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A trip of any kind is a wonderful thing, but often it can fly by so quickly that before you know it, you’re back at home, reminiscing about all the memories and wishing you had enjoyed it more while you were there. There’s nothing worse than regret, especially concerning a vacation, so in this article, we’ll give you 9 steps on how to enjoy your trip to the fullest and avoid feeling like you could have done things better.
Planning for your trip creates anticipation and excitement, which greatly increases your happiness. The prospect of all the fun you will have and all the possibilities for when you are there is one of the best things about a trip! It also prolongs the entire experience of your trip. The longer you can ride the wave of your vacation, the better; it will create a fuller, more memorable time.
So get excited for your trip! I find one of the best ways to do this is to make lists. A week or two before my vacation, I will sit down with a pad of paper and a pen and make a list of anything I can think of: what to pack, what I’m going to wear each day, what I’d like to do while I’m there, what I have to do before I leave, and so on. Sitting down and taking a bit of time to plan for your trip increases your happiness and forces you to look forward to it. Every time I write down my plans for a trip I feel hopeful and joyful and excited to be there!
Another perk to planning your vacation is that you will be more prepared when you are there. When you take the time to really contemplate your trip, you will envision the possible circumstances that could arise and therefore you’ll have a better idea of what to pack. You will be more prepared for anything that comes your way because you have already spent so much time daydreaming about what the trip will be like.
This brings me to my next point: packing appropriately. There’s nothing worse than being stuck somewhere wishing you had brought that one item you really need. Use a list to pack the things you’ll need so that you don’t forget anything. When you use a list to pack, you’ll have everything on paper right in front of you, and all you have to do is put it in a suitcase! Cross the items out as you put them in your bag and not a moment before – this way you’ll be certain you packed them.
Don’t only pack the bare minimum; make sure to pack a few things in case of emergency. Anything can happen when you’re traveling, and you don’t want to be stuck without a shirt because you spilled red wine on your only one. Be sure to pack a couple of extras of everything; it won’t take up a lot of room and you will feel more comfortable knowing that you have a backup. It’s good to bring a sweater too, even if you’re going somewhere hot because you never know how cold the nights will be.
When you know you have everything you need, plus a little extra just in case, your mind will be more at ease and you will be able to fully enjoy your time without worry. Feel free to check out our article on how to pack a carry-on bag for more packing advice.
You’ve planned and packed for your trip, and now after a long journey, you’ve finally reached your destination! What’s the first thing you do? You update your story on Instagram. Don’t do this! Social media is deceiving because it can make you feel like you’re documenting the events in your life, but really it distracts you and brings you out of the present moment. You end up looking at your screen instead of looking at all the wonderful things around you. View your trip with your own eyes instead of through the screen of your phone.
I find it useful to delete my social media apps from my phone the day I leave for my trip. This way, I am not tempted to use them, but I can easily redownload them when I get back. When the apps are right there on your home screen it’s a lot easier to simply open them up and scroll through them a bit, but when they are gone from your phone, the temptation disappears with them and you find yourself enjoying each moment to the fullest.
Being on your phone is a waste of your precious vacation time. Use your trip as a chance to get away from all the day-to-day things that plague your life at home, and this includes being a slave to social media. Take a bit of time to yourself.
Instead of documenting your life over social media, document it the old-fashioned way: with pen and paper. Bring a journal with you and at the end of each day, find a quiet spot to take a little time and write down all the things that happened that day. It doesn’t have to be novel-worthy; chances are the only person who will ever read it is your future self.
Keeping a small journal while you’re on your vacation helps you to remember all the small moments better; little details that might have slipped away and been forgotten forever are written down and preserved while they’re still fresh. Then when you are back at home and missing your vacation, you can open your journal and remember exactly what happened and how it felt to be there. Writing about something is like taking a photograph; it creates a lasting memory that you can revisit whenever you like.
