Part of the fun of going on vacation has to be the process of getting there. No matter how you travel, you’ll be taken out of your normal routine. You’ll get to road trip with your favorite snacks and listen to music all day, or fly above your normal life to get away for a while. But what do you do once you get to your destination?
Everyone is different. I know some people who, no matter what their trip experience is like, just want to take a nap when they arrive wherever they’re staying. Other people like to go find a great, local place to eat. After all, you’re away from home, so eat foods you normally wouldn’t be able to! I prefer to jump right into my vacation.
I’ll admit, it can be fun to unpack your things in a new place. I rarely use provided drawers for my clothes (my worst fear? Leaving them behind!), so I usually just dump my bags on my bed and head for the nearest window. That’s really my greatest vacation ritual: getting a place with a view.
One of my favorite places to catch a first view at is the beach. Nothing is better than standing on that balcony for the first time and hearing the waves crash on the sand. You’re instantly transported, which is great for people like me who tend to have their brain still in work-mode.
Eat a Great Meal
A friend who once traveled the world told me to never eat at a chain restaurant while on vacation, and don’t waste a meal. When I asked what that meant, he said to find foods that are traditional to locals. Merge with the town and leave your tourist hat in your bag.
This isn’t as easy to do if you’re just visiting family for Thanksgiving, since you’ll probably already fit in with the locals. However, if you’re traveling somewhere completely new, eating local foods can be the best thing you do with your money. You’ll skip your usual meals and help out the local economy while you’re at it. That’s worth an extra few bucks.
For the record, I never do this without having a map or GPS with me! Some people may feel more comfortable wandering new city streets with no guidance, but I’m not there yet. I prefer the illusion. By getting around on foot with no real end goal to get to, you’ll find places to make memories at that you won’t find on a Google search.
The thing about Google is that when you search your vacation spot, it will usually suggest activities that pass its extensive algorithm. Smaller, family-owned business don’t get featured most of the time. The best way to find fun things to do is to get out and walk around town, whether you aim to get lost or not. Personally, I think I’ve had better luck trying this method than planning activities out ahead of time.
Half the fun of a vacation is getting to your destination, and the other half is what you do when you’re there. Everyone has their own routine for what they do when they arrive somewhere, but I think the best thing you can do is get right into vacationing. For me, that always starts with seeing and eating great things, then exploring until night falls.
While I may use a planner to schedule parts of my trip and avoid any problems,—although that isn’t always possible—my favorite part about traveling is not having expectations for where I’ll be and when. Just relax and go with the flow! There will always be time for routine when you get back to your normal life.