How to Make the Best of Your Vacation

Posted on Jan 17 2014 - 7:25pm by Ave

It doesn’t matter if you travel abroad or take a weekend trip to another town, what you are normally looking for is a great, relaxing vacation. As we all know, that treasured vacation time tends to slip by really fast, so it’s important to enjoy every second of your precious holiday!

So how do you make the best of your vacation? Well, below are some simple steps that can help you achieve that amazing vacation you always wished for.

Vacation Tips @homelifeabroad.com #vacation #travel

At home

The first thing to ensure a pleasant and worry free vacation is to plan ahead.

What do you expect?

It’s important to know what you can really expect from your holiday. Relaxing by the pool? Practicing extreme sports? Exploring the city? A beach vacation? Choose the best option for you and always consult your family. If you travel with kids, ask them, too! The vacation you prefer may not be the one that your kids would like. Make compromises and determine the right destination for all of you.

Do your homework!

As I say in almost all of my travel articles, it’s really important to do your homework before you leave for vacation. Depending on the destination and your vacation type, the things you should consider are different, but the most important aspects you should check and plan ahead for are:

  • documentation and visa requirements

The most important thing when travelling is the documentation. Have all the needed documentation prepared to avoid unpleasant surprises.

  • hotel/hostel/B&B options

Depending on the vacation type you chose, select the accommodation needed. It’s not a great idea to stay in a hostel with your kids, but if you travel alone and want to meet new people, a hostel is the perfect place to stay!

  • local transport system

Think of how you will get around in the destination spot. Will you take a taxi, train, metro or a bus? Compare ticket prices and choose the right one for you.

  • sightseeing

It’s hard to see all sites in your vacation destination, so choose wisely and visit only the sights you really want to discover.

On vacation

So you have arrived to your destination. Your flight experience was pleasant and the homework you did before has paid off. Now, it’s time to have fun, explore and relax.

To have a terrific holiday experience, you should consider the tips described below:

Meet the locals

No, I’m not crazy to suggest that you meet strangers in places you are not familiar with. There are different sites like Enjoy the Best, Couchsurfing, etc. that help you find people to share experiences with. Enjoy the Best is actually a cool new initiative where you can select locals to meet based on events… i.e. meeting at a restaurant you both want to try out, going to a show, etc. They also do a background check on people, so no worries!

Locals know all the secrets of the pace you are visiting. Ask them for restaurant recommendations and invite them to have a meal with you. I’m sure you will learn much more during the feast than a tour guide can tell you.

Planning to see the sights? Locals can show you sites that no other tourist sees. It’s an added value for your trip and it sure makes your visit special.

Be spontaneous!

I’m a big plan ahead person, but sometimes it’s good to let go and have an adventure.  It’s great to come out of your comfort zone and try new things. Why not to try paragliding, mountain climbing, swimming with sharks, scuba diving or an exotic local dish. An adventure is not on your to do list? Who cares! Remember, vacations are to have fun!

Leave the distraction at home (or in a hotel room)!

You have earned your vacation, your employer knows that you won’t be working while on holiday. So turn off all the unnecessary devices and relax. Read a good book instead of checking your mail or updating your Facebook status. You can share all those amazing photos with your friends when you are back at home.

So, in conclusion, these are just a few things you should keep in mind if you want to make the best of your vacation. It’s not that hard to have fun and relax at all!

What is your favorite vacation spot?

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Estonian living in Canary Islands. A science teacher turned to stay at home mom.

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  • Robin Rue

    I think doing your homework and planning/researching in advance makes a huge difference in a vacation.

  • Helene Bludman

    Really great advice. We are planning a couple of trips this year and I will keep this post handy.

  • http://www.internationalgiveaways.com/ Ronnie

    The best part about going abroad is meeting new people. (in my single days, boys, of course) :) But really, the locals make the place so much more special. Great tips, Ave!

  • Amberlee Cave

    Thank you for the tips! I really want to go on vacation! Hopefully we can soon!

  • Lawna Young

    These are some great tips. I will definitely have to put them to use soon. I want to start planning a vacation but have not decided our destination yet.

  • Elizabeth @ Food Ramblings

    I love that you mentioned being spontaneous– that’s really important to me. Research well so you can go off course a little while there!

  • cyndie

    I think leaving the distractions at home is the key to a great vacation.

  • Healy Harpster

    I appreciate the tips and information… It’s all very helpful to have a stress free vacation.

  • Jennifer B

    These are such good vacation tips! Thanks so much for sharing!

  • Pam W

    These are great vacation tips. We try to always leave our distractions at home to really enjoy vacation.

