Planning the trip of a lifetime
January 23, 2019 - 3 minutes read
Posted by Claire Parker
When it comes to planning an ambitious trip, you don’t want anything to go (too) wrong. However, the best trips usually mean leaving your comfort zone behind and moving into uncharted territory. The right planning means that you have the balance between the flexibility to do amazing things and the security that your trip will be a pleasant experience for all.
Don’t just rely on travel companies’ marketing to decide on your destination. Spend time looking on Instagram, travel blogs and trusted magazines to get some food for thought. Also, think about visiting those places you’ve long wanted to visit. There will never be a ‘perfect’ time to go. Sometimes you need to think “why not?” instead of waiting around for some direct incentive to go.
Pushing your comfort zone and seeking out a more authentic experience usually means doing something different. This doesn’t necessarily mean swapping Barcelona for Badajoz. Even close to well-established tourist hotspots you would be surprised how easy it is to find somewhere tourists rarely visit.
Try to do your own research about a place and try to rely on user-generated content as much as you can. Many online travel articles focus on central landmarks and renowned tourist spots. The website Wikitravel contains in-depth, user written guides to pretty much anywhere you’d ever want to visit. Having a read of your destination’s Wikitravel page should give you an insight into its different areas, as well as some of the ‘off the beaten track’ highlights.
Don’t try to do too much
Experiencing a place shouldn’t be about trying to tick off everything on a ‘to do’ list. When you’re busy visiting every single site and doing all the touristy activities on offer, it can be tough to sit back and get into the spirit of your destination.
Leave plenty of time to absorb a place and get into step with your surroundings. This will help you cultivate a deeper appreciation and connection to your surroundings. What’s more, rushing around your destination isn’t really giving you a break from the business of your daily schedule. Relaxation is at a premium nowadays, and leisure is often best at its most leisurely.
Give yourself room to be flexible
Being flexible means you can stay somewhere longer than you wanted to or you can spend time doing something you only find out about when you reach your destination. If you have a strict and rigid agenda, you a) won’t be able to account for the unexpected and b) might find yourself rushing around as much as you would at home.
If you make a day by day plan of your holiday, make sure you add plenty of room for manoeuvre. You never know what you might find to do at your destination and you might be disappointed if other obligations prevent you from doing it.
Leave your devices off
What do you really want from a holiday? To keep on top of emails? To keep an eye on the news? To worry about bills and work? No, you want to escape; to have valuable time with your loved ones and spend some time away from the humdrum of your daily routine.
If you always find yourself checking work emails when you’re supposed to be on holiday, think about staying somewhere with poor (or no) wifi access. This will help you retain more of what holidaying should be about – escaping from that webbed up world and disconnecting from the craziness of your routine.
Although we can’t plan a holiday of a lifetime for you, at Xentum we can make sure you have the money to fund it. If you’d be interested in a financial plan that will enable you to seize life, get in touch with us.