Travel Advice: Book ahead for the best holiday activities
Gallery and museum visits are bookable online, and if you want a papal audience...
It’s well worth booking ahead online to make sure you see some of Florence’s most popular artistic treasures.
Admiring Sandro Botticelli’s Madonna with Child after its restoration, at the Stibbert Museum in Florence. Photograph: EPA/Maurizio Degl’Innocenti
For years we would head off on holidays with a guidebook and the hope that we would find and see the significant sights of our destination. It was a bit hit and miss but not now.
The internet has been a revolution for tourists. Not only can you book your flights and accommodation online, you can now plan every hour of your time usefully. Instead of queuing in the heat in Florence to see the Uffizi you can book your visit on Uffizi.org/en or see the Pope in Rome, check out papalaudience.org. Other Italian tour companies are florencetown.com and darkrome.com
Finding your way around cities, where would we be without tour buses which are the ideal way to get oriented? For special tours and activities there are the ubiquitous Viator. com, Gray Line and red CitySightseeing buses. Search your destination for tour companies and read reviews before booking.
Every city has an extensive range of tours, such as cooking, cycling, food markets, history, pub crawls, wine-tasting, nightlife and theatre. There are also tours to places of interest nearby. Eighteen cities in Europe have free walking tours with neweuropetours.eu, just tip the guide.
The amount of people who travel for concerts, gigs, festivals, exhibitions, and events is huge. Many people now follow their favourite artiste or sports teams. Getting tickets is easy with companies like ticketmaster.com, stubhub.com or if you like classical music the website classictic.com is great for Europe, Australia and some US cities. Only buy from reputable websites.
In popular cities it is always useful to book the most sought-after attractions in advance. In Barcelona if you want to explore the Gaudi works book in advance, or a papal audience in Rome, check how to on papalaudience.org. In New York most visited sites are still the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building.