Posts Tagged With: holiday

How to Enjoy Travel

I have always thought of travel as an essential part of life; no different than eating or sleeping. It shapes who you are and your outlook on life.  It makes you more accepting of cultures, and instills excitement that I truly believe can never be matched. Travel is not only what you make of it, it’s also who you share it with. So how does someone maximize their travel experience? Actually it’s pretty easy! Here are just a few things to consider once you book your vacation:

Find the perfect travel partner! If you seek adventure, travel with someone who wants the same thing. If you are afraid to try new things, go with someone who will push you enough so you don’t back down from an experience. If you hate planning? Go with someone who is willing to get lost with you. Don’t travel with someone who will hold you back. It’s not about boarding a plane, flying across the world and just standing still.

Step out of your comfort zone: Had I never embraced this way of travel, I would have never stepped foot on a cruise, hiked up a 10,000 ft mountain, driven an ATV, taken an overnight train, or shared a room with complete strangers! You have to embrace that life is not about being comfortable. It’s about challenging yourself to try new things and to be open to it.

Talk to locals: Don’t shy away from making friends. I still keep in touch with people who I’ve met on my travels. It’s incredible to have a network of people on the other side of the world. You get to swap experiences, talk about your travels and develop genuine friendships. We are on this planet for a reason, don’t be scared to find out what others think their purpose is.

Eat, drink and do it again: If there is one commonality in travel, it’s food!  Go to restaurants, stop off at the local market, pick up something from a street vendor, or eat at someone’s house. Food brings us together. Try it all or at the very least try it once. Who knows when you will get the opportunity again!

If you can walk it…walk it:If there’s one thing I’ve picked up during my travels is don’t drive a car if you don’t need to. Walking the streets allows you the most freedom to discover. You can find hidden alleyways, paths and shops that you would miss out on had you been in a vehicle. Walking through a city is much more fulfilling.

Try: You don’t have to speak the language, you don’t have to agree with the culture, you don’t have to like the food. But try. There is something to be said about those who are miserable and dismiss any type of experience. Don’t be that person. If you go to France and don’t speak french, try. People will appreciate it, and to be honest it will help you enjoy your experience even more!

Don’t bring kids:I know what people, especially parents will say when they read this. I’m not saying you can’t travel with kids. I’m saying travel is not as enjoyable with kids. Be honest, do you think a 7-year old wants to tag along to see the Louvre? Do you think a toddler should be out until 2am at the local bar or hip restaurant? Just think about it.

There you have it. Just a few things that can help you out when you travel. It’s very important to not only travel, but to enjoy it. You’re already lucky to be able to take a break from life, don’t waste that time on not enjoying the adventure that is in front of you. Safe travels.

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Cruising: Good or Bad?

Stop the madness! In light of the negative attention that cruising has had in the past few weeks, I thought I would help put everyone’s mind at ease. I’m an avid cruiser. In fact, I don’t think there is a single better way to travel. Strong statement, right? Like anyone reading this, I too was a non-believer. Well, until I went on my first cruise.

Before I address the obvious issue that has been hitting the news waves….(ehem, sinking ship!) Let me address the reality of cruising first hand before you make any rash decisions. Here are some reasons of why to consider cruising:

Convenience: Where else can you unpack for weeks, have the same home base, but wake every morning in a new location with minimal effort?

Food: I’m a foody! I love food, snacking, desserts, you name it…I will eat it. Of all the expensive restaurants, all-inclusive resorts and hotel room service meals that I have had, it does not compare to the quality of food on a cruise!

Ports of Call: I would say I have been happy with all the ports I have ever been to 95% of the time. Sure, there are a few stops that I could do without but I certainly don’t regret going or discovering these places. In fact, some ports I didn’t care for when I booked, turned out to be some of my top faves.

Things to Do: There just isn’t a comparison to an all-inclusive resort! We’re talking rock climbing, swimming pools, hot tubs, theatre, ice skating, basketball courts, mini putt, arcades, casino and so much more. In fact, there isn’t enough time to do all of these things!

Service: I have a high standard for service, I really do. Every night there is turn down service, staff addresses me by my first name, I go to dinner and the waiter knows the dishes inside and out and provides guidance as to what to order, and customer service is exceptional. I have never been disappointed with the service on cruise ships.

Rooms: Ok, they’re tiny! But this is hardly a complaint. If anything, I’m thankful. Who the heck wants to be in their room while on vacation?

Safety: Funny I mention this, right? Everyone needs to rest assured that contrary to popular belief, there are actually safety drills. I have never boarded a ship that hasn’t told me where the nearest emergency exit is or where I can find my life jacket. There’s a channel on the TV (that re-runs over and over) that goes through the entire safety procedure!

So there you have it folks, just a few reasons why cruising shouldn’t be entirely off the list. I understand why people are wary. I mean, it’s not like people were jumping at the chance to fly after 9-11. But the reality is, sometimes things go wrong. We take a risk getting into a car or getting on the bus everyday! So don’t be afraid people…just cruise!

Happy Cruising!

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