Are you stuck in a holiday rut?
Maybe it’s time to go for some different travel ideas holiday plans and trips.
Do you ever get bored of the same kind of travel ideas holiday plans? Does sitting on a beach for two weeks solid get a little, well, boring? I guess most people don’t want to admit it, but I will – I love holidays, I love beaches, but after about two or three days I want to do something, something other than lying prone and praying to the sun gods to make me brown; which incidentally never works, because I am simply one big freckle with a little lobster red thrown in for good measure. Is it just me, or is it impossible to tan evenly?
Anyway, I digress.
The great news is that, if you’re like me and don’t want to admit such an apparent holiday failure, you don’t have to spend your entire holiday on the beach, in fact if you want to tailor-make your break to something totally different, you can. If you crave a different kind of holiday, something which will mean no boredom, or very little of it at least, then it’s time to do a little research into your options.
Once upon a time you only ever considered a cruise if you were a) rich, or b) old; nowadays this has all changed and cruise breaks are up there in the top holiday searches, sitting right alongside traditional land-based breaks. The chance to visit several different destinations within a region, all within the space of a short period of time, whilst enjoying the facilities on-board what is literally a floating holiday resort, calls out to many people, and the fact your food is generally included in the price of your holiday is a major non-budgeting coop.
Cruise and stay breaks are hugely popular too, which basically gives you the best of both worlds, with a week or so in Orlando or Miami combined with a Caribbean cruise being a very well-travelled option. Of course, you could choose to cruise and stay anywhere in the world, it’s a very flexible kind of deal. This all adds up to a totally different kind of holiday, because you’re not static, and therefore you can’t get bored.
The only downside to cruising is that you don’t get to spend a decent amount of time in your itinerary destinations. Personally I don’t think you can say you’ve actually been somewhere, literally experienced it properly, if you only spent a few hours there. Yes, you’ve been, I guess that’s the wrong way to put it, but you’ve not immersed yourself in the culture and traditions, you’ve not seen much of it, and probably haven’t spoken to many people either. This is the only downside I can see with cruising, but you could flip that on its head and say that it’s an ideal chance to try places in bite-sized forms, to see if you would like to go back there at a later date on a longer land-based holiday; almost a try before you buy kind of deal.
Interrailing around Europe
If you want a totally different kind of holiday, something which is basically travelling in its purest form, then interrailing could be a great option for you. Europe is a rail enthusiast’s playground, and you’ll find many companies online offering rail passes to allow you to travel freely (well, with a few restrictions, so do read the terms and conditions, and that pesky small print) within a specified region. You can certainly see the differing landscapes as you cross borders by train, and you can plan where to stay beforehand, or do it on the fly if you prefer to be spontaneous.
Some of the world’s best rail journeys are famous, so there is certainly form for this kind of break in history. The only downside? Rail passes can be costly so it’s not a cheap kind of break, but I guess you have to weigh up whether you consider it an adventure or not, because adventures are certainly worth paying for.
Travelho sidenote: I inter-railed around Europe for a month with a friend back in 1991. It was the first time I had ever left the British Isles. After we paid for our month long interail pass, neither of us had much spending money left for the trip, but it was either go now, or forget the whole thing. We both knew the only way we could last the entire month was to have a strict budget of £10 a day, not a lot of money, even in 1991. That was for everything, including accommodation and food. We slept in a proper bed 4 nights in the entire month, the rest of the time we slept on beaches, sidewalks, parks, we caught overnight trains and zig zagged our way across Europe surviving mostly on tomato and cheese bread rolls the entire time, with the occasional splash out on a pizza or beer on really ‘special occasions’. It was tough going at times, but we stayed within budget and travelled the entire month and clocked up 12 countries and over 20 major European cities along the way. I’ve since lost contact with my travelling companion, but it helped foster a travel hunger in me that I will never be able to completely satisfy and it’s still up there as one of the best, most memorable months of travel I’ve ever had, and I’m so glad we didn’t back out because of the fear we both had of not having enough money to survive the month.
Just like cruising, island hopping has a bit of a stigma attached to it, i.e. that it’s something only gap year students do, or those who have quit their jobs and gone off to find themselves. Well, it’s certainly true that you will stumble across these groups of people on your travels, but you will also find many other groups trying this different kind of holiday too. More and more island regions are opening up to island hopping, with ferries freely able to transport you from island to island.
You might think they’re all the same, right? Well, no, every island you encounter will be slightly different from the one before, with different cultures, slightly different history, and a different way of life in general. It’s certainly a good way to explore an area and see its subtle quirks and differences.
