By Hugo Baas - 8 February 2023
Every year, Intermate organizes some trips through Europe, this is done by the SExCie and the AFExCie. During these trips, we visit companies that are interesting for PT and SI students. Fun activities and city tours are also organized alongside company visits. As part of the SExCie, I help organize day and weekend excursions. The weekend excursion will take place quite soon, with a nice (still secret) location in one of our neighboring countries. Choosing the location and organizing the whole trip takes quite some effort, but how do you plan such a trip? I will provide some useful tips on how to plan the best weekend trip to a city for you and your friends.
First, when planning your weekend trip, it would be nice to make an approximation of how long you want to travel for, and which travel type you want to use. Traveling two times 10 hours for just one weekend is quite a lot of traveling. So, a weekend to Italy by car or train is quite often out of reach. For us, the rule of thumb is that we shouldn’t travel further than 3 hours one way. For regular vacations, flying by plane is quite efficient, but quite polluting as well. Thus, our choice as SExCie is to not fly by plane, limiting our options to our neighboring countries.
Since we limit our travel time and transportation options, we limit our choices to Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, and Northern France. For the weekend excursion, the Netherlands is excluded, since we also have a day excursion to a city within the Netherlands. Out of the countries left, you can see whether there are countries you would like to travel to or dislike. For example, you can choose to exclude Germany from your options when you have already been there quite often. Then you can start the fun part of choosing the cities, and creating a list of cities you would want to visit that are easy to travel to. You can choose cities to visit based on pictures, stories from others, desired landmarks, or vibrant nightlife.
It is smart to look up some places you would like to visit in some of the cities. It could be a chocolate museum or a world-famous craft beer you’ve been longing to try. An old cathedral, beautiful parks, squares, and other photo spots are also cool things to look for if that’s more of your cup of tea.
Once you have looked into all these options, there might be the possibility that you begin to levitate toward one choice more than another. It is simply just time to decide on a city. You can choose this alone, or together with your friend group. The choice can be based on the sights of the city and if you really can’t decide at this point, the costs associated with each location can be the deciding factor.
When you have chosen your city and method of transportation. It is time to look into the activities! You can try to book or plan them in advance, but you can also simply go with the flow when on vacation and decide then what you want to do. Either way, it is nice to know what the possible options are. A quick google search: ‘what to do in ….’ could even do the trick. You can choose to visit basic touristic activities, such as museums, cathedrals, or other cool photogenic spots. Another option would be immersing yourself in the cuisine of the city you’re visiting, by trying local food and drinks. You can even take this a bit further and get really drunk while experiencing the local nightlife. During your weekend trip, you also need to have some free time to explore the city. Touring it using electric scooters could be a great option to consider.
During our upcoming weekend excursion, we have also tried to use these methods to come up with a location and to plan the activities. We hope some of these tips are useful when planning your next city trip. We also hope you can join us on the 10th and 11th of March at an awesome European location. Please enjoy your next city trip!
Intermate is the study association of the bachelor Technical Innovation Sciences, the majors Sustainable Innovation and Psychology & Technology and the masters Human Technology Interaction and Innovation Sciences.