Planning ensures that you’ll accommodate multiple family members’ interests, will see the highlights, and make good use of your time. But, how do you go about making a vacation unique and meaningful?
In today’s post, I’m sharing five tips that will help you create a memorable vacation for yourself or your friends and family!
5 Tips to Help Create a Memorable Vacation
If you’re still stuck on how to even start planning your vacation, much less, making it memorable, check out this post on How to Plan an Amazing Vacation in 8 Steps first!
Seek Out the Unusual
Atlas Obscura is one of my favorite resources for finding unique things to do when traveling. While some of the sights they list have become well-known attractions, many are lesser-known. Either way, you are sure to find something unique, whether traveling as a tourist in your home town or abroad.
When doing research, the Atlas Obscura website is much easier to use than the app as it has a convenient search button. However, you should also keep the Atlas Obscura app on your phone as it has a geo-location feature to help you find attractions in your immediate vicinity.
The Haserot Angel is just one of over 200 hidden and unique things to discover in Ohio!
Find Special Events
Another way that we’ve been able to add some memorable experiences to our itineraries is by researching festivals and special events in the region! To easily do this yourself, just search for “list of (country name, region name or city name) festivals or special events”.
This is how we added the very locally attended Rhein in Flammen festival to our Oktoberfest trip and the Cotswold Games to our UK visit. While Oktoberfest is a great experience, it’s very big, touristed, and multinational. Conversely, Rhein en Flammen and the Cotswold Games were almost exclusively attended by locals. This gives a very different glimpse into daily life in those areas.
In lesser developed countries, another way that we’ve added uniqueness/meaning to previous trips is by doing something charitable. For instance, in Egypt, we packed some small games and toys to distribute to children along the Nile.
Last July, in Havana, we packed up multiple kits of items not frequently available in Cuba to distribute to residents in the neighborhood where we were staying. To date, these remain some of our favorite experiences!
Even in developed countries, you could lend a hand at a soup kitchen, school, orphanage, or charity shop. To arrange this, I’d find out what’s available in advance and coordinate a date/time with the program director.
Have Someone Show You Around
If you plan to do some sightseeing, consider booking a tour through showaround. Unlike traditional tour guides, showaround places a heavier emphasis on connecting you with locals than on showing you the sights.
To use it, share the details of your trip on the Showaround website. Next, various locals will “bid” to show you around and share your experience. Lastly, you review their profiles and offers and select the host that appeals to you the most. NOTE: I have not used Showaround yet but would consider it in the future, particularly if traveling to a place I’d already been and if traveling solo.
Take Advantage of Your Special Interests
Are you pretty extroverted? Do you like to bike or dance or play board games? Then try participating in a local Meetup event when traveling. You can find meet-ups for nearly any interest you might have and participating in one while traveling is a great way to meet locals and visit venues that may not be on the typical tourist track.
While I enjoy Meetup at home, I’ve yet to use this method when traveling. However, I’m considering this for future Mexico trips as a chance to practice/polish my language skills.
I hope you enjoyed these tips on how to create a memorable vacation. For many of us, when we travel, it is to experience something different. So do that. Be cautious but not afraid. Talk to people. Be curious. Connect. I promise you, the risk will be rewarded with unforgettable memories!
I’ll be off for a week or two so have a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend and kick-off to summer. Until next time…