Plan Your Holiday – Some Useful Tips and Suggestions
Going on a Holiday
Travelling is one of the most enjoyable experiences in life. Most people wait for school vacations or their annual holidays when the children are free and they too can hope to take a few days off from their work ,go for a relaxing holiday with their family and friends . Most of us prefer going to a place where there is Sea , the beach or mountains so that we can unwind and relax amidst nature. The sun, sea and also the right company of your own family or a few friends is all that is required for a fabulous holiday. There may be other people who prefer to visit historical places or a place where there are monuments and ruins .Whereas some like only places where they can shop till they drop. Places like Dubai and Singapore offer exclusive shopping festival packages to travelers and some people love such holidays.
No matter where one plans to go , one has to bear in mind that a good holiday also requires the right frame of mind and a positive attitude by all the family members and friends to make it an enjoyable and relaxing experience for everyone. Arguments and misunderstandings while on a vacation don’ t really help. People start making plans to go on a vacation and for most it is the most looked forward event in their lives. First of all they need to budget and select the place. Once that is done, they need to book the accommodation and other details like travel.
How to plan a holiday
With more and more people travelling within the country and to foreign destinations , there is need to plan ahead and make sure that you don’t get any rude surprises or shocks at the last minute when you are about to board the train ,Bus or Airplane !
Begin with some basics like the choice of destination(s) to be covered during the planned holiday. Once that is decided , one can then locate the destination on a world map and identify nearby cities and neighboring countries ( If you are planning to go to a foreign country ) on the internet .
Next, find out the weather forecast at the destination during the week of your stay and about any extreme weather predictions, the local currency and the current exchange rate (this is again when you are planning to travel abroad). Finding the right accommodation is very important since it has to suit your budget and also need to be reserved in advance. Finally decide on the mode of your transportation and the most convenient way to travel to the destination.
It is no easy task these days to travel abroad with all the visa restrictions and other rules and regulations imposed by the respective consulates. So , it is much easier to go through travel agents who normally take care of all the details like ticketing, visa, accommodation and sightseeing. You may end up paying a little more but it is worth it since it saves a lot of running around from your side. But make sure that you go through a trusted and well established travel agent who has built up a good reputation. There are many travel companies that vanish the minute you make payment to them and you are left high and dry.
A few useful tips to bear in mind
1, Budget – This is the most important consideration while planning a holiday since you cannot plan anything without money. I personally feel that when we make a monthly household budget , we should also put away a part of the income each month towards travel and make sure that it is not utilised for anything else. For most wage earners it is difficult to plan a holiday on the spur of the moment because of money constraints, so it is a good idea to plan beforehand. Money spent on travel is money well spent since it has many all round benefits.
2, Clothes ,foot wear etc – Many people go loaded with mostly unnecessary clothes and other stuff, struggling with their bursting suitcases. With some careful planning and thought one can make sure and pack only the essentials without overloading your travel bags. One need not take too many heavy clothes while going on a summer holiday. Even when you are going to a place which is cold, there is no need to take too many changes of clothes, take just the bare minimum needed. It is better to take smaller individual bags for each member so that it becomes easy to manage the luggage. When there are younger children, it makes the minors take responsibility for his/her things.
Make sure that you pack a pair of good walking shoes or sandals for each member of the family and an extra pair that can be used for casual wear. Pack an extra bed sheet which can be used when you go for picnics or in an emergency.
3, Being well informed - The more information you have about the place you are planning to visit the better, so make sure that you get all the details and information about the vacation spot like places of interest, weather conditions during your stay and any other detail that might come in handy when you are there.It is also a good idea to know the cultural differences if any, like for example when you visit some countries in the middle east you need to follow a certain dress code.
4, Have a stress free holiday - Holidays should be fun and relaxing and also a time for bonding between family and friends. We plan a holiday to get away from the stresses of work and home, so it is important that we plan well because sometimes what is planned as a stress-free holiday can easily turn into a stress-filled nightmare. Making sure that you have taken each minor or major detail into account and analysed it thoroughly helps in having a stress free holiday.
5, Medication – While on a holiday we came across a family once , where the wife had forgotten to pack the inhaler used by her elder son since he was prone to asthmatic attacks and the son did get a massive attack at night and since there were no medical shops nearby, he had to be admitted to a hospital and that was the end of their holiday. So make sure that you take some basic medications for the entire family and all the other essential medications that may be required by each family member .
