There is such a thing as a lousy vacation. You lug around bulky bags, dazed by the shift in time zone, short for cash and spending most of your days in the vicinity of your hotel. It’s not a fun way to spend a trip, it’s anything but relaxing, and it can make you feel like you wasted a whole lot of money on nothing.
In order to have the most enjoyable trip possible, all you have to do is follow five easy steps.
1. Pack Light
Before you even leave, you can affect the overall mood of your trip by packing light. Packing light affords you a few different advantages: you don’t have to wait by the luggage carousel for an hour when you land; you won’t have to carry a bulky suitcase over cobblestone streets and up flights of stairs; and, most importantly, you won’t feel encumbered by a bunch of stuff. Travel freer, looser, lighter and happier – click here for a bunch of great resources for packing light, both on the blog and in the retail section.
2. Be Proactive About Jet Lag
If you’re only gone for a week or two, every single day counts. You don’t want to spend an entire three days suffering the ill effects of jet lag. Luckily, there a few simple proactive tricks for avoiding jet lag:
- Keep hydrated. Often, the nauseous and groggy effects of jet lag are a result of the dehydration your body experiences on the plane. Drink more water than you think you need on the plane!
- Start ahead. Planning on going to a time zone eight hours ahead? A couple days ahead of time, try to live according to that schedule. Don’t worry about sleeping on the plane if it’s daytime where you’re going – that doesn’t make sense!
- Make it until night. When you arrive, try your hardest to make it all the way to a reasonable sleeping hour.
3. Have a Rough Daily Budget
Budgeting can help keep everything on track, and ensure that you don’t prematurely run out of money. That’s not to say you can’t go over some days – you need to be flexible in order to follow the next tip…
4. Keep an Open Mind
You might not be a “museum person” or a “hiking person” or a “foodie”, but keep an open mind to everything. The more flexible, forgiving and willing you are, the better experience you’ll have. Get out of your comfort zone a bit – or, more accurately, expand your comfort zone so you can be comfortable with new experiences.
5. Do Things You Enjoy… Constantly
Ever heard of the “Hedonic treadmill”? It’s a theory that states that humans’ happiness levels tend to reach equilibrium pretty quickly. If you win the lottery you may be elated for a week or so, but pretty soon you’ll come right back down to the same level of happiness. All this is to say that, when travelling, constantly do things you enjoy, even if they’re very small things. Don’t think that simply being in another place will suffice to keep you continually happy. Always be doing things you enjoy.+ž
Follow these five, easy tips and you’re bound to have a fantastic trip.