Traveling can be a very rewarding experience if the appropriate steps are taken long in advance and throughout the trip. Many of us, however, end up not enjoying our vacation as much as we could and are often let puzzled about what went wrong. We may even have spent a lot of time planning and organizing the various details of the trip but are still left disappointed. What you read next could make the difference between a trip you will brag about forever and a trip that you immediately start trying hard to forget.
In other words, even if things do not go as planned, do not let it upset you too much. All the crazy mishaps that you encounter are part of the experience. Which good vacation story ever started with “I traveled overseas and everything was just perfect?” None of us would even want to read a book that wasn’t filled with plot twists and mishaps. The best stories are the ones with the unexpected twists that the entire family can laugh about one day.
We have all ran out of money and wasted hours searching for the right ATM. We have all wasted hours looking for a particular attraction that none of the locals seem to be able to find. Worst of all, we have all had to watch our kids kick and scream at the top of their voices for no apparent reason. Go with the flow, try to be patient as your plans fall apart, and always look for the good in every situation. Be flexible if things do not go as planned. Chances are, these will be the kind of memories that last a lifetime.
Tip Two: Take it Slow and Enjoy the Ride
Many of us make the mistake of trying to see and do everything in one trip. We pack six or seven attractions into the itinerary for each day and end up spending more time rushing from point A to point B than we actually spent exploring and enjoying our destination. It is understandable that you would want to get the most bang for your buck, especially if you have invested a lot of time and money into this trip, but you are less likely to enjoy your trip that way. Allow sufficient time for you to enjoy each aspect of the trip.
Also, remember to allow sufficient time for things to go wrong. Your tour guide might throw in something extra that could go over the scheduled time or the bus might be delayed. You might even discover that a scheduled attraction is having a special event. This is all part of the experience. Just as you would not want to rush through a succulent meal, it is best to allow sufficient time to savor each morsel of your vacation. Plan a few must-see locations and then allow the other things to fall into place.
Tip Three: Remember to Take Care of Your Mind and Body
Traveling can put throw our entire lives out of sync. We often end up eating many of the things we usually avoid and sleeping far less than we usually would back home. This is a recipe for disaster. How will you be able to fully enjoy your trip if you are battling a case of digestive distress or a diet-related illness? How can you spend the rest of the day learning to surf or to tango if you are too tired from the night before?
In order to fully enjoy your trip, you have to plan to continue taking care of yourself. Call or email the hotel or guest house ahead of time and inquire whether the food served will meet your dietary requirements. Always ask the server if the food contains any ingredients which you cannot tolerate. Be sure to take along your prescription medication, especially those you would need in an emergency like rescue inhalers.
If you are not able to sleep for the usual seven to eight hours each night, clear an entire day to relax and recharge. A key objective of every vacation is returning to your everyday routine completely refreshed. And whatever you do, ensure that you stay hydrated! You may even need to drink more water than you normally would, depending on where you visit.
Tip Four: Take All the Necessary Precautions
For some strange reason, people tend to leave all their fears and apprehensions back home whenever they decide to travel. While they would never even speak to a stranger in their hometown, for whatever reason, they have decided to hop into the car of a stranger in hopes of discovering a secret destination. While it is encouraged to learn from and interact with the locals in order to truly learn about the culture of the destination, it is always good to err on the side of caution. Traveling with groups, whether official or unofficial, is always better than tagging along with a complete stranger.
Travel insurance is another very good idea. You just never know what could go wrong. The last thing you need is a medical emergency in a strange country. Travel insurance always seems like an unnecessary expense until something goes wrong. It could, however, mean the difference between life and death and might save you from ridiculous medical expenses. Plus, it only takes one medical emergency to wipe out all your funds and ruin the entire trip.
Tip Five: Record as Much as You Can
Don’t rely on your memory to help to record all the details of your trip. Taking a few pictures will not help you to remember how you felt when you first laid eyes on the unimaginable beauty of a particular location. Beautiful memories are the best souvenirs, so make the memories last as long as you can. Use a combination of photos, videos, and diary entries to help keep track of it all. You never know who might benefit from your experience and many have turned records of their experiences into to cash by means of podcasts and video blogs. It is also good to keep a back up of all these files in case you are robbed or your device is destroyed.
In conclusion, to make your next trip the best vacation ever, you need to learn when to let go and when not to throw caution to the wind. Befriend the locals and learn their ways but do not put yourself in vulnerable positions. Be flexible enough to deal with mishaps without having a meltdown but keep a strict eye on your diet. Keep hydrated and make time to get sufficient rest. Take the necessary precautions like getting travel insurance and taking along all your prescription medication. Make the next trip your best vacation ever. You never know when the opportunity might pop up again.