How to make the most of a short holiday abroad

For most of us working folk, a holiday that lasts more than a handful of days is something usually restricted to our imagination and some of our wildest dreams.

However, even with just five days or less (including travel time) for your trip, I believe you truly can have the time of your life! Below are a few pointers on how to make the most of a short holiday abroad.

One. Travel in the night/ look for transport with an accommodating schedule – If you have five days of travel somewhere out of the country, the last thing you want to do is spend the whole of day 1 and day 5 in transit. Sure, the journey might be part of the whole experience (and it usually really is) but if your aim is to maximize limited time at the place you are travelling to, I recommend looking for transportation that allows you to travel safely in the night and sleep on the plane/train. Thus, allowing you to arrive bright and early the next morning and ready to seize the day, as well as make the most of your last day.

Two.  Opt for a day (or two) on a hop-on, hop-off big bus tour – I find these very useful as I have used them before in both Dubai and Cape Town. The bus acts as your transport around the city while allowing you to hop off and explore any key areas of interest and hop back on when you’re ready. You can find more information about big bus tours here.

Three. Take some time to explore that “one thing” – There is usually a thing that made you want to visit a place, in the first place. You might have travelled to indulge in a once-in-a-lifetime shopping extravaganza or maybe there is that magnificent world wonder that someone told you about or that you keep reading about in books. Take some time off to fully experience it. Otherwise, you might leave feeling cheated.

Four. Leave a “free day” during your trip – This is essential for me (it doesn’t always happen, but it should). Set aside a day were you won’t be up to much. A “nothing planned day” to simply follow your curiosity or unwind and soak in your soundings. Alternatively, it could be a “no picture day.” On my last trip to Diani, my friend Rachel and I realized that we just couldn’t get enough of the beautiful scenery and were constantly snapping away. We agreed that the last day would be a no picture day where we would lay on the beach and swim in the ocean – and we did! Pure bliss.

Five. Leave a “free day” after your trip – If you are heading straight back to the office from your holiday, it is wise to have at least a one day allowance for what I would call a “back to reality day.” Trust me, you will need the rest (even if all you have been doing is laying around on the beach). This day will also come in handy in case of any emergencies, flight delays etc.

Lastly, don’t try and do everything. Some of my shortest trips have been the utmost sweetest. I find it thoroughly gratifying to leave a place wanting more and with a lot more to think about.

What has been your experience? How do you make the most of only a few days of travel? I look forward to your thoughts and advice in the reply section below. Xx.

PS: The picture above was taken in Camps Bay, Cape Town, South Africa.

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