Vacation is the best treat you can give to yourself and your family. The right way to enjoy your holiday is advance planning. Read on for the do’s and don’ts of having a perfect holiday…By A L I CHOUGULE
Summer is the time of the year when you think of taking break from work, hum-drum of city life as well as the unbearable summer heat. Once children’s exams are over, summer vacation is the first thing that comes to mind. After all, you and your family need to relax and spend some quality time together by breaking away from the monotony of everyday city life.
You need a holiday for several reasons. Change of place, according to psychologists, is the best rejuvenator. Urban life keeps your adrenalin level high as you fire fight to balance between professional and personal responsibilities. Health experts call cities stress and lifestyle diseases zone. Hence you need a change to rejuvenate yourself as new place brings down stress level by freeing mind of everyday clutter. And holiday is a much-needed and well-deserved treat one can give to oneself and the family.
According to well-known psychiatrist Dr. Harish Bedekar, people don’t pay much attention to mental aspect of holiday. “What matters more is the attitude. Often people carry worries on holidays. So holidays become more stress and less fun. What you need is free mind. The intent should be to enjoy and de-stress yourself,” he explains. Elaborating further, he adds, “Being mentally ready is the best way to plan holiday. Who you are going with and where? What you are going to do there? Don’t just pack your bags and land somewhere.”
The best way to enjoy a holiday is proper and advance planning. Budget can sometimes be bit of a constraint for many middle class people. After all, one needs to calculate the cost of travel, accommodation, food, sightseeing, shopping and miscellaneous expenses. There is no point thinking about expenses and counting pennies while you venture into sea for a swim or enjoying the sunset on a hill station. Hence knowing your budget is very important. Experts on personal finance are of the view that ideally one can spend about 8 to 10 per cent of the annual income on vacations.
The next step is to plan where you want to go and for how many days, so that your expenses do not overshoot the budget. How you plan to reach the holiday destination and finding the budget accommodation that suits your pocket is third important aspect of planning a holiday. Finally, what you plan to do there and how much you can afford to spend on shopping are equally important decisions to make. Planning each day’s expenses on food and travel is a must, though you must inflate the figure by 10 per cent as a cushion to accommodate extra expenses. However, you should not overshoot the figure beyond a limit on daily expenses. Don’t forget that debt financing is not advisable as it can take the fun out of your much-needed holiday and stress your finances.
Local travel is always costly at holiday spots. Don’t hire a vehicle to reach the nearest places of interest. Instead walk for 15 or 20 minutes. Walking is good for health. It will keep you active and healthy. Food is another costly component of holiday expenses. When it comes to eating, choose your menu carefully. Stay within your budget of daily expenses on meals and refreshments. Try local cuisines sometimes if you can.
When you think of shopping, don’t lose your sense of balance. Stay within your shopping budget. It is always tempting to buy things that attract your attention. Local ethnic goods are too difficult to resist. Buy what you really want and will be useful later. There is absolutely no point in buying anything that may not be of much use after you return home.
The best way to enjoy a holiday is to stay cool and relaxed. Don’t stretch yourself physically but plan each day properly. Don’t cramp too many activities in your daily routine. People often visit many of places of interest in a single day and end up getting completely tired. Thus what should have been an enjoyable experience turns out to be absolutely hectic. Give enough time for yourself. Remember, you are not on a business trip or work-related tour but on a holiday. It is why package tours/holidays are not advisable as they are too exhausting and less fun.
The key to optimal vacation fun and enjoyment is to forget your urban life. Don’t carry any work on your holiday. It can wait for a few days. After all, you have taken a break from work. Watching TV is a complete no; you are not going on holiday to watch TV. Instead have one-to-one interaction with your family members. Take a walk, enjoy nature, feel vibrations of the place.
Finally when you return home and still fresh with memories of your holiday, start thinking about the next one and begin planning for it slowly. You don’t have to wait for your bank balance to swell to start planning for the next holiday. A little bit of planning now will help you a lot. If you lack financial discipline – most of us do – start putting aside some money every month. Saving for a vacation will drive away last minute financial blues. After all, life has to go on smoothly. Don’t forget to have a good time.