Monthly Archives: October 2017

Planning a Vacation? Don’t Forget These Essential Items for Your Next Trip

With summer slowly fading away and the holidays right around the corner it can feel like you are stuck in a limbo between reminiscing about what a great fun filled summer you had and starting get excited about all the great things that come with the upcoming holiday season. Whenever I am in this state of mind I always get the itch to start planning for holidays so that I can create some solid plans to look forward to. With a restless mind my first thought is always to plan a vacation. Some people say that vacationing around the holidays is stressful, and that if you are really going to do it right then you have to start planning pretty far in advance. However, I am of the mindset that you are able to get better deals the closer it gets, so if you are just starting to plan now you may have an advantage when it comes to pricing. No matter where you are headed, there are a few essential items you should make sure you bring with you.

Good Walking Shoes

Whenever I go on vacation I always like to spend at least one day walking around on foot. This is the best way to see a city or town sometimes, because you can miss so much when you are in a car. Everything goes by so fast and it is harder to see what is there when you look up. If you are driving the car it might be even harder because you have to pay attention to everything around you while navigating the road. Even worse, is if you are on public transportation that goes underground, you are completely missing out on everything that is going on around you and all of the landscape or architecture that there is to see. Do yourself a favor, and plan a day to do a walking tour. You can join a group with a guide, buy a tour book to go off on your own, or wing it and wander aimlessly soaking up whatever you happen to pass way. No matter how you go about it, make sure you get yourself a good pair of walking shoes from so you can still enjoy the rest of your vacation after spending all day on your feet.

A Durable Day Pack

One of the most essential items you can bring on your next vacation is a durable backpack that can squish down to be packed inside of your luggage. This will come in handy if you are going on a hike, a day trip, or need to stock up at the grocery store. Not only is it environmentally friendly but it is also much more comfortable than carrying around a plastic bag, especially if you have heavy items. There are plenty of options online to choose from and some larger sized travel bags even have a removable day pack attached to turn your two bags into one and maximize space.

The Main Reasons Why People Travel

These are exciting reasons. But there are deeper reasons for traveling that have less to do with what we do when we travel, and more to do with what traveling does to us. These five sets of changes to ourselves are at the heart of what makes travel so compelling.

  • Travel Enriches You, Before, During & After

The anticipation of a trip is almost as stimulating as the trip itself and the memories afterwards. Knowing what you have ahead, and imagining it in detail, lends excitement to life, and relieves the tendency to fall into a workaday rut. The more detailed the image of the trip, the more a future trip will excite you in advance. During the trip itself, daily life can be intense. Living in these moments fully, and noting everything around you, makes for heightened living. Clearly, this kind of intensified experience is a quality of a style of travel that takes you beyond the bus and out into the streets and squares, landscapes and waterways, of the places you are visiting. Independent travel is a world apart from “contained” travel.

  • Travel Broadens Your View of the World

Through travel you gain a framework for the history and significant touchstones that brought you to your current life and point in time. Now you are standing in the evil Borgia pope’s office, surrounded by the very walls that contained the man with sufficient power to write a Papal Bull-a mandate-that claimed all the wealth of the Western Hemisphere for Spain and Portugal, and secured it for the next 200 years. As you pause in the spot where that happened, the events and significance come alive with new meaning. Now you are looking down at the stairs that lead to a tunnel connecting the home of Leonardo da Vinci with the royal palace across street. It was through this tunnel that King Françoise traveled to sit and talk with his genius friend. And now you are in Bayeux, where the French William the Conqueror built his naval vessels to cross the English Channel and claim the throne of England. Each of these experiences broadens your view of the world and your firsthand sense of time and place.

  • Travel Makes You More Vibrant and Interesting

Travel gives you something to look forward to prepare for to study for and later to share. You will bring home stories. Life can get somewhat monotonous if you let it, particularly after you retire and your work life ends. Anticipation is worth at least as much as the trip itself and the memories that follow the trip. How much better to have travel stories and observations to share then to have your conversation limited to your latest doctor visits and your frustrations with the weeds in your lawn.

  • Travel Re-Energizes You

Travel, and the anticipation of travel, recaptures your enthusiasm. You look ahead with excitement instead of experiencing the dulled-over feeling that comes from repetition and routine. Travel challenges you to be at your most effective and focused level. Comfort zones may be comfortable. But it is good for you to be taken out of your comfort zones regularly. Otherwise, your social skills can begin to atrophy, and your ability to think on your feet and solve problems may decrease due to disuse.