(BEGODI) – A short trip never seems long enough, but sometimes there is only time for a weekend break. Here are some tips on how to make the most of numbered vacation days, and still feel that you had an incredible holiday.
It may be tempting to want to walk, eat and interact at a heightened pace when you only have a few days or hours in a destination. Although this may feel like a strategy to ‘save time’, rushing is the easiest way to ruin a holiday. Instead of trying to fit 10 days worth of activities into 3, do the few things that you are able to with laid-back mindfulness. This is a holiday after all!
The more time you give yourself to being purposeful and present in whatever you see or do, the more you will actually feel and understand the place authentically. Each second will be treasured instead of hurried through, and observing the newness in everything will make time seem elongated.
Let go of FOMO
Perhaps the biggest mental hurdle to overcome on a short trip is the fear of missing out (popularly referred to as FOMO). There are so many recommendations and ‘must-sees’ for every possible place.
Although it may be difficult to resist the urge to see everything, it is vital to remember that there will always be more to see. Even if your trip was 3 months long, you would still skip out on experiences that others had. Realise that you will not be able to do everything. Accept it. And don’t let anyone influence your travel itinerary but yourself.
Follow your interests
One of the best ways to counter-act FOMO is to reflect on where your interests lie. There will be things that some people deem ‘not to be missed’ that you will quite frankly feel is a waste of your time. It is good to discern what it is that you want to get out of the trip, and take the top attractions list with a pinch of salt.
If you enjoy exploring new culinary worlds, take your time tasting all of the street food and interesting desserts on offer. Or perhaps art is what fires your soul; find galleries and creative spaces to appreciate and interact in. Alternatively, you may seek nature and want to spend the day in a forest or beside a lake. Wherever your interests lie, there is nothing you should be doing other than what you want to do.
By doing what you love in different places you will gain so many insights into that place. You will feel connected and rejuvenated, and skip out on the exhausting pressure of being the perfect tourist.
Having a rough idea of what a place can offer is always good, but making a rigid itinerary is not. Planning your day by the hour will not only create stress, but it will limit your spontaneity. There are so many hidden gems that you encounter throughout the day, and you should be able to explore them.
You may also meet people along the way and want to join them on their excursions. All of these unplanned occurrences will add a layer of excitement to your trip that you couldn’t have curated yourself.
Meeting people is important. Connections with others add a layer of richness to a place, and these relationships can continue long after you leave. Travellers or locals, interactions while travelling are usually laced with an open warmth and easy familiarity.
Experiencing new things with others also often elevates the enjoyment of it. Connecting with locals will quickly allow you to understand the depth of the place that you visit. They will usually be happy to help you with anything you need, and surely make your trip more rewarding.
Stay close to the sights
A practical tip is to choose accommodation that is close to the centre or hub of the destination. If you plan on spending most of your time in a specific area, stay close to or in that neighbourhood. This will save you time commuting and give you the freedom to wander into the early hours if you wish.
Alternatively, if the transport system is good, stay close to a station that will make moving around convenient.
Food is a direct channel to the heart of a region. By ordering local dishes and engaging in street food culture, you are given a sensation of authentic tastes and experiences. Try to resist going into restaurants or ordering western dishes, as these comforts will not present much novel excitement.
Unplug from technology
When you are out of touch with the online world it is much easier to soak up everything in your physical reality. Obviously you will want to document and share your experience, but try to limit any excuses to check your phone. A holiday from the obligations to be present online can be just as rejuvenating as a spa retreat.
We hope that these pieces of advice will help you truly make the most out of your next short trip. Remember that travel is meant to fill you up, and never stress you out!
For more tips and assistance to make your travel life a breeze, get in touch with Begodi.