• Elle

How to Make the Absolute Best of Any Trip

Do you live for your vacation? Do you spend all of your time counting down the days until you can hop on that plane, and as soon as you’re home start planning the next one? Holidays really do help break up the monotony of everyday routine, but they’re expensive and so when you go away, chances are you want to make the absolute most of the time you’re there. Here are a few ways you can go about it, regardless of where you’re traveling to.

Try the food

Food is such an important part of any destination. The cuisine will be based upon which ingredients are grown, fished or farmed specifically in that place, and the cooking techniques will have been built upon over generations. Every place you visit will have its own specific tastes due to the ingredients and methods used, so always try the local cuisine when you can. Dine in small eateries and enjoy street food, avoid large chains that sell food that you can buy anywhere. It’s worth doing some research ahead of time to find out what the must- try dishes and places to eat are. Even different areas within the same country will have their own flavors and unique tastes, for example in Italy many parts are focused on pasta whereas others it’s all about risotto. In Asia, there are many different unique ingredients and cooking methods in each destination that make you realize you can’t just put ‘Asian food’ in a single category.

Immerse yourself in the culture

Culture is what makes each place unique and interesting- it’s all about how it came to be the way it is now. It involves examing religion, history and so much more. Check out any religious buildings that are open to the public, visit museums, galleries, festivals and go on walking tours to get more information. If you can, speak to any locals as they will be able to give you the best insight as to what the place is like and why it is the way it is. It’s this kind of knowledge that allows you to return home feeling like you really traveled to a place and didn’t just visit as a tourist.

Learn about the animals and wildlife

Seeing the native animals and wildlife in each destination you visit can be really fascinating. From whale watching in Scotland to koalas in Australia to African safari tour packages to see the ‘big 5’ in their natural habitat- it’s completely different seeing them in person compared to watching on tv. You could swim with wild dolphins, go bird watching, feed baby animals at a farm- there are loads of options so find out what your destination has to offer.

Find new ways to travel

One of the most exciting things about being in a new place is seeing how people get around. In busy cities, you might be wowed by how efficient public transport is, in more rural areas you could hire a car and feel the wind in your hair. If the place has canals and rivers, you could go on a river cruise or hire a boat, or if it’s by the coast you could look into yacht and boat charters. Places like Amsterdam are well known for their bicycles- find out what the best way to travel is when you arrive and make the most of it. Chances are, once you’re comfortable with getting around at the destination you’ll feel much more confident. It’s great being able to get from A to B and figure out your way around,

Visit places off the beaten path

It’s easy to flock straight to the main tourist attractions when you visit a new place, but make sure you’re not overlooking the less trodden path. Find out where the locals go and be sure to check these out, it might take some research but you can find some real hidden gems. From places to eat and drink to parks, amusement and much more, they might not be the first things that come up on Google when you search a place (if they show at all) but could end up being some of the biggest highlights of your trip.

Make time to relax

When you travel to a new place, it’s tempting to want to fill every minute with exciting things, new discoveries and generally not ‘waste’ a second. But try and do too much and you might actually make it less enjoyable. Don’t forget to give yourself time to relax too, a vacation is meant to be a break and relaxing away from daily life. If it helps, come up with an itinerary, work out what you want to do on each day, but leaving time in between to just chill. It could be a day on the beach sipping cocktails, a relaxing walk in the country, even just time at the hotel around the pool. You don’t have to be doing something every minute of the holiday- chances are you’d just leave feeling exhausted!

How do you make sure that you’re making the most out of every holiday you go on? Do you like to do any of the above things to ensure you’re using your time away in the best way possible?