There’s a huge difference between going away on vacation and going to travel. When you’re on vacation it tends to be about relaxation and indulgence, whereas when you travel you want to really interact with your surroundings and get to know a destination as much as possible. But that’s not to say you can’t travel within a week or two, it all depends on your mindset and how you go about things. If you want to travel but only have a short space of time to do it in, here’s how you can go about it to get the very most of your time!
Get a birds eye view
What better way to take in a stunning destination, than with a birds eye view? Helicopter tours and hot air balloon rides are commonly found in tourist destinations and can be such a great addition to your trip. Not only are they thrilling and exciting, but you can appreciate the location you’re in in a completely different way. From cities like Las Vegas and New York, to more natural destinations such as the Grand Canyon, seeing them from above is a great way to go. When you’re planning your trip, do some research and see what kinds of aerial adventures are available. It’s sure to be one of the most memorable things you do while you’re away, and enables you to gain a new perspective of the place. Other ways you can get a birds eye view from some locations would be to visit the highest buildings, such as the Statue of Liberty, Eiffel Tower and Seattle Space Needle– or even things like the London Eye. Of course, most large cities will have huge towering skyscrapers or big wheels, and so planning to visit one and while you’re away can be a smart move if you want to make the most of the place. If you’re visiting a more natural location, find the highest point or consider doing some mountain climbing to reach the best views!
Explore the waters
Even if you think you know a destination well, chances are you haven’t discovered everything the waters have to offer. If you’re at a coastal location it makes sense to hop on a boat and enjoy the oceans, but there’s plenty to do even in landlocked destinations. How about going on a river cruise, or hiring a barge and travelling the canal systems? Take cities like Amsterdam for example, there are hundreds of miles of canal networks that take you right through the action. You could head to a large lake and go speed boating, there’s so much you might have overlooked. There are places in the world that are only accessible by boat, and others that give you the chance to explore remote and largely unspoiled places. There are all kinds of boat clubs you can join, which are useful when you travel often and like to hit the waters as they enable you to go boating without needing to buy your own vessel. Otherwise, you could just find out what’s available once you’ve decided on your location. Don’t overlook boating just because you’re not going to the beach! Whether you go yachting, white water rafting, barge boating or something else entirely, do your best to discover the waters of your destination.
Travel the land
When we think about seeing what a destination has to offer, it’s tempting to just Google the best tourist attractions. And while high end hotels, michelin star restaurants and designer boutiques are fun when you’re visiting a new place, they don’t necessarily give you an understanding of what the real location is about. Instead, you want to delve deeper than just the superficial- find out where the locals eat and shop and what they do. Find places that are off the beaten track, and find out what the customs, culture and religion of a place is like. This allows you to really interact with your surroundings and you can leave feeling as though you got a good understanding of the place. Consider backpacking or using public transport as a way to get around. Chat to the people that live there for recommendations for places to visit and don’t just rely on tourist information as a way to navigate your trip. If there are good tram and train networks available consider using these instead of taking taxis everywhere.
You don’t need to go away for months at a time to be considered a traveller. There’s plenty you can pack into a shorter trip, it’s all about how you explore and interact with your surroundings that sets apart travel from a vacation.