Greece is a popular spot for island hopping, as there are obviously many different islands to explore here. Each port will have information on ferries, times, routes etc, so it’s really a case of flying by the seat of your pants and going where the wind (or in this case, the ferry) takes you.
The great thing about island hopping is that you can dedicate more time to places you enjoy, e.g. if you head to Rhodes and you love it, you don’t have to leave after two days if you don’t want to, you can stay for a little longer before moving on, it’s a little fluid and spontaneous like that. For a different kind of holiday, which is still travel but with a more touristic take on it, island hopping is a good choice.
Everyone loves a city break, and this is generally a few days away from normality when you want to escape. Europe is packed with cultural, exciting, and different cities, and many of them are only a short flight away. Thanks to low cost airlines you can now travel to some of the most wonderful cities on earth for very little indeed.
City breaks are a totally different kind of holiday because they don’t give you the time to get bored; we know that cities are fast paced and full of things to see and do, so a few days exploring the history, culture, cuisine, shopping, entertainment, and sporting opportunities within a city is the ideal way to explore and not stop!
There is the obligatory downside – cities are expensive places, and this kind of break isn’t going to be particularly relaxing. You need to put some pre-planning into where you stay, so you’re not commuting in and out from the suburbs every day, and find a few ways to cut costs here and there.
A totally different kind of holiday to the one you may spend sprawled out on a beach! If you like action and adventure, you’ll find countless companies online which will cater for your every need. Obviously, make sure you check reviews and do a little research before you decide to opt for a particular company, but there are some reputable ones out there who will certainly give you more options for adventure than you can ever dream of!
Fancy trekking through a rainforest? Always dreamed of floating down the Amazon? Do you want to climb Kilimanjaro? Trek the Great Wall of China? Head to Machu Picchu? I could go on, but basically, if you want to do something iconic, get your lungs working out, and have some amazing memories at the end of it, you can head to some of the most mysterious and far-flung destinations in the world and do something adventurous and exciting, just as easily as you can book a beach holiday.
Of course, learning something new broadens the mind, right? Well, you can easily combine learning a new skill, or even a new language, with amazing surroundings. How about learning Spanish in South America? Fancy mastering the Tango in Argentina? Or do you want to learn how to make real pasta in Rome? You can do anything you set your mind to, and educational breaks are certainly a different kind of holiday which are catching on, right into the mainstream. Photography breaks are becoming incredibly popular, as well as language-learning courses; it’s undeniably easier to learn a little of a language when you’re surrounded by it!
The great thing about these kinds of holiday is that you will meet other like-minded individuals who are all interested in the same things as you, so you never know, you might meet a new friend or life, or even the man or woman of your dreams!
If you crave the chance to give something back, then volunteering is undoubtedly for you.
Whether you head off for two weeks or two months, you will find this is a different kind of holiday that will leave you feeling warm and fuzzy inside.
Again, head online and look into reputable companies who will give you help and advice on volunteering opportunities, making it easier to find a cause which needs your help.
The final choice on our list is probably the most famous and epic type of travel there is – backpacking. Now, before you cringe and picture rucksacks and the great unwashed, stop right there! Stereotypes of backpacking are completely wrong in the main, and it is now possible to travel the world with simply a carry-on bag, completely cleanly, experiencing wonderful things, and probably changing your life as a result. I know that sounds like some major cliché, yet again, but you ask someone who has done it, and they’ll tell you exactly the same.
This isn’t just a different kind of holiday, backpacking is an adventure and an epic one at that, some could even say it’s a way of life, because once you get that sense of freedom, it’s hard to shake it.
There are some things you need to take into consideration with backpacking, namely making sure you get the right kind of insurance, packing correctly, keeping in touch, and looking into your logistical options too, and it will take some serious planning on your part, but the actual experience will be worth it. You don’t even have to go to obscure places if you don’t want to; you can easily backpack your way around a particular country or region, you don’t have to go off climbing mountains and staying in rural regions if you don’t feel comfortable. Backpacking is a personal experience.
Hopefully you will have just been given a little food for thought on ways to travel, holiday, and enjoy the world without simply lying on a beach. Of course, if you much prefer to simply enjoy everything a particular destination has to offer, visiting the beach every day, or every other day, that’s perfectly fine – travel is a very individual kind of deal, and what one person enjoys, well, someone else might find totally yawn-inducing.
Enjoy your travel how you want to enjoy it, and experience the world in your own personal way.
Different travel ideas holiday plans – By Nicola Curtis
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