Getting the most from your holiday is easy if you are prepared to make a little bit of an effort. In some parts of the world, it is important to know what the local customs are so that you can avoid inadvertently offending someone.
Learn the language
You don’t have to learn the whole of the language. A few phrases will be enough to help you to get by in shops and restaurants. The locals will be impressed that you are making the effort to converse with them in their own language and will make the effort to help you to learn a little more.
Go off the beaten track
Spending a little time exploring the local area will give you a better idea of local life and culture than if you stick to the tourist areas. Some places attract so many British and American tourists that they have bars and restaurants that cater specifically for them and plenty of tourists never venture beyond them. If you do, then you get to meet the locals and see parts of the area that you would otherwise miss.
Not everyone has a lot of money to spend on a holiday, so getting the most for every penny is essential. This is for everything from booking the actual holiday to stretching your spending money as far as it will go.
Get a bargain
Shopping around is a must if you want to pay as little as possible for a holiday. It is worth speaking to a few different travel agents and checking out a few different websites to see what offers are available. It is also a good idea to keep an open mind about your destination. If you have a fixed idea of where you want to go you might find that you are limited in being able to save money on a break. As an example, you might want to go to Rome, which is quite an expensive destination, but if you are prepared to stay within easy travelling distance of the city, you could save a lot of money and still get to do all the things that you wanted to.
Another way to save money on the booking is to get a last-minute deal such as a cancellation. This might also open up more opportunities for travelling to different parts of the world.
Stretching your spending money is also quite easy to do. You don’t need to spend your evenings in the main tourist areas of town. Consider the bars and restaurants that the locals use. These are often cheaper and give you a better experience of local culture.
The first thing that you need to know about staying safe from the Covid-19 virus when you travel is to be aware of the local regulations. In some parts of the world, you will need to wear a mask the whole time when you are out and about. In others, it will just be on public transport or in shops. Check out what is required of you and make sure that you adhere to the rules.
You need to be aware that some countries may not let you in without proof that you have had the Covid vaccine. You may also have to take a covid test before you fly and in some instances, there may be a requirement for isolation after your flight. You may also be asked to provide proof of vaccine before you go into some bars or hotels on your holiday.
Wearing a mask is not the only thing that you can do to protect yourself. Make sure that you have a travel hand sanitiser and that you use it regularly. Be aware that if you mix with a lot of people that you may be doing all the right things but not everyone in the group will be doing the same.
People who regularly travel on holiday will notice a difference in their favourite holiday destinations as the world begins to control the Covid-19 virus. In areas where tourism is the main industry, the impact has been severe. Shops, bars and restaurants all over the world have struggled to survive and in areas where the main customer is a tourist, then many have not survived.
As people return to these resorts they will notice that there are fewer bars and shops for them to frequent. Anyone who likes to go to the same place will definitely notice a difference.
Hopes for recovery
It is naturally going to take some time before everywhere is back to normal. This is especially true as different parts of the world are dealing with different levels of the virus and in different ways. However, as people are now able to travel more, this will help with their recovery. As more tourists arrive the businesses that have survived will continue to thrive and this will lead to others opening. Within a year or two, the resorts will be just as busy as they were prior to the virus.
It stands to reason that if you have chosen to take an unusual or activity holiday then you will need to prepare for it slightly differently than for your usual type of break. You may find that you need far fewer swimsuits and evening wear and more in the way of practical items.
Packing for an adventure
The first thing you should do is a little planning. Lists are very useful with this. Think about what you are going to be doing on your holiday and then figure out what you need from that. If you are planning to do some hiking then some sturdy walking shoes or boots are a must, for example, along with a good backpack. If you are going to be spending time kayaking then you will need swimsuits along with t-shirts and shorts. It is a good idea to check with your travel company. They may be able to provide you with a list of items that they recommend that you have with you so that you won’t arrive unprepared.
Go through the list and work out how much of each thing you will need. It is common knowledge that most people will overpack for their holidays. If you know that you will have the facility to wash some of your clothes while you are there then you don’t need to take a dozen t-shirts. Half a dozen will do. Take travel size toiletries instead of full-size items. This is especially important if you are going to be moving around and only have a backpack so you need to carry it all yourself. There is much to be said for travelling light.
When it comes to holidays with a difference, the world has so many options for you to choose from. Finding what you want should not be difficult either.
If you want to find a volunteering project then think about countries such as India or Costa Rica. These have plenty of community and conservation projects where they will always welcome a few extra pairs of hands. The accommodation will vary between basic but comfortable and luxurious but whatever you choose to do your help will be appreciated.
Chasing the sun
During the winter months, getting away to the sun is a bit of a dream, but it will usually mean venturing outside much of Europe. If you want a resort in a different part of the world then places such as the Cape Verde Islands are becoming increasingly popular. There are six islands to choose from, all boasting great beaches and lively culture. The Canary Islands have always been a favoured choice among holidaymakers but for something different choose one of the smaller islands such as La Graciosa.
Argentina is a great destination for tourists with vast swathes of the country very unspoiled. The cities are vibrant and a good choice for shopping or dining out, but anyone who wants to get closer to the culture of the country should venture out. Hiking and horse riding are activities that will get you closer to nature and the smaller towns and villages are perfect for meeting the locals. If Argentina does not appeal to you then neighbouring countries such as Brazil might be what you are looking for. Brazil has everything from rainforests and the Amazon River to world-famous beaches.
There are large sections of the US that are part of the mainstream tourist industry, but there are plenty of options here if you want to avoid them. You could spend time on a Colorado ranch, for example, learning how to ride horses and herd cattle. The most northerly state of Alaska is a great place to visit too. You could take a cruise to go whale watching or take a safari and try to spot a grizzly bear. The city of Anchorage is a good destination if you want to learn more about the history of the state.
Not everyone wants to go on the standard holidays that consist of typical hotels, beaches and pools. Some people are looking to spend their downtime doing something different or visiting somewhere off the beaten path. Everyone has different tastes in holidays so here are just a few tips to help you to narrow it down.
Find a different angle
This type of unusual holiday is where you choose a typical tourist destination, such as Spain or Italy, but then you decide to do something different during your time there. So it may be that you decide to spend your time there learning the language or mastering the preparation of local cuisine.
Find a new destination
This could simply be a new destination within a country that has popular tourist resorts. As an example, many people visiting the US will go to Florida or California. But how many would consider a trip to Alaska? You can still find plenty to see and do there – it just takes a bit of imagination. Countries such as Mongolia and Haiti are also becoming popular with tourists who want to see somewhere a little different.
Mind, Body, Spirit
People are increasingly looking for holidays where they can stretch their minds or relax and recharge. If this is the case for you then consider focusing on one activity for your holiday. Trying to cram too much in will not leave you feeling refreshed and ready to return to everyday life but more likely in need of another holiday! So, if you choose an unusual destination for a yoga retreat, take the daily yoga classes, but the rest of the time take it easy. Gentle walks, reading and enjoying some peace and quiet will help you to harness the health benefits of yoga.
Do some good
This is the type of holiday where you use your time to make a difference to someone else’s life. Volunteering holidays are a great way to see the world and help to improve the lives of other people or help the environment. Conservation breaks are very popular and you can spend time with other volunteers helping to clean beaches, building homes in poor countries or even doing some volunteer teaching.
If it is just the typical hotel or self-catering accommodation that you want to change then there are plenty of other options. Why not try an eco yurt? These are a definite step up from your standard tents for camping and are very comfortable. If you are heading into the northern part of Scandinavia then ice hotels are an unusual choice for a night or two. Whatever you choose, you will definitely be enjoying a holiday with a difference.