I wrote here about the things I had planned to do while being on holiday in November 2016. => How to get as much information as possible before travelling to countries you have never been to?
I was planning it for 2 months, completed it in 1 month. I like to plan in advance what I would like to see, because the more information I gather, the more detailed the plan is, the more likely I don’t miss a famous/delicious/amazing/exciting sight/food/activity.
What I planned / What I did:
New York City, USA
- Cruise along Lady Liberty: YES, i did it, I bought a hop-on hop-off bus ticket for 3 days and a cruise trip was included. From the Pier near Times Square cruising under the Brooklyn Bridge, then turning back going towards the Statue of Liberty and returning to the Pier.
- Do an early morning jogging in the Central Park: YES, my @ss was frozen to run there in November in just a hoodie. Don’t trust the sun shining through your room window, in winter…
- Visit the Top of the Rock and see from above the Empire State Building: YES, I was standing in line to buy a ticket when a woman came to me and said she had had 4 tickets but it was for 2 hours later and they couldn’t go. ‘Would I want the tickets???’ It was worth about 130$, I thought she was joking. I said yes, so I went for free to the Top of the Rock, I just had to wait 2 more hours for it 🙂 Only in America….;)
- Watch the lights at the Times Square in the evening: YES, i was living near the Times Square, 15 minutes walk, so almost every night I arrived there. The US Elections I could experience there too. (Sad experience…)
- Eat pizza in Little Italy: NO, I couldn’t, I saw Little Italy but I ate before that in Chinatown.
- Visit the 9/11 Memorial: YES, it is very impressive
- Go to a Broadway show (this not possibly happens but let’s put it onto the list): NO, of course it didn’t happen, I wasn’t in the mood standing in line in the rain For a ticket.
- Cross the Brooklyn Bridge and watch the sunset from there: NO, but I cruised under the bridge but didn’t walk on it.
- Check Tiffany’s windows like Holly (Breakfast at Tiffany’s) on the 5th Avenue: YES, I have found it. No picture tho.
- See the dinos in the American Museum of Natural History: YES, amazing museum just 10 minutes by subway from my hotel. It was worth the visit.
- Eat a street hot dog: YES, yuck I did it, I wish I hadn’t done, the one I ate was awful.
- Check Friend’s House in Greenwich Village: YES, it took a long time to find it in the small streets. Good I had a map on my phone, technology is amazing (I started using these modern smartphones only now).
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
- Sunbathe on one of the beaches in Florida, for example on the South Miami Beach: YES, we went to the beach. Fort-Lauderdale -by-the-Sea, Miami Beach, Pompano Beach
- Do an Airboat Tour in the Everglades Natural Park, in the swamp and hug an alligator at the alligator show: NO, i didn’t, my friend convinced me it wouldn’t be so exciting
- See the Southernmost Point of the USA in Key West: Yes I went on an excursion, I wrote earlier about my trip there. =>Key West just for a Day
- Visit Hemingway’s House in Key West: YES, it was really nice, free guided tour included. I wrote about it here. Key West just for a Day
- See the canals, Fort Lauderdale is famous for, by boat (it is called the Venice of America): YES, I did the tour, lots of houses of the riches
Playa del Carmen, Mexico
- Chichen Itza an absolute must, the most famous Mayan Ruin: YES, absolutely, a tour I did to Chichen Itza & Ik Il Cenote
- Eat as much Mexican food as possible :): YES, every day while in Mexico
- Jump in a Cenote (underwater cave) and swim/snorkel there: YES, I did, Ik Il. I jumped from about 5 meteres into the water.
- Climb up to the Pyramid of Coba: YES, I did it, it is not so difficult. But take plenty of water with you. Climbing down can be done slowly.
- Ride in a collectivo (group taxi) with locals: YES, to Tulum and Cancun, easy to find the station, it is cheap and clean. I wrote about Playa Paraiso where I went here => The Playa Paraiso (Paradise Beach) and Tulum Beach in Mexico
- Rent a scooter and discover Isla Cozumel or Isla Mujeres: YES, partly, it was at the end a car. I think the shittest car on Cozumel.
- Walk the 5th Avenue in Playa del Carmen – tons of restaurants & shops: YES, amazing place, good restaurants and souvenir shops, i Loved it!
- Visit the Tulum Ruins that stands on the Riviera Maya shore: YES, I did an excursion together with Coba, amazing.
- Taste some tequila and see how it is made in a Tequila Store: NO, I forgot it, but I saw tequila shops from outside on the 5a Avenida.
- Watch the sunrise on the Playa del Carmen beach: YES, once I caught it.
- Eat fresh fish on the beach: YES 🙂
- Swim and see the stalactites at the Rio Secreto: NO, I didn’t. I visited the Xplor Park, there I could see similar stalactites.
- Go to the Xplor Theme Park and experience the full adventure, zip lines, cave swimming etc: YES, I did it. The time is really limited there especially if you have to stand in line for 1 hour to go to the zip line . Then 1 hour ride (honestly I was a bit bored after the 3rd line but there were 7), the weather was also rainy too. I did the canoe and the swimming in the cave.
- Walk along El Malecon at sunset: YES, I did that, it was 10 minutes walk from my hotel otherwise in the evening I wouldn’t have walked alone especially in Central Havana. You can imagine why, not because I was afraid, but it is better to be cautious if a woman travels alone.
- Visit the Museo Hemingway in San Francisco de Paula: NO, i didn’t go, instead I went to the beach 🙂
- Go around Old Havana (La Habana Vieja) in an Old Car: YES, I did, here you can find my travelogue about it. => Driving around Havana in a Classic Car
- Visit a Cigar Factory and smoke a cigar: YES, partly I did, I didn’t try a cigar but I visited one. The cheapest Havana Cigar is about 20$, expensive habit.
- Drink a mojito in Hemingway’s Bar, La Bodeguita del Medio: YES, I did that. It was classic, everyone was taking pictures and ordering Mojito, me too. It was the WORST MOJITO I drank in Cuba. Hemingway was a big fun of drinking so to say, he said “My tequila in La Bodeguita, My Daiquiri in El Floridita”. Maybe back then the barmen were better at their job…
- Go to Trinidad by bus and see the colourful houses there: NO, i didn’t, when I was planning the trip I didn’t count with that that the distance of Havana and Trinidad is about 300km, 4 hours only one way. Huhhh
- See the Museo de la Revolucion and get to know a bit the life story of Che Guevara: YES, it was really nice it was before the death of Fidel Castro, I even saw a decoration ceremony of old veterans.
- Buy a T-shirt with Che on it: NO, but a Cuban one with dancing musical instruments I bought.
- Eat at a street vendor truck (yuck, i don’t know if I will dare to…): YES, I was so hungry on my arrival day that I tried one. I was very lucky I didn’t get sick, it cost maybe 30¢, but I didn’t eat it, the meat wasn’t cooked enough. There weren’t good restaurants in Havana. The food had no taste, bad quality, but everywhere.
- Go to the Playa del Este, to the beach where the locals go: YES, I went to the beach but the Playa del Este was too far, I went to the nearest one, there were also mostly locals.
So this is what I planned and what I did…. Maybe you can use my list to plan your next holiday in that area 🙂
Note: all pictures are mine 🙂