6, Some essentials –Through my own travel experience I have realised that it is better to include these essentials in your luggage – a length of plastic rope , a candle, a match box, torch , insect repellent cream and antiseptic ointment. I have a small kit into which all these go and it is easier to pack the kit in your luggage. If you are driving, make sure to carry a small bucket and a mug , a plastic can or at least a couple of empty bottles that can be used when you run out of fuel.
Also don't forget your camera, charger and a few extra cells if the camera works on batteries.
7, Carry a few light weight bags - We tend to buy souvenirs and other items that we either needed or liked while on a holiday and instead of carrying these extra items in umpteen plastic bags it is better to be prepared and carry a couple of foldable bags which can accommodate any purchases you make or for carrying a picnic lunch and other essentials if you are planning to visit nearby places. Make sure that the bags are light and can be flattened and packed in your suitcase without occupying much space.
8, Be Cool – The whole idea of a holiday is to enjoy and not to lose your temper and spoil things for your family and friends. A holiday is enjoyable only when there is happiness and a carefree atmosphere instead of tension and stress. Make sure that you remain cool even when things go wrong or you get irritated by others.
9, Don’t simply follow the crowd - just because your neighbor or close friend went to Kanyakumari , Kashmir or somewhere else, don’t assume that it is the best place for you as well. There may be many negative factors with regard to time, money and likeability. We need to plan before hand and also consult all the members before deciding on a place that is best suited.
10, Make it pleasurable - A healthy well planned holiday doesn't have to mean aching muscles and bursting lungs. If you plan well you can avoid such unpleasant experiences. A holiday should be more pleasure than pain and suffering. I have seen some holidays planned like a military campaign. Wake up at six, leave the place at 7 and trek for 3 hours and so on.Discipline is essential in life but not during holidays and any schedule you want to follow should be planned taking the suggestion and consent of all the members.
11, Make a list - I had an experience once when we forgot to take a few essential items because we had not added them to the list. Making a list is very essential , otherwise you go round in circles forgetting the most important things at the last minute. Keep referring to the list and involve all family members to make suggestions and add on. Make sure that you have packed everything that you have noted down in your list.
12, Involve all the family members while planning - While planning a holiday we have to involve all the family members right from the beginning and keep them informed at every step of planning and executing.Like for example while booking the tickets and arranging accommodation etc; This is even more important when you have teenagers at home, who tend to be very sensitive about such issues. Consult them and let them take the lead by making inquiries on the net and coming out with some suggestions of their own.
On the other hand , when they are told at the last minute after all the preparations are made, they may feel offended and refuse to go with you. I have seen this happen time and again with many of my friends and relatives families .A little bit of forethought would have saved them from such unpleasant situations.
12, Carry books and some indoor games – When you go for a holiday, you might be busy during the day but at times ,may want to relax with a book after dinner in the evenings or play a card game with your family and frinds. It can be fun since you have time on your side and no stress about house work or keeping to a certain routine. I normally carry a couple of books and magazines , a pack of cards and a scrabble game while going on a holiday and it comes in very handy when we are too tired or feel like spending the evening at our place of stay.
13, Give space - At times your children may want to do certain things on their own like go for a swim or a bicycle ride. And as they grow up it is a great the opportunities to take a more adventurous holiday to a far flung destination - but don’t forget to add in a little time for rest and relaxation for you as a couple too!
14, A Driving holiday – If you are doing a driving vacation, it is wiser to take the longest leg of the trip first, then work your way back slowly. Many people work through the trip slowly, then zoom back on the last day. Coming back bit by bit makes it much more relaxing. By doing this you end up driving only 3 or 4 hours on your last day, instead of pushing through the day before which leaves you much more refreshed upon your return home. Also return a day earlier since you need time to get organised before you plunge into your daily routine.
A happy holiday spent in the company of close family and friends is likely to be remembered by everyone. It is a great time for people to exchange ideas and enjoy each others’ company. Personally, I remember each and every detail about all the holidays we spent as children since my parents took a lot of trouble and put in a lot of effort to make it a very happy and an exciting occasion for all of us ! How much money is spent on your vacation or what place you visited does not really matter, what counts is the experience itself and the impact it made on all of you or makes on you while you are experiencing it .While planning a holiday parents should make a special effort to see that the annual holiday is something that children look forward to – it should be enjoyed by both the adults and children equally .
I conclude this article with these lovely and touching words quoted by someone learned and wise - "It is the little things that matter the most, Life gives us brief moments with others, but sometimes in those brief moments we get memories that last a life time !"
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