Get The Most Out of Your Next Vacation

Vacations are much needed, and usually well earned. When we finally get that time to ourselves, we want to take advantage of it! Here are some tips on how to make the most out of any vacation.

Take advantage of long layovers. Sometimes, we just want to take the fastest route to our destination, with the shortest flight time or fewest stops. But let’s think outside the box for a minute. When I search for flights, often times, the cheapest route comes with something ridiculous like a 19-hour layover. I know… what the heck?! But instead of seeing that as a tragedy, I turn it into an opportunity. An extra day, in an additional country, without paying for an extra flight… that sounds like a win to me!

Just a few pro tips:

– Check with Customs at the layover airport to make sure you can leave and come back easily. Understand that country’s process before leaving the airport!

– Have your layover activities planned out, focusing on just a few points of interest.

– Try to stick with places that accept credit cards and get just a small amount of the local currency (you don’t want to end up with too much cash in a currency you can’t use).

Talk to everyone! This is probably one of my favorite things to do when I’m on vacation. To me, a destination is more than the tourist attractions, even the natural wonders. The character of any place is made up by its people, and I feel that everyone has a story to tell. Each person you encounter has a different life experience than the next. And the great thing is, you don’t have to look far to interact with locals! Think about the people that work at your hotel restaurant, or that are trying to sell you a jet ski ride on the beach. Ask them, what are some things they like to do or places they like to go/hangout? That local experience isn’t as distant as you may think.

Explore a neighborhood. You’ll want to do your research first! This actually should have been done before you left home. But assuming you are in a safe area, get out and explore! On my most recent trip to Thailand, I stayed in a nice little neighborhood that was tucked away near a university. I rented a motorbike, got out, and explored my surroundings. That neighborhood easily had some of the best food, massages, and friendliest people that I experienced during the entire trip!

Try new things. When you’re on a vacation abroad, it may be the only time in your life that you experience that country. Try something new. Try something unique to that destination. People tend to be more adventurous when they are on vacation. I suggest taking advantage of that bravery and getting out of your comfort zone. Of course, you’ll want to make sure you’re safe. But challenge yourself to “once in a lifetime” type activities. Even if you aren’t great at whatever it was, at least you’ll come back with a great story to tell!