A lot of the time, we think about holidays as our time off from more or less everything. We spend the rest of the year working, turning in early, getting up with the alarm. We behave ourselves. We eat the right things, avoid the temptation to eat and drink too much of the wrong things. We are nice to the people who aren’t nice to us, to the point where we think we’ll fall over from all the nice.
When we have a holiday, it’s wonderful not to have to run everything you do through a filter. “Can I have that second cocktail or will it make me groggy tomorrow? Oh wait, it doesn’t matter!”. You can stay out until the early hours falling in love with a new city, knowing that you don’t have to set the alarm for your 9 am meeting. It’s blissful. But…
This is how holidays work if you’re the kind of person who can switch off completely and just exist on vacation. Not everyone is that kind of person. And there’s a lot of weight to the argument that holidays shouldn’t just be spent sleeping and sipping cocktails by the pool. That’s fine every once in a while. But when you’ve got a week, ten days, or whatever, in a place you’ve never been, why not drink it all in? Sometimes, you want to get out among it all.
The fact is that if you are the kind of traveler who wants to get to know a new place, you may have to put the footwork in to do so. When you look at photographs of a beautiful landscape, you can see it all while sitting still. But if you go there, it can only be experienced fully if you’re prepared to expend some energy and walk among it. Or better yet, get even more active.
Get In The Saddle And See It Properly
There are people with no interest at all in competitive cycling who will switch on TV coverage of the Tour de France. Why? Because as monotonous as it can be to watch people pedaling away over an event that takes weeks to complete, the backdrop is incredible. Winding mountain roads, glacial valleys, small picturesque forest towns. France is a beautiful country, and it is amazing from the saddle of a bike.
While the competitive cyclists may not fully absorb the beauty of the arena in which they are competing, you can. You don’t have to try and reel in a breakaway on a mountain road; you can just enjoy the surroundings. But if you don’t want to be exhausted after fifteen minutes, spend some time on the best spin bikes before going. As well as getting in shape, you’ll boost your endurance.
Take To The Slopes For A Holiday You’ll Never Forget
There are many people who will occasionally book a skiing holiday and, if we’re honest, a smaller number that actually ski. And who could judge anyone for booking a fortnight in an Alpine chalet, or in Aspen, and then just enjoying the view? When it comes to the bounty that nature has bestowed us, it really got mountains right. Even for those who do strap the skis on, getting off the slopes and just looking around is often a high point.
However, an incredible view becomes all the more intoxicating when you’re moving within it. You’d be well advised to get the skis on at least once and see the mountains from that point of view. As an incentive, when you get to the bottom there are cafes and bars where you can warm up and drink in the sumptuous surroundings. That’s “drink in” as in “look at” but also as in “enjoy some wine while looking at.”
Even If You’re Just Going To The Beach…
Being in shape to go on holiday doesn’t just mean being ready for a full-on activity break. Even if you’re just planning on working on your tan, it’s advisable to make sure you’re in your best shape. You might have a lot of self-confidence to begin with, but the beach is where exhibitionists live. And nothing makes your self-confidence drain away like seeing that.
Shedding the extra pounds and toning up is a wise move. Once you’ve booked your break, hit the gym every other day. Don’t spend money on takeout food, put it into your holiday fund and go for a salad. You may be denying yourself now, but there’s a goal in mind. You can always relax the rules once you’ve had a day or two on the beach.
Take A Hike … It’s The Best Way To See Nature
For some people, the idea of going on holiday to put your boots on and go hiking is a crime against relaxation. Well, more fool them. When there is beautiful scenery all around, a hike can be one of the most life-affirming experiences there is. It can be an arduous walk, with a view to reward it at the top, or a more straightforward amble through towns and villages.
Being on holiday means you have all the time you need to do what you want to do. Now, spending it by the pool doing nothing at all is a valid choice. At the same time, if you have hours to kill then you can explore a place at your leisure and really feel like you’ve seen it properly. But if you’ve spent the previous eleven months sitting down and not working out, you’ll get tired sooner and miss out.
Your holiday is a break from doing the things that you have to do the rest of the year. It doesn’t need to be a break from doing everything else also. And though you might picture the perfect holiday as being one spent in pure relaxation, that in itself can take many forms. Get the best from your holiday by making sure you are ready for it when it comes around. You’ll be glad you did.