You have two options when you take a trip, either locally or abroad: You can either vacation the entire time or just travel from location A to B and from B to C. Vacationing means that you will spend most of your time on the beach, in your hotel, and in a generally relaxed mode. Travelling, on the other hand, means that you will be exploring more and relaxing less. As much as vacationing allows you to enjoy the beauty of your host city, traveling allows you to make richer memories, meet more people, and discover more awesome things about the city and its people.
If you want to travel and make great memories, you will need to plan adequately and research widely about your destination. Pre-planning allows you to achieve more with a small budget. It gives you a strong idea of when to take your trip, where to stay for optimal comfort and convenience, the sights to see, as well as the hidden treasures to discover.
If you are planning for a trip to a country that requires you to have a visa, ensure that you start the visa application process early enough so as to avoid last-minute inconveniences. Some processes can be too tough and complicated that you will be required to produce documents ascertaining that you’ve made flight and hotel reservations beforehand, failure to which your application is declined. You might need to book a dummy hotel reservation so that you can get your visa without spending too much money.
With your visa in hand, you have arrived! Here are 5 important things that you should do to make the most of your vacation:
1. Do your research homework
Read as many travel magazines and blogs in order to get an in-depth understanding of the people and cultures that define your destination. Read stories that explain personal experiences, especially when you want to know the neighborhoods you should or shouldn’t visit, the foods to or not to try, as well as tips on the transport available. This information will give you a head start when creating your itinerary. Don’t take the story of one traveler as the gospel truth- ensure that you sample multiple stories and get several different perspectives on a destination before making a decision.
2. Get out of your comfort zone
Now that you know where to go and the foods to try, make psychological preparations for uncomfortable decisions. You will be eating meals that you wouldn’t normally try and engaging in outdoor activities you’ve never imagined yourself doing. Be daring enough to walk up to strangers and start a conversation with them. Try hiking or mountain climbing even if you wouldn’t dare any of that if you were home. Skydive and do daredevil tricks whenever you get the chance. Just be sure to always put your safety first and consult an expert when unsure of what to do.
3. Stay in different neighborhoods
Staying in one neighborhood doesn’t allow you to explore as many parts of the city as you should. As you already know, two neighborhoods within the same town or city are never identical. Tour different suburbs, visit neighboring towns, and camp outside for a night- anything that allows you to hear a different story every hour, meet new people every minute, and to see new architecture every day.
4. Explore on a free walking tour
Any seasoned traveler will tell you how important it is to go on a walking tour when in a new town. Such tours give you a better grasp of the city- you explore it on foot and (quite literally) at the slowest pace imaginable. And because the tours are led by local tour guides who have immeasurable experience and knowledge of the city, you end up learning so much more than what you read on books. This is also a great opportunity to interact with other tourists from all over the world.
5. Make local friends
You will get a better connection with the local culture when you make local friends. If you are a fast learner, you can even learn a few local slang phrases by the time you leave. Being friendly to local people is also a sign that you respect them as people and their culture.
Bonus tip: Never forget to capture memories with photos and videos and to buy a few souvenirs to bring home from your vacation. However, try not to dwell too much on capturing memories and collecting souvenirs– you need to experience the memories and witness them with your eyes too!
We hope these tips help you plan your next vacation. Do you have any tips for planning a vacation or things you feel are a must while planning or taking a vacation? Comment them below!