In today's struggling economy, going on vacation is a luxury that fewer and fewer of us can afford. When it is possible for you to go on vacation, it typically requires careful budgeting and saving for months prior to departing. Because going on vacation has become such a luxury to most of us, getting the most out of the time you spend on vacation is more important than ever before.
Before deciding on a destination, determine how you want to spend your vacation. Do you want to take surfing lessons, go shopping, or be pampered in a world-class spa? Once you have decided how you want to spend your time, you can figure out the best destination to suit your interests.
Make sure to dedicate enough time to enjoy each activity without overwhelming yourself. Remember that traveling around an unfamiliar city may take longer than you anticipate, so take plenty of travel time into consideration when creating your itinerary. Also give yourself some time to relax and simply enjoy your surroundings. Over-scheduling your vacation can create a very stressful, unpleasant time. A vacation is a time to get away from the stresses and demands of everyday life. If your vacation is every bit as fast-paced and stressful as your day-to-day life, you won't have time to enjoy yourself.
Before departing, spend some time researching your destination. Read travel guides at your local library or look for tourism and travel websites. Learn a few basic phrases in the native language. For example, learn to ask where the restroom is and how to say please and thank you. It may be in your best interest to hire a tour guide to help you get around the city. If you don't have room in your budget to hire an actual tour guide, use social networking to meet a local resident to help you get around town in exchange for meals or a small fee.
Perhaps the most important thing you can do to get the most out of your vacation time is this: unplug. While it may be unrealistic to leave your cell phone and laptop at home, leave them behind at the hotel while you are out enjoying your days and evenings. Designate an hour in the mornings and an hour in the evenings to make necessary phone calls and reply to e-mails. The rest of the time, enjoy your vacation without worrying about what's going on back at home or in the office.