We live busy lives. Even when we spend most of our times sitting on the couch doing nothing, we proclaim to live a busy life. To escape our hectic and constantly occupied lifestyle, we takes breaks. We travel, we visit, we go on vacation. But not for too long. Couches are not sat upon by themselves, after all. Such is the way of the modern man. And the modern traveler has a modern problem; there’s too much to do, too much to see, not enough time before the couch beckons us home. Be it due to a lack of time, or abundance of attractions, we return home dissatisfied, feeling like we’ve wasted our time. As if we didn’t travel at all. Lest you be planning to spend your days off doing nothing more than sitting on the beach, downing cocktails, you might be looking for ways to increase your vacation time quality. To help you out, I present this list of eight ways to make the most out of your travels.
You might have noticed in some of my other articles that I mention I don’t make a lot of plans, this is because I’m lazy. See my logo? That’s me sitting in a chair. Don’t do as I do, do as I say. What I’m telling you now, is to make plans. Use google (maps), wherefor, Rome2Rio, and other such sites to plan the journey. Know where to go and how to get there. Look for the most efficient (and cheapest, if necessary) routes, but also the most efficient order of visiting things. Head for the mountains first, or start at the ocean? Having a solid travel strategy can buy you a lot of time. The more you plan and research at home, the less you have to do while traveling.
No matter how much you plan, some times it’s just impossible to see it all. So what it is it you definitely want, nay, need to see, and what is it that can be saved for another time? You may have to choose between seeing one thing you really want to see, and two or three things that perhaps aren’t as interesting to visit. So weigh your options. Find out what’s most important, what your budget allows, what will give you the most bang for your buck, what will leave you with the least regrets. Look at the options, and make your choice.
But don’t make too many plans
Not to be confused with expecting the unexpected, nor is it contradictory to item one on this list. Perhaps it’s better to say to plan to have no plans. Or as the military will tell you; no plan survives contact with the enemy. Likewise, no plan survives contact with airplane meals. Some of the best travel experience come from impulsive choices, from things you didn’t plan. Some times you just want to wing it. Yes, you should expect the unexpected. Yes, you should have leeway for delays stops, but what matters is, is the experience. Whether it’s an actual, personal, or spiritual journey, you don’t want it to feel like simply crossing things of your list.
Visit the tourist attractions
Travelers” will tell you not to visit the big tourist attractions. Locals will tell you not to visit the big tourist attractions. They are wrong. Both groups are biased. The locals because they see it every day and have to deal with the tourists, and travels are biased because they’re assholes and don’t realize that in the end, they’re still tourists. When visiting New York, why would you not want to see the Statue of Liberty? Why would you not visit the Eiffel Tower? As touristy as they may be, they can add a lot to your travel experience. Who cares if it’s touristy? If this is what you want to see, or visit, go for it. That said…
Go off the beaten track
Don’t just visit the big tourist attractions. You have to mix it up. Just like wanting to get hammered, you have to try everything, and not just stick to just one thing. Mix that beer with whiskey, vodka, wine, rum, and gin. Going off the beaten track, means gaining a personal experience, a journey that’s not entirely the same as everyone else’s. Take a drink in a bar known only to the locals. Visit that temple not yet found by the masses. The more the journey feels like your own, the less likely you return home feeling unfulfilled.
Have a break (have a Kitkat)
You know what makes for unhappy travels? Cranky travelers. Traveling, vacation actually, can be really tiresome. Hopping from point A to point B with little rest in between leads to bad temper, mood and atmosphere. The sights become less sightly, the food less tasty, the desire to return home home bigger. Make sure you get plenty of rest during your vacation.
Don’t stick to familiar foods and drinks. The local food and drink can tell you a lot about a place. A meal can be a journey of discovery all on its own. Eat and drink the unknown. Safety rules still apply.
Accept that not all vacations and travels are equally fun, and understand that you at least have the time and money to be traveling. Seriously. You’re far away from relatives. You’re not at work. See a thing or two. Get hammered. Get laid. And that’s about the most you can make of it.