Writing about your day also helps to create positive feelings towards your trip, and it will help you be more mindful. It can even serve as a guide for the next time you go on vacation.
Bringing a film camera is a wonderful way to capture some memories from your trip. The magical thing about film cameras is that, unlike a typical phone camera or digital camera, every photograph you take counts! You can’t take hundreds of photos and then pick the best ones later. You only get one chance, for better or for worse. But this is how picture-taking always used to be, before our modern technology. In a way, it makes the whole process more meaningful. Because you don’t have the option of taking multiple photos, the ones you do take become more special.
Some disposable film cameras are waterproof as well, so if you’re going somewhere with swimming, it can be a lot of fun to take underwater pictures.
Unlike phone cameras, disposable film cameras and Polaroid cameras give you a hard copy of your photograph, so you can hang them on your wall or put them in a photo album and remember your trip every time you look at them.
I also find that having a camera with you encourages you to look at the world with brighter, more curious eyes. You see more beauty when you’re consciously looking for things worth photographing. This will help you enjoy the aesthetic qualities of everything around you as you travel.
There’s nothing more painful or more frustrating than getting a sunburn on vacation. If you’re someone who burns in the sun, make sure you take extra precautions on your trip, because chances are you will be spending lots of time outside. Even on cloudy days, you can still get a burn. The best way to prevent one is to reapply sunscreen throughout the day on any area of your skin that is exposed.
If you plan to be spending time on the beach, it’s also good to cover yourself up as much as possible. When I’m not swimming, I like to wear a shirt or dress over my bathing suit to protect my shoulders.
Over the years, after many painful sunburns, I’ve learned there is never too much sunscreen. Reapply more often than you think is necessary; it’s always better to be safe than sorry. If you get a sunburn on your trip it will affect your experience for the rest of the time, because it will be painful and itchy and could get even worse if you continue to go outside with it. Protect yourself and you’ll avoid unnecessary pain and soak up the sunshine without suffering any harmful consequences.
If you are an avid calorie-counter, or you are strict about eating healthy foods, your vacation is the perfect time to postpone your diet and let yourself enjoy the food you might not normally eat. It’s one thing to be health conscious, but it’s another thing to be obsessed with what you’re eating at all times.
During your trip, you’ll likely be eating out a lot. Let yourself try new foods; it can be fun and exciting. And let yourself have dessert if you want it! Being on vacation, you’re walking around, doing activities and spending more time out and about than you usually would, so you can afford a few extra calories – you’ll just burn them off anyway. Don’t deny yourself a treat for the sake of your diet, because you will be denying yourself the full experience of your trip.
It’s important to travel with people who you get along with well and who understand you. It’s good to go with someone who has interests similar to yours, so you won’t have any disputes about what to do when you’re there. You won’t enjoy your trip to the fullest if you’re with someone who is negative or who doesn’t like the things you like.
Travel with someone who is positive and who has the same disposition as you; if you prefer to spend your trip seeing and doing as much as possible, go with someone who is as adventurous as you are, but if you prefer a more peaceful trip, go with someone who will be content to simply relax. It’s your vacation, so you should spend it the way you want to. There’s no right way to go about it; do what makes you happy on your trip, and travel with people who also make you happy.
It’s also fun to travel by yourself. This way you can do what you want and take some time just for yourself. You might also end up meeting some wonderful people.
The final step is to simply be in the moment and be happy. Notice all the little things around you, enjoy the sights and sounds, try new things. Try not to let little things get to you; even if one or two things don’t go as planned, remember that sometimes it’s the things that weren’t planned that turn out to be the most fun and memorable.
These are our 9 tips on how to enjoy your trip to the very fullest. Planning for your trip will increase your happiness and also ensure that you are well prepared and well packed. When you reach your destination, practice being in the present moment by staying off your phone, writing and taking photographs to cherish, and enjoying your time alone or with friends. If you follow these steps, you will have a marvelous, memorable trip.
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