Note: This post originally appeared at Travelocity.com.
My biggest annoyance when I’m traveling: crowds. If I fly halfway around the world to see an amazing site, I want to experience it with as few other people around as possible. This is especially true if I’m with my kids. Long lines and crowded attractions aren’t family-friendly.
Success has been mine, one UNESCO World Heritage Site at a time. Here are my secrets.
Wake up early! If you’re one of the first people at a site, then there’s no one in front of you. This makes it so much easier to have a real sense of place and to remember why you wanted to visit in the first place.
At the Taj Mahal, we arrived early and lined up before sunrise, but we also moved quickly as soon as the gates opened to get in front of everyone else. Once we took photos from the main vantage point we walked over to the Mosque well before anyone else arrived, save one caretaker. Beyond the people-free photos, it was special to have the site practically to ourselves as the sun came up.
Another place where it’s worth waking up early is Florence. While the city has a popular spot for photographing the sunset, Piazzale Michelangelo, there’s not an equivalent sunrise spot. As a result, and because of the late night culture, there’s virtually no one out when the sun comes up. I wander around the city at daybreak as often as I can. I’ve taken a few photos over the years, but I usually put the camera down and simply enjoy the Renaissance city – it’s much easier to appreciate the magnificence of the Duomo and the city’s squares without thousands of tourists around.
Click HERE to read the rest of this post at Travelocity.