumping out of bed earlier than you would like to means that you’ll get to see the real way a city wakes up. Set your alarm that bit earlier and throw on your runners before setting out for a long walk. Watch as the locals start their day, setting up shop, enjoying their coffee, exercising or making their commutes to work. After 10am you won’t witness this level of insight when it comes to capturing the true character of a place.
2. Unobstructed photograph opportunities
Not only is the light much better in the early morning and twilight, but you’ll have free rein at all those tourist traps when it comes to getting a great photo shot. You won’t have the unwanted addition of the back of someone’s head!
3. Better breakfast
Not only will you have worked up an appetite from your early morning exercise, but by waking up that bit earlier you won’t have to elbow people out the way or fight over that last lonely croissant at the breakfast buffet. Likewise, if you’re out and about, you won’t have to line up for a table.
4. Seize the day
By the time you’ve had your early morning exercise, eaten and showered, it’s still likely to be relatively early in comparison to if you’d opted for a sleep-in. This stands you in good stead to make the most of your day ahead. Work out a plan and you’ll minimise what you miss out on seeing and doing.
Still worried about those lost hours of sleep? Never fear – that’s what afternoon naps are for. By hitting the ground running earlier, you’ll no doubt be worn out earlier, at which point you should definitely retire to your bed for an afternoon siesta before waking up and making the most of the evening ahead.
Having tried to approach at least a few days on most of my trips in this way, I can guarantee you’ll leave feeling like you’ve made the most of your time away and with a better concept of the culture and how the locals really live. Not to mention better photos!
What’s your favourite way to start the day when you’re travelling? Share it with us in the comments below.