When you’re planning a vacation, it can be hard to know what to invest your time and money in. On one hand, you don’t want to stick to gimmicky, boring places that everyone’s been to and seen before, but you also don’t want to miss those out. Tourist attractions can seem like a beautiful trap; usually cheaper, famous, and something that you know everyone will ask you about when you get back from your vacation. Throw a girlfriend into the mix, and you’re under pressure not to waste her time with anything less than awesome. So, how can you tell if a tourist attraction is worth it?
Take a Quick Look Online
Sure, the website is designed to make you want to go there and spend lots of cash, but check out their amenities section and see what’s nearby. There’s no point going to a tourist attraction that’s too commercial (if it’s not something originally designed to be commercial). If the ancient historical site you’re going to see, boasts of three coffee shops and a fast food restaurant, it’s pretty safe to say that it’s no longer authentic, and you should skip it. You can eat this overpriced fast food anywhere.
Be Honest With Yourself and Your Interests
Sure, this could be your only chance to see the world’s oldest working carousel, but that really doesn’t matter unless you like them. If your girlfriend doesn’t care about carved wooden horses, skip it; you wouldn’t appreciate it, so don’t waste your time.
Why is the Attraction Famous?
Basically, imagine that this event or item or location was not a tourist attraction. Would you still want to go? If the London Eye wasn’t famous, it would still be a great way to see London, look down from above, that kind of thing. It would be worth getting on even if it wasn’t famous.
Is It Close to Other Things You Want to Do?
Obviously, a tourist attraction is going to have to be a lot more awesome if you have to devote a whole day or a good portion of the day to it and nothing else. This is especially true if there’s a lot of travel time. You don’t want an awkward car ride in your vacation memories, so be sure it’s something you and your girlfriend both want before you set off to go see it.
At the same time, these are rather “classic” experiences. If you’re the type of person who enjoys having plans, packing a few tourist attractions into the slow spots between your more personally enjoyable trips is just the thing to pad out a vacation. So take all of this into consideration, consult your girlfriend or wife, and know that there’s actually no shame in spending an afternoon snapping photos with other tourists and buying a goofy “been there” hat.