To survive working in the 21st century, navigating your work-life balance is an essential part of life. Holidays are a great way to shut down for a while, and there’s no better time that now to think about your next break as we inch towards the year coming to a close. Here are some suggestions on how to plan your next trip before you start packing.
What are you up for?
A good place to start would be to make a decision on what kind of trip you’re looking for. Among some options you can consider is whether you want a relaxing holiday or an active trip with adventures. Figuring out all of this will make it easier to shortlist possibilities – do you want to go to the beach or a mountain, a big city or a journey off the beaten path? These decisions will also help you to decide who you want to invite along or travel with as group size can also impact how much you enjoy a holiday.
Where to go?
Once you know what you’re up for, then it’s time to lock in a location. The decisions you made in Step 1 can also affect where you travel to. For example, if you want a beach holiday, do you need to travel to a remote island somewhere or can you get what you need by travelling domestically? If you want to explore new sights, what kinds of cultures have you not explored before? You might just find what you want within the Southeast Asian or Asian region. The distance of the location will also impact (and be impacted by) the number of days you can get off work, so factor that in as well.
What to research?
Pining down what you want to do and where you want to go means that you can start on your research. There are many online websites and blogs you can turn to for advice, but don’t forget that friends and family are a good resource too. Remember, this is your break so you don’t want to overdo it as well.
Where to book?
Depending on your decisions on what you want to do and group size, you can consider options of making your own arrangements or join a travel group. Whichever you decide, travel websites such as Expedia and Agoda are good places to start to get an idea of what is possible within your budget and choice location. Aside from the main travel arrangements and accommodation, other things you can consider is the transfer from the airport or train station to your hotel (check the official websites of the transport hub you’re travelling through for options) and what sort of insurance you need to purchase.
What to prepare?
Now that you holiday is booked, make sure you cover all your bases ahead of time so you don’t leave things to the last minute. Check to make sure your passport is still valid and that you have the relevant visa, if necessary, to visit your country of choice. If you’re visiting a cold climate, you may need to do some shopping for warm clothes for example. The same goes for a beach holiday if you need a good pair of flip flops. If you’re visiting a country that speaks a different language from you, it may be helpful to learn some basic words such as hello, thank you and excuse me. Mobile apps like Duolingo can help you pick up some new words really quickly. If you need foreign currency, you may want to monitor the exchange rates to see when is the best time to convert your cash.
It is always a good idea to make sure you’re in your best physical condition ahead of a trip. For one, you do not want to fall ill before your holiday that you’ve taken so much effort to plan (not to mention, the money you’d have spent). Fitness is also helpful with the more physical holidays, whether you’re on an adventure trail or just doing lots of walking from visiting one site to another. Being in peak physical condition also helps you deal with the cold or extreme heat, depending on where you’re going. Depending on how much time in advance you have, this means that you can start a new fitness regime – just remember to track your progress.