Have you ever put the idea of a particular holiday on such a high pedestal, that you ended up disappointing yourself when the trip didn’t meet your expectations? Nobody wants to come home from a vacation feeling discontented, yet it happens to some of us more often than we’d like. However, it doesn’t have to be this way!

The truth is that we all have different motives for traveling, but I believe we still share something in common: the desire to get the most out of our trip – whether it’s to rest and unplug or have an exciting planned journey, or both! Here are some tips of my secrets for getting the most out of your trip.

1. Understand Why You Are Going on This Trip

Proactivity breeds success whereas being reactive holds you back. We’ve all been in a situation where we’re going about our lives and suddenly realize that what we’re doing isn’t making us happy. If detrimental habits or goals don’t bring you fulfillment, why entertain them? Questioning your actions and reflection will lead to a life more tailored to your expectations rather than just letting time dictate how you experience the world around you.

By being purposeful in creating the experience you want, you are more likely to have it because you know what your end goal is. When your holiday includes experiences that answer why you’re taking the trip in the first place, you’ll get so much more out of it.

Check in with yourself before going on a trip and ask: Why am I visiting THIS city/town/country? What would I like to do and why?

2. Know How To Plan For Joy

Planning to have fun on your holiday sounds like a no-brainer, but you’ll be surprised at how many people don’t do it. I always prioritized fun activities by including them in my to-do list and planner. That way, I make sure I allocate some time for them every week and as a result, enjoy life more. The same goes for planning your trip – though you may not want to pre-book tours, research the local scene so that you can maximize both fun AND savings. In other words: Stop wasting time thinking about what to do each day; plan for some guaranteed good times instead!

3. Listen To The Opinions Of Others

Have you ever visited a restaurant or stayed in a hotel that was so bad? Don’t you wish someone had told you about it ahead of time? It’s crucial to read reviews, because most websites only tell you what they want you to know, but reading people’s actual experiences gives you the lowdown on what it’s really like. You don’t want to be let down, lose time, or have a terrible experience any more than I do. So whatever you have planned for yourself, check out the reviews! Before doing some research, I would have never known that the place I wanted to stay at was overpriced and not as nice as other places nearby.

4. Make It A Learning Experience

If you want to learn while on vacation and have a more enjoyable time, focus on learning about the local people, cuisine, customs, lifestyle, culture and geology. The more open you are to learning new things while traveling, the more you will actually learn and take away from your experience.

A large part of what makes traveling so unique is the history, monuments, and important sites that each location has to offer. By doing some research and learning about the place you are visiting, you will be able to get a more well-rounded travel experience. And they say that traveling is one of the best forms of education!

5. Stay In The Present Moment

Finally, being present moment has a lot of power. If you want to make the most of your holiday, being present should be at the top of your priorities list. Our thoughts are generally in the past; we’re usually thinking about things that have happened, or will happen in the future; and we’re frequently thinking about what might happen, or what we must do.

Being present in the moment is something we should aim to do most of the time, especially when on vacation! Pay attention to the smells, sights, sounds, and feelings around you. When trying new food, really taste it and smell it so that you can understand the culture of the country and how it’s influenced its cuisine. Doing this will help you enjoy your holiday more and create memories that will last a lifetime.

We can make any experience in life what we want it to be; we are always in control. By focusing on the aspects of the holiday that matter most to you, you’re sure to create an unforgettable memory. Dedicate your time and effort into truly enjoying everything about this trip- dive deep into the culture, relax and recharge, and come back home with amazing stories.