How to Travel & Maximize Your Time
One my favorite things to do is travel! I love to plan and prepare just to relax and have fun. But I’ve always wondered on how to maximize my time. I want to leave you with a few ideas on getting the best out of your vacation.
To Plan or Not to Plan
I could describe myself as a laid back traveler, do my own thing at my own pace. I will not wake up earlier than 6 am! But this mentality has slowly changed. I will explain why. The reason is that I ended up saying “I really would have loved to have time to go visit this place, well until next time” Lies! It's very rare that you end up in the same destination again. If it does happen then, that is awesome! But let’s be real that’s not always the case. I started planning. I always know what places and attractions I must do on my trip. But before I decide I do some research. I don’t only look at tourists websites, but I also check out travel blogs. I want to know what people who either live there as expats or have been there as a tourist liked and did not like about the town. The reason being some things are tourist traps you go expecting something and is not anything like that at all. You end up regretting that you drove so much time for something that didn't live up to its potential.Sometimes you don’t have to spend the whole day on the small things, but planning will let you know you can do three small things in a day. I also encourage days of complete laziness or maybe half days! You are on vacation after all! Consider if you need to travel to another city. I always like to rest the first day and start everything in the afternoon, depending on the time change. I put a lot of activity in after that and leave the last three days for more subtle things and to relax from all the activities as well.
Try It As Locals Do
There is no better way to experience a new vacation spot than to do it as the locals do it. Be bold, don’t go to all the high-end places. Some of the best food I’ve tasted while traveling is a hole in the wall kind of places. The point is to learn from new people. Sometimes doing this and adventuring will get you to discover things that you would have never thought about exploring. Blogs are an excellent source of information as well to get the scoop on the place you are visiting. Be open minded. Don’t limit yourself and try to enjoy your time.Take it from me for example; I was born and raised in Puerto Rico, one of the most visited and famous islands in the Caribbean. I know every tourist area, and as a local, I will tell you where you need to go and what places you can try but are not as important. That insight saves you time and money. There is nothing more horrible than being on vacation in a new place, and you find nothing to do! I would have rather saved my money and stayed home. So, explore what the locals do and where they go to enjoy themselves.
Traveling in a group can either be an amazing experience or a nightmare. The benefits of traveling groups are that you just pay the money and they will make the reservations and where to eat and then they will also give you some free time. What you need to understand is that these people are on a tight schedule and the food will be chosen by them depending on the stop they have. You don’t get to choose. They choose the hotels. Be mindful about that when you try this out. There also guides and tour companies that you can use the services for a few days instead of being in the whole group. Remember you will have to stick to their schedule so think before you choose this option. Another good thing is that if you do follow the plan they have, you will see what they have promised nothing more.
If you are traveling with friends and relatives, things could get a little hairy. How do you maximize your time with all these different opinions and people? Simple, before you even get on that plane, you need to have a meeting with all the people going on this trip. There needs to be some boundaries and structure. We all have that family member that can sleep until 4 pm or the one that is always late to everything. You might also have one that complains about everything because you didn’t go where they wanted to go. I could go on, and you might be already on day four of your seven-day vacation! Get together and strategize ahead.Everyone’s opinion should be considered, and they also should get to do what they want. If you don’t agree with some things, then it's okay to divide and conquer. Don’t think that you must be together for everything. Learn to compromise and understand everyone paid their part, and they should also have some fun. What I am trying to say is that you can maximize your vacation by organizing the family’s needs and wants. If everyone already knows what to expect you will have fewer arguments because it was already discussed. Be free, be fun, and overall don’t overthink! It's your vacation time and maybe sleep is overrated!