Feature Travel Tips

Don’t Plan An Early Start Without A Plan

Early Morning Sunrise

Over the past few months, I have been revisiting many of my early posts from this blog. There seems to be something of a recurring theme that I have noticed in many of the posts. At the time of writing, I often would open with a line about not getting an early start.

I Love Early Starts

Early start for a morning sunrise

If there is one aspect of travel that I love it is getting up and about early. Every city just can seem a little bit different in the early morning before the crowds build up. You can see different things that you often miss when they are blocked by people.

Depending on the city and the day it can also be a very good time to catch the sunrise. To see the city wake up, as the shadows of the night once again are exposed by the sun’s light.

Not to mention the benefits of arriving at some attractions when the open. Something I managed to do when I visited Stonehenge in England. I stayed in a hotel nearby and arrived at the exact opening time. By the time I had finished looking around and was leaving, the tour buses had started to arrived loaded with people. Whereas I would estimate no more than 20 people were there in the hour, I was there.

What Is An Early Start

To me, an early start is not about what time you get out of bed. I am up and awake many days at 6 or 7 am. To me, an early start is the time you are ready and leaving the hotel.

I can be awake at 6 am, but it might not be until 9 or 10 am that I will be ready to walk out of the hotel. But I can also wake up at 8 am and be on the move by 8.30am. I have found it comes down to two things, discipline and planning.

Early Starts Need Planning

I have had much better results in working with an early start when I have planned what I am going to do. Often when I have planned what it is, I am going to do the results are very positive.

When I plan either my morning or my day I find that almost every time I will get going earlier. When I wake up and have to think about what I am going to do for the day, I am not motivated to go.

Although when I think about this, it is not about being motivated to go. It is more about having to think about what to do. Taking the time to research the options available. Looking up routes or schedules for how to get where I might think to go. All of this takes time and when no stand out options appear you need to dig deeper to find something.

Booking An Early Start

Early start for first port of call on Panama Canal Cruise

A great way to help ensure you get an early start is to book it in. I mean find a tour and get it booked in so that you have a fixed time that you have to get going by. That is exactly why I was awake to capture the image above. The cruise ship arrived in port early and I had a tour booked that left not long after we arrived.

Of course, this only works if you want to get an early start. Tours run on a schedule, and if you are not ready, you miss the bus, quite literally. There have been some tours that I have taken when travelling where I have had to be up between 5, and 6 am to be ready for a 7 am pickup.

Starting Early, Starts The Night Before

I have found the best way to ensure that you can get away early in the morning comes down to the evening before. Give yourself the time to research or plan the following day, or at least what you will do in the morning. Doing so will give you a reason to get up, get ready and get moving in the morning.

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