Despite travel almost coming to a complete halt in early 2020, there has still been some activity in that area. Like usual when traveling, there are always so many possibilities of spending time in a foreign country, but for some reason you may not end up doing those activities. When traveling, it is always good practice to do some light research on where you are going and pin-point what attractions are tourist traps, and which ones are actually worthwhile to go to (hint some can be both).
When I went to the UK about five or six years ago now, I went with my parents to see some of my extended family, but we still made it a goal for ourselves to see some of the most popular sights. One in particular was Abbey Road studios — we really wanted to get that historic picture made famous by the Beatles’ album under the same name. This activity was rather cost friendly, as we were only outside the studio, and certainly made the trip more enjoyable and memorable. This is a key example of a worthwhile sight to see as it was inexpensive and was thoroughly enjoyed by everyone in my family. This is purely one anecdotal experience of mine, but I believe it accurately illustrates that if you’re worried about spending money to see an attraction, find the ones where you don’t.
In the same vein of travelling to the UK, seeing and riding on the London Eye is another sought after tourist experience which many flock to year after year. The difference here is that the prices to ride are substantially higher than any other average ‘ferris wheel’, as the owners and operators know that people will ride it no matter what, thus making it a tourist trap. If you are willing to shell out the money, then by all means go for it! But if you’re strapped for cash, or aren’t willing to wait in line, make it something to see instead of experience. You’ll still be able to say you saw it, and maybe if you visit another time, you can ride on it. These types of tourist traps are actually quite common. In fact, in my hometown of Toronto, Canada, we have the CN Tower, which pre-COVID-19, was almost always the first sight that travellers would want to see. The Tower, too, is rather expensive to visit, as just like the London Eye, the operators know its worth to visitors.
If you’re trying to determine which sights to see and which ones to experience, I suggest you speak with whomever you’re travelling with and see what their thoughts are on the matter. If it is just one of your members wanting to go, a visit may be more appropriate, but if all of you want to experience it, then I say go for it! If you are however strapped for cash, I also would recommend writing a list of all the places you want to visit in the place you are travelling to, and score them with how much you want to go. This way if you don’t make it to every place, you ended up at the places you wanted to go the most.
If you are unable to visit any sights because of timing, restrictions, or money, I wouldn’t worry too much either. If you’re really feeling like you missed out, I can guarantee you there are videos online (I know not the same but still close enough), and you can hopefully save up for next time. If you have any suggestions about what to do when visiting a new place or any sites to see, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for any insights when travelling.