experiences

Overplanning for a Day in Dublin

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Wound up being much harder than I thought and really exemplified how nerdy about travel I can get. Have you ever created a spreadsheet timeline to map out your day hour by hour? This wound up being a first for me.

When I first bought the ticket, I figured I’d see a few things, probably eat dinner at my hotel and just take it easy. But after seeing all the interesting suggestions people offered, I was more excited than I thought I’d be, and also a little overwhelmed.

My flight was arriving at 10AM instead of the usual 7AM European arrival which shortened the day. I was also going during the winter season when everything closed at 5. That meant, if I was lucky, I would have 7 hours to get from the airport to the downtown, check in to my hotel, and cram in as much as possible before things closed.

I also had a list of over 10 things I wanted to see and I’d be lucky to fit in more than half. AND I had really great restaurant recommendations that had me wanting to do nothing but eat all day.

Usually I just jot down rough times on a piece of paper to figure it. This time I wound up creating a spreadsheet with columns for worst case, likely case, and best case scenario to determine timing. I started with when I was likely to land, how long it would take me to get through immigration and to my hotel, how long it would take me to check in (if I even could), etc.

Then I looked into opening times. Fortunately the place that closed first –St. Michan’s Crypt — was the nearest to my hotel. With that as my starting point I worked out the best order to see everything, using Google Maps to piece together where everything was and what order made the most sense.

Dublin Walking Tour

Then I started assigning times. How long would I spend at each place and how long would it take me to walk to the next one. “If it takes me 15 minutes to walk from St. Michan’s to the Guinness Experience, and I spend an hour and a half there, then I *might* have time to see the Castle…”

spreadsheet timeline

I wound up with a spreadsheet that let me know what sites I would need to cut if I was running late and which ones I could add if I got ahead of schedule. And a map with step by step walking directions just in case I got turned around.

Whew. I finally stopped with a clear conscience, knowing I couldn’t possibly cram more into my schedule. I dislike traveling under pressure, but sometimes the stress is worth making sure you see everything. Trip reports coming shortly!

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Living for the little (and big things) that make life so fun, especially mistake deals and crazy last minute weekend mileage runs across the world. www.twitter.com/klatravel

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