You know what happens when life gets in the way, right?
You work hard (too hard!) to make ends meet, put food on the table, clothes on your back and a roof over your head. And these days, we work way too hard because sometimes it’s expected of us and just maybe, our bosses can’t live without us.
We tend to get caught up once in a while and forget to take care of ourselves. I was going through similar motions until a friend reminded me about how life wouldn’t slow down for us. The nice chap even bought my husband and I a 5-day, 4-night stay at DoubleTree Hilton in Penang. It was pure bliss! Remind me to talk about that in my next post.
My advice? Take that vacation now. I’m not saying you have to drop everything and book a one-way ticket to the Maldives first thing in the morning and leave for good. Sounds pretty tempting, doesn’t it?
Whether it’s a trip with the gang to the beach or a weekend getaway with the family, now would be a good time to start planning that vacation. After all, Raya isn’t very far away either.
So, how are you going to make this holiday a trip to remember? Whether you’re travelling on your own or going with family or friends, here are some cool tips that will hopefully make your upcoming vacation great!
Be flexible and don’t plan too much
Planning is great, but too much of it can get in the way of having fun. You never know who you’re going to meet on the road. Imagine working out the entire itinerary, only to meet a group of people who are planning a cool trip to a place and you’d love to join them. That sucks. So, be flexible and open to change plans.
Get lost on purpose
Getting lost is not on your itinerary but it is the best way to explore a new place. Don’t plan too much on where to go. Decide as you go along in which direction or street you want to take. You’ll get to know the place better apart from the typical tourist trails. Make sure you have the name of your hotel with you so you can ask locals on your way back for directions.
Meet local people
No matter where you go, you are bound to meet the locals. Whether you’re haggling over prices at a souvenir shop, ordering something from the menu or asking for directions is a surefire way to start a conversation with locals. Some basic English with hand gestures and body language can go a long way.
Take good care of yourself
Travelling can be tiring and it is difficult to maintain a daily exercise routine. Remember to sleep and rest, drink plenty of water, and eat healthily. Hitting the treadmill at your hotel gym, a jog in the park, a swim in the sea or a rented bike can give you a full body workout.
Get up early
I can think of a few popular places that can get pretty crowded. So my advice to you is to get up early. If you want to take amazing photos without someone photobombing you, be there a few minutes before the crowd comes in.
Try the local food or visit the local market
Be adventurous and ask the locals what they normally eat or what their favourite food is. Eat street food or try the local cuisine in the markets. If you’re afraid of getting sick, remember it can also happen in fancy restaurants and expensive buffet spreads. You can get to know the real life by visiting a local market and save you a lot of money.
Pack light and practical
When you’re packing, don’t bring the whole house with you. In most countries, there are shops where you can buy most items if you find yourself short on something. I don’t usually do this but I heard that sarongs are a great add-on to one’s vacation. It is really light, small and can be used in many ways — as a towel, sun protection or a beach towel.
Upgrade for some travel insurance
Most people think twice about getting travel insurance because of the price hike in your flight ticket, but having one is important. You never know what could happen while you’re having fun. A scooter accident in Thailand or a broken leg while climbing the Himalayas. Without insurance, you could end up paying a lot for doctors and medicine.
Carry along extra cash and loose change
Not every place you go to have ATMs so I’d recommend you carry along some extra cash and stash it in different places for emergencies. Perhaps a couple of hundred dollars in your socks, cosmetic bag, or a day pack when you lose your wallet, can’t find a working ATM or your credit cards get stolen.
Bring portable chargers or power banks
This happened to me once in the past when I was taking photos when suddenly, the camera battery died. Thankfully, I had my smartphone with me. Imagine if you didn’t or that neither battery lasted long enough. So annoying! Avoid that by bringing a fully charged (or two) power banks and a portable charger.
Buy a local sim card
International roaming can cost a bomb to pay off when the bill comes in so to avoid being saddled with extra costs, get a local sim card. These plus the Internet plans are quite affordable in most countries. You wouldn’t want to lose touch with your family and friends and in the case of emergency, you’re covered.
Now that we’ve got you all prepped up and ready to hit the road, it’s time to start packing. Need a new suitcase or a trolley bag? Universal Traveller has some uber cool ones!