With airlines and hotel chains cutting back on the amenities offered for holidays 2015, now is the time for travellers to take control and create value themselves. Forget pre-packaged tours, making the most of your holidays is easy than you think with some basic travel tips.
Travel Tips #1: Value Your Needs
The first place to splurge on is you accommodation. While there is a wide price range for accommodations, making sure you are well rested and refreshed plays a significant role. You never want to return from your trip, feeling that you need another vacation. If getting enough rest is part of healthy living at home, why should it then change it when you travel?
Part of getting the most out of your holiday is to create distinctive experiences. Instead of buying useless souvenirs, why don’t you take a cooking class or learn a craft that is unique to your holiday destination. Put your money where your mouth is – when it comes to your vacation, this saying becomes quite literal. Invest in the local cuisine instead of picking up fast food along the way. Finding an excellent local chef or restaurant is in our well-connected world not too difficult. One of the best travel tips is to opt for value rather than a cheap price, as it simply will pay off.
Travel Tips #2: Enjoy Being Present in the Moment
Take your time, slow down and activate your senses. It is a simple trick, but try for at least one day to experience your holiday destination through each of your senses. Open your eyes widely and only capture it with a picture if really necessary. This can be very hard to do for some, as one wants to share those special moments with friends and family later. However, telling an engaged and passionate story can be more rewarding than pictures filled with other tourists. So leave your selfie-sticks at home. If there is something that stands out or is quintessential to that moment, then capture it. Looking through a lens cuts out the peripheral view, so make sure to step back and take a few moments away from the camera. If you really don’t want leave your camera at home, then dig out your analog camera. That way you won’t waste time flicking through the pictures.
Travel tips for a slow and joyful journey include choosing alternate methods of transportation. Depending on the traffic at your location, public transportation might be very convenient. It is also a wonderful way to enjoy some people watching. Make some time and continue your exploration on foot. Our everyday lives are usually about filling as much as we can in one day, but since you are on holiday you might as well take it slow and enjoy the activities most important to you.
Concerning a healthy lifestyle, enjoy the moment is key. Relax and take everything as it comes, because no matter where you go and how much you prepare your trip, there is bound to be something that does not go as planned. Take a deep breath, laugh if you need to and let things happen.
Travel Tips #3: Having Fun with the Little Ones in Tow
The key to family travel is finding a little something for everyone. Travel tips for kid-friendly activities are not limited to the one random children’s museum in town. Kids love to get involved and interact. Take advantage of the destination’s natural beauty and healthy living opportunities. Why don’t you go hiking, snorkelling and if possible on a safari. Take a horse carriage through town and celebrate slowness as you ride along. If staying indoors is the only option, seek out shows that provide a ‘wow’ factor. Immerse the little ones in local culture by participating in crafts and hands on activities at cultural centres.
Travel Tips #4: Push the Daily Routine Aside
Travel changes your perspective and environment, so it makes sense that we often tend to seek out the comfortable and familiar. But what is the point of paying to travel elsewhere, when experiencing the same thing you would at home? Going on global holidays one encounters environments that are significantly different, so do step out of your comfort zone and engage with the locals. This doesn’t mean you need to walk around saying hello to everyone you meet on the street. But some occasional friendly interaction can sometimes lead to the most wonderful stories and encounters. Someone might just tell you about that one restaurant that isn’t included on any map.
When out shopping, some good travel tips are conversations with shop keepers, as not everything is in a guidebook. Pushing the daily routine aside can also mean to gain a new perspective. Seek out opportunities to engage in activities that are similar to those you like at home. If you like to watch football matches, get tickets to a local game and pick up a conversation with the supporters.
Dare to shy away from tourist destinations. The guidebook’s top ten sights to visit might be very tempting, but don’t expect to be the only one there. The benefits are clear once you try. For one there tend to be fewer crowds. Furthermore, once something is marked as a must-see attraction, one can be sure to pay the price for it. This might not only be a cut on your budget, but also on a cut on the authentic value. Seeking the unknown, one will find often better and more memorable adventures. Travelling off the beaten track isn’t a new idea, but many travellers often find it hard for different reasons. However, it isn’t so difficult. When going on a city trip, simply take a small detour on your way to your restaurant. Even better – just leave your map in your hotel for one day. Get lost a little and ask the locals to put you back on track.
Travel Tips #5: Be Smart and Safe on Your Trip
Travel wallets and scarves with pockets inside them might be good ideas. But leaving valuables at home and bringing only the essentials will aid you on your safe travels. It surely will help with packing light.
Travel tips on safety must include being cognisant of local customs for both men and women, especially when on a global holiday. If you are travelling to a country about whose culture you know little about, do not feel shy about asking or researching their customs. Something that might be okay within your own culture might be a taboo in another and cause tension. This ranges from not sticking your chopsticks into your bowl of rice in Japan to not eating with your left hand in India.
Lastly, maintaining a healthy lifestyle should be a priority when being on the road. Travel tips for food safety are therefore essential. If you want to try the local street food, then frequent places with a line. Returning customers is always a good sign – for both the taste and food quality. Eating local food doesn’t always mean shady food stalls on the side of the road, but it can simply mean fresh. Dare to explore fresh food, as it often is the safest option.
Travel Tips #6: Your Trip Doesn’t End When Checking Out
Photo albums are not the only way to make your trip last. Travel memories follow you long after you return. Every time you share your adventures, you will also remember the most defining moments. You will also tend to incorporate lessons learned abroad into your daily life.
Your travel isn’t limited to the actual trip. Sharing and remembering your encounters is just as valuable as your holiday itself. When returning home, food is one of the easiest ways to share your experiences with friends and family. If you decided to take cooking classes or had the most amazing meal on your trip, then you could throw a themed dinner party to recreate the experience with your friends.
There are two sets of travel tips to remember when maximising your holidays 2015. The first set of travel tips is to encourage you to experience a place with all five of your senses that are both exciting for you and possible the little ones. The second set of travel trips includes those that push you try something new and prioritise your preferences. Let the world be your oyster – especially when you travel.