Finding time to get away from the daily routine is important for our mental and physical well-being. A vacation is one of the best ways to accomplish this. As a frequent traveler, I would like to share my top tips for planning a trip and having a great time once you get to your destination.
Go Where You Want to Go
This one seems kind of obvious, but often times, we may pick destinations simply because they are popular. Other places may seem less worthy of our time, even if we are more drawn towards them. Do not worry about following the crowd—do what you want to do.
Do Not Go Too Budget
While you may need to cut some corners to afford your desired destinations, be realistic in your preferences and what you can and cannot do without. Your dream trip can become a nightmare fast if you are too restricted in your money matters. A cheaper second or third choice where your money will go farther will probably be much more enjoyable.
To get the most of out of your trip and your budget, be flexible with travel dates and locations. You may love the idea of skiing at Christmas, but if hitting the slopes one month later means big-time savings and a more luxurious experience, hold off. If Vegas is offering some great fight and hotel deals, consider there instead of somewhere that you really cannot afford as much. No matter where you go, you will have a good time if you decide to.
Only Do the Stuff You Want to Do
When we are on vacation, we can often feel pressure to engage in all the signature activities and see all the recommended sites; while you do not just want to sit in your hotel room the whole time, resist the urge to pack your day with loads of activities you may not even want to do. Do not take the three hour bus ride to the cave if you hate caves.
Allow Some Do-Nothing Time
Somewhat related to the previous tip, being on vacation sometimes makes us feel like we should always be doing something every second. While we want to take advantage of our time to take in our destination, running yourself ragged out of a sense of obligation is silly. It is okay to just sit in the local park or at a coffee shop for a bit reading a good book.
Do Not Plan Too Much
While getting a rough idea of what you may want to do on your trip can be a good idea, avoid becoming too rigid with your schedule; do not get too attached to a to-do list. Allow for some flexibility. Some of your best moments may come from simply wandering around a particular neighborhood.
Spend More Time in Fewer Places
Our ego-fueled desire to put as many notches in our travel belt as possible can make for one exhausting trip where we are spending more time on planes, trains and buses than the actual places we are visiting. If you only have two weeks for your trip to Asia, pick one country rather than trying to cram in four.
Learn to Go with the Flow
Traveling has the potential to cause a lot of hiccups—the fact that we took a trip to get away from stresses and to have a fab time can make it even harder to deal with these issues. But, while certain situations may be undesirable, learning to accept the moment will make them much easier to deal with.
Keeping perspective is always a helpful tool and it can be especially so with travel. Sure, it is annoying if the AC in your room is not as cold as you would like, but it could be worse. If the biggest problem you face in your exciting trip in a foreign land is thinking the bus is crappy, count yourself lucky.
Practice Gratitude when Faced with Challenges
If we let them, travel snafus can totally ruin our trip; all the good stuff gets minimized and we just focus on the bad stuff that ticked us off. One thing that can help you deal with this more effectively is practicing gratitude—be grateful you had the money to take a trip, that you are in a position to go on vacation. There are many people in the world who will never experience something we take for granted.
Kelli Cooper is a freelance writer who enjoys discussing all things travel; if you are vacationing in SC, she highly recommends the Quality Inn Hotel & Suites in Hilton Head Island South Carolina.