If you have stayed uptodate with out Twitter and Instagram, you might already know that Alli, Lili and myself have been to Berlin over the weekend. The prior reason was obviously that we visited a 5 Seconds of Summer concert but that’ not what I want to write about (but if you want to know more about our preparation before a concert stay tuned ;)). Today’s blog post is going to be about our trip to Berlin and how we made sure we have the best time.
Planning your trip: Here are 3 steps I always do when I plan a trip:
1. Set a date and where to stay
That might be something obvious but I always find this one the hardest part. As I’m a person who loves planing my calendar is pretty full and combining my calendar with 2 (in our case even 3, but you will find out why 3 very shortly) other ones is quite a hard task to do. When do all of you have time, for how long, does it clash with any important Uni dates, and many more points you need to think of. I can tell you this take a lot of discussion and back and forth between all of you but you’ll manage to find a date eventually. Once your date is set, you have to find a place where you can sleep. As all of us are students we don’t have much money to spent on luxurious hotels, so we needed to find something which is in our budget, but also not totally outside of Berlin and still is not the worst hotel/hostel. Luckily Alli and Lili both got a friend/family in Berlin so we asked Alli’s best friend if we could maybe stay at hers. Luckily she said yes and also had time at the dates where we planned on going to Berlin.
I always would advise you to try and ask people you or your friends know because this way it’s cheaper (and you always can spent the spare money somewhere else right? I heart Berlin is great for shopping ;P) and I think it’s more fun as well.
But if you don’t know anybody in the city, don’t worry. Try and find various hostels/hotels you can have a look at online and see if you can find something that isn’t too expensive and also seems to float your boat. A tip from my road-trip around the Republic of Ireland is that I also can advise you Airbnb. I had great experience with it and I know quite a few friends who did the same (on this note, always check the comments and reviews though! Better be safe then sorry!)
2. Be excited and make plans
Most of the time when I decided to go somewhere I always booked everything in advance (hence me planing always in advance because it’s easier schedule wise, getting an accommodation, cheaper deals and in general me being an organization nerd). Although it also has something good if you plan in advance: you can really plan your trip, read guides and facts about the city, find places you really need to see and also the hidden treasures of the city that usual tourists aren’t getting to see. I don’t know about you but when I go to a city, I of course want to see all the touristy things but also the little things that are normal tourist wouldn’t see. And you only can find this places, either by accident or when you really inform yourself about the city and search on the internet about these things. Usually these places are my favourite places of the city because these are not as crowded as the other places and also because you really can see and feel the spirit of the city.
Beside of the sightseeing spots you also can find out where’s the best restaurant to go to are, the best pub or the best club to have a night out. When I was in Ireland I also had very nice hosts who also gave me tips where I could or should go to. This way I could really explore the cities and enjoy the city as a person normal resident.
But most importantly whilst planing this trip don’t forget the fun you have with your friends whilst planing it and how excited you are and you can always annoy your friends with writing about it how exciting you are. Also don’t plan every second you will be there because you also need fun times to just go shopping, spontaneously do something or just lay around.
3. Book you travel to get there
Most of the time, if I’m not flying somewhere, I book my travel very short notice in comparison how long I’m actually planing my trip. When I’m travelling around Germany I’ve got quite a few options with which I can travel. Firstly of course by train, I guess that’s the most common one. But from my experience in Germany and the UK also the most expensive one. I also always have a look at the Buses, if I can find a Bus to the city from my local town. Sometimes this isn’t working but still a cheaper version that trains. In Germany and I think also in the UK there is a car sharing service which is called ‘Blablacar’. Usually when I drive home I always use that. If you’re not familiar, it’s a website where you can book a car journey with someone who would drive to the same town or same direction anyways. Most of my fellow students use this as well, either as a driver or a passenger. I’ve used it quite a few times as well and it’s a great service because it’s faster then bus or train and also super cheap. But once again definitely check the comments on the drivers and also always write down the number plate before you start your drive and sent it to your mum or a friend. Safety goes always first, because at the end of the day you don’t know the person you’re drive with. The only bad thing is that you can only book it like around 5-3 days before hand because the drivers usually aren’t inserting a journey before that.
These are steps you need to do before you go somewhere, but what about when you’re finally at the city?
I think it’s always important to have plans, but to be honest everything comes differently then you planned. Like for example we planned so many things where we could go or where we should eat and at the end we did something completely different. But that’s not bad because we changed our plans because we wanted to spent more time getting in the spirit of the concert and fangirl about the fact that we’re together and we’re seeing our favourite band.
Like for example we planned on going to the east side gallery in Berlin because Alina has never been there. At the end we just walk past it whilst going to the arena, but that’s fine because it was fine by Alina. Also we planned on going out on Saturday evening seeing how the Berlin night life is like. We did go out, but to a completely different club that we intended to go to and instead of going home at a reasonable time as normal people would do, we drove to the Brandenburger Tor and looked at it at night and had a walk around the city centre.
What I wanted to make clear with this blog post is that planing your trip and thinking about it is important but also time for spontaneous things and changing plans. I guess that’s always hard because you pictured it how your trip could or should look like. But when you’re open for different ideas and plans you will see that it will most definitely change to the better. Like I never would have thought that going to the Brandenburger Tor at 4am could be quite fun or meeting other fans in front of a hotel we thought 5SOS could stay in and we wanted to have just a quick look could be cool and you could even really like these people.
When planning a trip always stay open for everything and even when you’re at the city don’t be afraid to change your plans, you’ll see it’s fun!
Lots of love,