At this time of year I often find myself yearning for to feel warm sun on my face; to be able to slip on my summer clothes; and to be able to relax without a care in the world. Christmas time can be so stressful and busy, it tends to take over and dominate the whole month of December and it often makes itself felt in November or even earlier. Add to that the fact that the weather has been getting colder, wetter and generally more miserable for a few months and is unlikely to improve in a hurry and it’s no surprise that I feel the need to escape to somewhere more exotic, or even just somewhere warm and dry.
Getting ready for a trip is important if you are to really be able to enjoy it and switch off. Here are my tips for a successful trip:
- Plenty of research. This is so easy to do online these days, but take reviews with a pinch of salt. Using the computer is easy of course, but sometimes it’s nice to consult a good old fashioned guidebook instead.
- Get insured. If you are older, you might want to consider a specialist insurer or if you have medical conditions that need to be declared, certain companies focus on this type of insurance and make it easier.
- Consider journey length and time zones. If you can only manage a short trip away, you may not want to be flying for too long and your body will adapt quicker to the change in time zone if it isn’t too dramatically different to what you are used to.
- Buy early and pack early for your trip. You’ll reduce your stress that way and it will help you get into the holiday mood sooner. There’s no need to go mad buying a new holiday wardrobe, but a new piece or two add some interest.
For me though the destination is all important. Many people are looking to holiday closer to home now and I think it’s a trend that will continue in future years. There are so many great places to visit close to home, especially with us being an island nation and having so much wonderful coastline to explore. The countryside is a draw for many, but our cities hold so many interesting places. London in particular has a lot to offer with historical, cultural and artistic delights by the bucketful. If you want a smaller, more compact city consider somewhere like York or Worcester. A market town is also a good bet as they have a wide range of facilities and there are often plenty of sights to see and explore, especially for a shorter break.
I often like to plan a trip around a culinary experience like visiting a restaurant. It’s a great way to try out regional specialities and get a flavour for the local cuisine. Many cities have a Chinese quarter or Birmingham has its own Balti Triangle to explore for Indian cuisine lovers.