Whenever I travel I have a basic idea of what I’d like to accomplish while in that city. I have a list of attractions and then prioritize those attractions so that I can spend the greatest amount of time at the sites I’m most excited about. Researching when sites open and close is important because we often forget that just because we’re on vacation, others aren’t. I’ve seen tourists get upset that a site isn’t open when they get there even though there is still plenty of daylight left. Just remember ticket takers are there to do a job while we’re there to be tourists.
Breakfast is when I try to plan my day. It gives me a quiet time to sit and look at a map and see how I can maximize my day. It isn’t unusual for me to sit there for a good hour or so just to make sure I have a plan and some wish list items if I’m planning to be in the vicinity and have time to see. Also, there’s a good chance this is my one meal of the day where I’ll be able to fully relax.
Typically, by the second or third day, I’ve pretty much finished with my wish list and can venture out to further sites that I didn’t think I’d have time for or will plan on the fly. Europe is fantastic at allowing travellers to do this because of the extensive rail system and the ease of just hopping on a train. About two hours in any direction could easily put you in another country. A great example is Vienna and how you could be in Bratislava, Brno, or Budapest in about two hours or so. Breakfast is when I figure out the train time and maybe find a couple of quick interesting sites to see in that city. Then I just find the appropriate train, hop on, and then walk around for a few hours.
Also, don’t be afraid to use an app like Hopper to see if there are any flight deals leaving from your location that day. If you’re only going to be gone for the day or so, hopping on a plane for a couple hours can fully expand the destinations you can visit easily.