You have been crossing out the days on your calendar with a red ball point pen for months, updating your list with must-dos and budgets for weeks, practiced packing for days, and after all the anticipation you want your holiday to be just perfect. Here are a few tips on how to get the most out of your trip!
Stop worrying about it being perfect
Your trip will be incredible if you let it – don’t exert energy stressing and trying to make it so. Sometimes travellers put such expectations on themselves to have the “perfect” trip that they forget to just enjoy it. Go with the flow. There will likely be hiccups, it may rain, and chances are you may get lost at least once! Joining a guided tour means that there is always a contingency plan, someone to look out for you, and the logistics are taken care of, so you can just kick back and soak it all in!
Do as the locals do
Avoid spending your holiday trudging to wifi zones to research the best restaurant to eat at or reading forums just to follow the popular tourist trails. Instead, follow the locals flocking to their favourite eateries, order the waiter’s recommendation, cram into the local transport, and surround yourself in the hum of a foreign language. Get your local guide to share their insights and point you in the right direction for a quintessential experience.
Pack light and practical
You know all those clothes you never wear at home, but that you pack anyway because you think you may just need them on holidays. You don’t. Those heels that give you blisters and that shirt that only works on an angle won’t leave the bottom of your suitcase. Pack lightly. It makes navigating through airports and train stations easier and you will have more room for souvenirs – hooray!
Respect the country you visit
Avoid cultural faux pas by doing some research before heading off on your tour. Explore the etiquette, learn some phrases in the local language, research the dress code, and make note of important customs. This will not only circumvent any awkwardness and discomfort, but also means you will be welcomed by the people whose country you are exploring and open more opportunities for unique experiences.
Switch off and be present
Sure, you may want to get the perfect picture of you holding up the Leaning Tower or Pisa at just the right angle, but it won’t all come crumbling down if you don’t. Photographing your trip is a great way to share your experiences with others and to look back on a trip of a lifetime. Snap away, but don’t forget to switch off occasionally, live in the moment, and just absorb the experience.