I was recently asked to write about my perfect holiday by the folks at Happiness Included. Their parent company focuses on a variety of International trips but Happiness Included is focusing on trips to Spain and Thailand. They are currently giving away a tree trip to Thailand – you can enter via their website; also check out some of their screen shots below.
I have taken many trips over the years – some almost perfect, many not – but nearly all memorable. Over time you realize what makes a trip great – for me it includes good friends, fun activities and seeing and experiencing new places. Often places I would consider “boring” while traveling alone can become enjoyable with the right travel companions. Certain trips that really stand out have included overcoming hardships. While these trips perhaps were not the most pleasant at the time – the years have tempered the bad experiences and now I only remember the best parts of those trips.
I have identified three factors that help form my perfect holiday.
This one goes without saying but often is easier said than done. I’ve always been an adventurous eater and early on in my travels I paid for this dearly. In the past few years, my eating habits have not changed yet my stomach has – it has grown much stronger and I have not been sick from food for several years. There is nothing worse than starting out a trip sick. I have been recently reading the go to resource for flying, “Cockpit Confidential” – in part the book addresses how to stay healthy when flying. The author indicates your best weapon against germs in planes is using “clean wipes” before or after touching public areas – rather than using masks – as the air in planes is recycled very often and put through high quality filters.
It is easy to become jaded when you continuously travel – certain experiences become more mundane the more you travel and experience them- especially when dealing with logistics or transportation. The logistics of travel certainly can be challenging and annoying at times – but this is not usually what you remember from a trip. Rather you start seeking out sensory moments of inspiration whether it is from an in depth conversation with a stranger, an adrenaline inducing thrill of some adventure, great natural beauty or even delicious tasting food.
While the other factors listed above are extremely important the “experiences” of being in new places are why I travel. I crave experiences rather than things; while you ultimately cannot take either with you – it is the memories of trips that stick with me. An ideal holiday for me must focus on experiential travel – specifically outdoor adventure. Some of the best trips I’ve been on have been with friends mountain climbing in “high” places like the Peruvian Andes or the highest mountains on the planet, the Himalayas, trekking in remote wilderness or exploring areas of great natural beauty.
However, experiences in travel for me, are not just tied to outdoor adventure activities. I enjoy trying exotic foods, especially food you can only find in a certain region, experiencing other cultures, home-stay – seeing first hand how other people live their day to day lives.
And while I seek out experiences when I travel – there is also something to be said for a relaxing vacation on and island with the beach and related water activities as one of the main focuses of the holiday – oh and several good books.
What factors form the perfect holiday on your travels? What type of trips do you enjoy? Let us know by commenting below!