  • http://www.lifeinabreakdown.com Sarah Bailey

    Fantastic tips – when we go away I always like to go off the beaten track see a bit more of what the locals see :)x

  • Debbie Denny

    Very Good advice! I love to travel

  • Debbie Lamb

    Very good information! Being prepared and informed are so important!

  • Veronica Solomon

    Be careful with the meet the locals bit though depending on what country you visit

  • http://www.growingupmadison.com/ GrowingUpMadison

    Those are some great tips! When we go on vacation I always have a list of things that I want to do. I usually research what’s nearby and plan for it. :)

  • becca

    son and i are panning a trip to Ca this June any suggestion on where to stay and what to do

  • http://frugalfarmwife.com/ Elise New

    these are great tips! Hubby and I are always planning our “next” vacation. :)

  • Jennifer Williams

    We could use a vacation as we have never actually traveled anywhere. I would love to. I wish I could convince my husband to travel more.

  • http://www.aboutamom.com/ Angela

    I am such a planner so am totally with you on that tip. It’s always great to eat at the non-chain local restaurants. On a recent trip I did a food tour that specialized in local cuisine. It was so much fun.

  • Michele

    My perfect vacation is to go somewhere and not travel or visit around a million sites! I once went on a vacation to New Hampshire with my dog–we chilled, I went rowing with a person I met, walked to a food stand down the road a bit for breakfast and lunch with my dog-made friends with the locals and generally relaxed! Planning is not in my nature-it is in my Mom’s and when I went with her on vacation once I had a miserable time–she had every second planned out and we never stopped!!

  • Wendy Kaufman

    Meet the locals is a great tip! I especially like traveling when I’m going to visit a friend who IS a local somewhere. You get all the best info that way!

  • Brett

    Great suggestion to look for local sites for finding good places to eat and stuff!

  • Cynthia L

    Really great tips! I always research where I am going and try to find the best places to see and eat!

  • Nicole L

    yes definitely do your homeschool. I like to plan everything before we travel because you could miss a good deal or a fun place to visit or sight see!

  • Joanna Sormunen

    Thank you for these great tips, Ave! I like the one about meeting with the locals and I think it makes perfect sense. After all, they are the people who live where you are at and will know it in a way that a tourist never (usually) can.

  • Danielle @ We Have It All

    Great tips! We took our first BIG vacation last summer and all of these tips totally make sense. I like the ‘be spontaneous’ – we did that a little bit and it turned out great.

  • Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell

    I’m a planner of vacations too. My way fo being spontaneous in spite of that is to schedule in blocks of time when we just wing it and do what happens in that moment. It works!

  • TheNewClassy

    It’s definitely important to research and plan ahead. I really hate surprises when I am on vacation.

  • PamIW

    Great tips. I think sometimes when people’s expectations are set really high for vacations they set themselves up for failure.My favorite vacation spot is my home state, Wisconsin.

  • Janeane Davis

    Vacations are an area where people should plan instead of just winging it.

  • Brittnei Washington

    Wow, me and hubby haven’t taken a vacation since 2011 when we first got married and had somewhat of a honey moon at Myrtle Beach. A lot of what you are saying makes perfect sense though. I will definitely be adding these tips when we get a chance to go again especially since kids will be involved this time :)

  • chubskulit

    My husband plans everything ahead but once in a while we go on a limb and just go and take off without planning, just to have some surprise adventure.

  • mail4rosey

    I’m terrible about wanting to upload my photos right away, and it can get lengthy, so I love the last tip. :)

  • Teresa McCluskey

    Great tips! I hardly ever go on vacation but I do plan on visiting Indiana soon to see my family and I am going to print this post for a cheat sheet!

  • http://www.miamisocialcon.com/ Karla Campos

    Great tips, I love going to tropical paradises and any place where the weather is warm.

  • http://www.attachedmoms.com/ Amanda McMahon

    It is definitely important to be able to relax on vacation. Don’t overplan things to do!

  • Amy Desrosiers

    My favorite vacation spot happens to be Williamsburg VA. However, I have not been to many places so this kind of stuck with me.

  • http://toughcookiemommy.com/ Maria – Tough Cookie Mommy

    I agree with you, it’s very important to do your homework before taking a vacation and know exactly what you are going to need and what you are going to do when you get there.

  • Francine Morrell

    These are all great tips! Alittle bit of planning goes a long way.

  • Striving Mommy

    I like these tips! I haven’t braved a vacation with the kids yet, but when I do I will keep your tips in mind.

  • Wendy Bottrell

    We are now in the planning stages of a holiday to Spain. Appreciate the tips. Thaks

  • Rebekah

    When I travel my favorite thing is being spontaneous and talking with the locals. It makes it more than just a visit – almost like an integration or a cultural experience depending on how far away from home I am. Great tips!