I’ve traveled a lot in my career and most of my travels have been for some purpose other than leisure. There are lots of tips I can give for making travel easier because I’ve learned the hard way but the number one piece of advice I always recommend is to never keep an itinerary.
It’s true that being organized makes life easier and more efficient but watching the clock causes lots of unnecessary stress. Obviously there are exceptions like check-in and check-out times, departures and appointments which are unavoidable. The itinerary that I recommend avoiding is the sight seeing list that ends up being a to-do list which misses the point of being in the new place that you’re visiting. Anyone can see the Eiffel tower on the internet but being there means that you can experience Paris like a local if you wish.
Similarly I never understood why anyone would want to do those “10 countries in 3 weeks” trips. You just pass through and basically turn into an expert in airports and train stations. I thoroughly enjoy my visits, even brief ones, by practicing the local language, learning from people who live there and exploring with an open mind and no plans.
Everyone is different and to each their own. If you’re anything like me, perhaps this advice is helpful. If not then I’d love to read how others enjoy their trips. Happy trails!