1.) PLAN! PLAN!! PLAN!!!: Decide on where you want to go in advance, things you’d like do, sights you’d like to see – pretty much everything possible! It takes the pressure of the actual holiday and you can actually spend the time enjoying the holiday rather than trying to put together a plan of what to do – which of course becomes exponentially more complicated when you’re in a larger group and everyone has different ideas about what they want to do and in what order. Effectively, get all the non-fun stuff out of the way so you can truly focus on having an amazing time. Before you leave for holiday, you should effectively be able to answer an impromptu pop quiz abut your holiday plans. 🙂
2.) DOWNLOAD OFFLINE MAPS: Not just any maps – make sure they’re offline ones! Mobile networks in the UK like Three are starting to make it easier to use your data allowance in other countries but even that has it’s limitations and so if you would still like the flexibility of being able to navigate through your holiday while on the move – without a mobile phone bill that would leave you in despair/outrage when you get back home, download offline maps of the destination you plan on visiting. Thankfully there are so many free apps availableso you have no excuses for not having a map on your journey. You could of course resort to taking paper maps from the hotel/hostel/villa you’re staying in but more than likely that map always ends up in tatters/lost/wet and useless in a few hours of use which leaves you back at square 1!
3.) BE FLEXIBLE AND SPONTANEOUS: Even with the best laid holiday plans, you still need to have some flexibility if you are to make the most of your holiday. Some of this flexibility involves having to swap the plans you’ve made for an alternative or could involve adding on a few extra items to you plan/itinerary – in either case, my advise is always to go for it. You’re on holiday to try something new (if not you would just stay at home, right?) so you might as well full immerse yourself in the experience. Longhorn Cavern State Park is closed on your road trip across America due to the Government shut down? Go to Caverns of Sonora instead! 🙂 You’ll be surprised at what other delights await outside your fixed plans. Point in case, on a drive from Universal Studios in Orlando to Pensacola beach, we decided to make a stop at Ichetucknee Springs to go tubing down the river – this was definitely not on the agenda but ended up being one of the most memorable parts of the road trip. Over an hour spent immersed in the most tranquil natural environment, tubing down of the the cleanest rivers in the US and seeing wildlife we’d otherwise have missed, turtles which swam up to you (though this might have been a fluke), snakes on tree and the big one – a wild manatee (captured on the GoPro)!!! 🙂 Definitely worth the diversion!!!
4.) STEP OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE: This goes hand in hand with the point above. Try do something you perhaps wouldn’t normally do. I’m not saying go crazy and start jumping out of planes and streaking but there’s so much else that perhaps wouldn’t experience at home that you should try on holiday. This could be something like trying out new foods, going mountain climbing (if you live somewhere as flat as Amsterdam) or yes, even sky diving. Remember to always put your safety first of course but try to experience something new on holiday because those are the typically the bits you remember and ultimately cherish the most.
5.) INDULGE YOURSELF: You’re on holiday!!! Treat yourself!!! 🙂 This is not the time to be prudent. Again, a word of caution, I’m not saying go to Vegas and spend three month’s salary at the casinos but you should at least be able to treat yourself to a very nice meal or even just an expensive (and über tasty) tipple that you may otherwise perhaps not typically indulge in back at home. Holiday are there for enjoying and rewarding yourself for the hardwork that has led to you taking the holiday so don’t stop halfway – celebrate yourself and have an amazing time that you make everyone jealous about when you get back home! 🙂