I don’t care how early your flight gets in, or how close your destination is to the airport, or how short your trip is and how important it is to cram in every last experience you can. Just accept it right now—your first day is a loss. If you plan on doing nothing but arriving successfully at your hotel and seeing nothing but the inside of a nearby restaurant, your trip is going to go much better. Because trust me, something will go wrong.
Whether it’s a delayed flight or a missed train or you end up sitting on a pile of luggage with a cranky baby for 3 hours in the airport waiting in the line to get your rental car while your husband accidentally gets trapped on the other side of the security screen (don’t ask), there will always be a delay. And if that delay is going to cost you your chance to see the Mona Lisa or make you miss your boat ride down the Yangtze river or knock the trip to Machu Picchu all out of whack, you are going to be one ticked-off traveler.
So please, trust me, plan absolutely nothing for your first day. That way when you eventually find your husband and get your car and discover that you do still remember how to drive a stick (kind of) you can feel grateful for the 2 hours you get to spend exploring that funky little Cathedral in Ronda. Instead of wanting to burst into tears or rip your library guidebook in half.