But I Want To Do It ALL!!

I’ve returned safe, sound…and perpetually on island time after my trip to the Dominican Republic. One reason I love the beach is because it forces me to slowwww downnnnn. I did my best to pack that languid feeling up in my suitcase because we sure do need it here in the U.S., don’t we? We tend to think of Europe as a place for hustle and bustle, but the truth is that Europeans are masters of taking it easy. It was, after all, the Italians that came up with la dolce vita —the good life!

I visited with one of my blog readers the other day who said, “Look, I know your theory on going slow, but I want to do it alllllll!” I get it. I really do. The truth is, I struggle in my own travel to Europe because I want to pack too much in. We’re human, y’all, and we crave value. So, while I firmly contend that you get the most value when you slow down enough to be there, I have mastered a few helpful tips for those times that you want to pack in as much action as possible.

Don’t wing it.

Running a tight schedule means making a strategic plan that is mindful of availability, local events and festivals, crowds, open/close times, etc. If you want to visit St. Mark’s Basilica, you simply can’t do that on Sunday morning. Are you are all about museums and want to visit as many as you can in two days in Paris? Better make sure those two days fall later in the week when some museums stay open late (as opposed to Monday and Tuesday when many are closed and the others are crowded). You can only do it all if you stay in the loop.



Book in advance.

Broken record alert!!! Please, please, please recognize that you can’t go fast if you are standing in the queue for three hours! Many famous (and not-so-famous) sights offer advance ticket purchase, line passes, and reservation systems. Take advantage of them—even for an additional cost or give up your dream of doing it all. {end rant}

Choose the right transportation.

Americans are mesmerized by the idea of traveling by train in Europe. It has its benefits, that’s for sure. But this simply doesn’t mean it is always the smartest choice. You can take a high-speed TGV from Paris to many destinations, including Barcelona, Spain. But high-speed doesn’t mean “fastest available option.” That is a six hour ride compared to a flight that takes less than 2 hours on a regional airline. The flight costs (at the time I’m writing this) $80 LESS per person. So, be fascinated with trains all you want…but if you’re trying to maximize your sightseeing time instead of taking it slow, be willing to consider other forms of transport.

Deal wisely with jetlag.

I am adamant: the best experiences in life come at the small cost of jet lag. {Hello~I literally named my business after the concept!}

Jet lag is real, y’all, and if you have an aggressive sightseeing schedule in place, it will be the first thing to slow you down. The good news is, you can conquer jet lag with some proactive steps!


I hope that you know that my #1 goal is always for you to have an amazing vacation. I genuinely want you to make memories, take pictures, laugh until you cry, get inspired, engage with another culture, and enjoy the sensation of being transported to another time and place. I happen to believe that this is best done by taking a slower pace and spending more time digging deep in one location. However, I plan vacations to Europe all day everyday, so I realize this just isn’t always possible. These tips are a starting point to maximizing your time and I hope you’ve found them helpful!

Ciao Chow,