A new year means a new collection of adventures. Whether you want to go abroad or simply take a train to the other side of your country, there's a few things you need to know before you begin your travel...
I think we can all agree that January isn't the best time of the year at all: the festive season has been and gone for another year, it's still hella gloomy outside, and we're faced with thinking about what the future brings for us. Although this can be positive when you set your mind to it, it's also kinda-very stressful.
The best way I love to tackle this is to plan my year's holidays! Some people love to keep their holidays spontaneous - and I do too - but for your longer and further holidays, it's wise to prep yourself for a whole lot of fun, food, and foreign culture!
Here are my top tips for preparing for your holidays:
We tend to take more than we actually use when we're on holiday, which is smart because emergencies can happen whether minor or major. Unfortunately when we overpack, it leaves no space for souvenirs and gifts from the trip!
Make sure to pack lightly for a trip. There are many ways to be space-efficient in your suitcase; I personally love the roll and fold method since it's always worked for me! This video is also super useful for everyone who travels anywhere!
Save up more than you'll need
Never go on holiday with only enough money! Sometimes when your on holiday, there are expenses you may not think about, such as service charge at restaurants and paying to use the toilet, and, even though these are pretty minor, money adds up. How about those bigger expenses, like transport, spontaneous food adventures, or the extra drink at the bar?
Make sure to bring more money that you'll need - it means you'll be spending comfortably rather than worrying about the numbers! After all, you're on holiday to relax a little.
Holidays tend to be cheaper outside holiday periods, so try and plan your week away on off-peak seasons. It may be best to keep away from April, July and August when going on long holidays; your destination is likely going to be filled with swamps of tourists! The best thing about South European countries is that they're likely to stay hot the whole year round, so I always recommend a good trip there on these off-peak seasons.
Another way to plan dates is around cultural festivals and events that are happening at your destination - are there any music, food, art, film, or theatre festivals there this year? Perhaps there's a concert you want to go to, or a quality restaurant you can reserve months ahead, or a more traditional festival you want to experience?
Tap into the local and national cuisine.
Going on holiday without researching the local food is a massive no-no for me. To experience that city/town/village/province in all of its entirety, you need to know how locals eat and live there! As much as you're on holiday to relax, it's respectful to also have an interest for the culture and the locals who live and breathe those surroundings every day. You'd be surprised what you can learn from those who live there, so make sure to visit independent businesses and chat to the locals.
Go underground as well on the surface.
You could technically take this literally because there are quite a few underground events that happen everywhere, but I actually meant this figuratively.
When we go to a destination, it's easy to be caught up in tourist attractions, i.e. "on the surface" attractions. I personally think that going to the more underground events, ones that are less popular yet much more authentic, is a more fulfilling experience. I can't stress enough how important it is to experience local culture, but of course tourist attractions are worth visiting too.
Make sure to be aware of both types of attractions at your chosen holiday destination. All I ask is that you go to them not just for the 'gram, but to actually bask in the rich history of it all.
Start one of your vacation days clueless!
A lot of my tips so far has been about research and knowing what you'll be doing on holiday, but now I'm telling you to do the opposite - BE CLUELESS!
As much as planning what to do, see, and eat on holiday is time-efficient and guarantees less stress, make sure to reserve a day where you have no idea what you'll come across, what you'll end up eating, and where you actually are! Put your phones away and get your cameras ready, because you're bound to discover beauty in being lost.
Where are you planning to go on holiday this year? I'm looking for recommendations so tweet me or comment below if you have any suggestions.
Thank you for reading this blog post!