Almost everyone dreams to go on a great vacation at least once in a while. I am saying almost everyone because I know some people who don’t. But if you are reading this blog most likely you are not one of those.
People go on trips because they need to relax, or because their children are on vacation, or simply because they get tempted by an exotic place in a travel magazine. Whatever the reason, traveling became a trend lately especially among young people who want to keep up with the world. But the older generation is not far behind. You can see people from all paths of life, from every culture, race or ethnic group flooding the airports, ports and train stations. Everybody seems to want to go somewhere, looking to discover exotic destinations that will make them forget their daily routines for a week or two.
But great vacations don’t just happen, they need to be carefully planned and arranged. For some of us, planning is part of the fun that makes a trip great. The anticipation of seeing a new place or going back to one that you visited before makes time drag, filling you with an excitement that sometimes exceeds the one of the trip itself. For others though, planning in not fun at all. It is just a necessary nuisance that takes time from their busy lives and should be dealt with in the simplest possible manner. For those people a travel agent will probably work best. But if you expect more than just travel arrangements for their next vacation, designing and organizing it yourself is crucial.
Researching your Destination
Researching the area that we are going to visit is a very old habit of mine that always proves to pay off. We never go on a trip unprepared, just waiting for beautiful things to appear in sight, or only relaying on friends’ advice. Even if we travel to a place that we visited before we make up a list of tourist objectives and try to stick to a schedule. This will ensure that you get the most out of your vacation and improve your experience.
Educating yourself about the places you are planning to visit will help you decide how to pace your trip. Hours of operation, best time to avoid crowds, where to buy your tickets, or how to get there are things that come in very handy when your time is limited and you have a purpose. Knowing good restaurants around the area where you’ll spend your day can also save you a lot of time and disappointment. There is nothing worse than having to get into the closest eatery because you are starving and discover it was just another tourist trap.
Having a daily plan doesn’t mean you are bound to it. Occasionally we decide we have seen enough and want to spend the rest of the day relaxing on a beautiful terrace that just appeared around the corner. Nothing wrong with that, as long as you are happy. Vacation schedules are not to be strictly kept. I can’t tell you how many times we crossed off things on our list just because it was a gorgeous day to do … nothing. In the end is not about how much you accomplish, it’s about feeling good and relaxed.
Relaying on the Weather
Don’t let bad weather stand in your way or ruin your vacation. It took me a long time to accept that I can’t control the weather but I can control my mind set. Rain may be necessary but it throws me into despair. O.K., it may rain while I am away or while I am asleep, but certainly not when I am on vacation! Unfortunately (or fortunately!) nothing pissed off my husband more than my complains about the weather, so in time I learned to keep my mouth shut. Since I could not protest, my mind started to concentrate on things I could do if the sun wasn’t shining. I would lie if I told you that weather doesn’t matter, or that you will be equally happy rain or shine. But since we can’t change the weather, better go along with it. If you are in a big city and the weather is good choose attractions that require outside walking. If the weather turns bad next day you can go shopping, visit a church or a museum.
If you are on a tropical island and the rain shows its teeth, hop in your car and drive around until you see a sunny spot. It will never rain at the same time all over the island. There was a year in Kauai when it rained every single day out of the 7 we were there. We drove around and discovered that Poipu beach on the Southern part of the island is almost always sunny, so we drove there every day. Kind of boring to go to the same spot for 7 days in a row, but at least we came back with a tan.
If you are up in the mountains and had some hiking trips planned, rain will definitely ruin your plan, but there is not much you can do about it. Hopefully the weather will change, but if it doesn’t try going to a nearby village and do some site-seeing instead, or find a good restaurant and treat yourself like a king. But whatever you do, if the weather turns bad don’t get into the helpless mode and crush your nose against the wet window. Go out and do something with your time.