Plan your next holiday now... Here’s How!

 If you're anything like me, an explorer at heart, then you must be missing the airport as much as I am. Since Lockdown, my itchy toes have been dying to feel beach sand, and my heart longing to hear my flight being called for boarding. 

I had planned a trip to Vietnam to celebrate my birthday in Phu Quoc but didn’t get the opportunity to go. Like many thousands of travellers before me, I was left gutted due to trip cancellations and travel bans. It would have been easy to sulk – I am an only child, after all. Instead, to keep busy during the days I no longer found myself at work sending others around the world, I figured the best way to kill time would be to come up with ways to prepare for my next trip, which I thought I’d share with you. 

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Whether it’s a family holiday, a trip with friends or a solo trip - no matter what life throws at us never let your travel dreams die. Even if you’re unsure when your next trip will be or how you’re going to afford to pay for it, that doesn’t matter. One day you will get there, and you need to be travel-ready.  

Here’s how I have kept travel in my heart, and how you can too:  

Take a trip down memory lane: 

I’m terrible at taking photos while on holiday. I just snap away, post a few cocktail or beach photos on Facebook then that’s that, my photos are never to be seen or thought of again.   

Set aside some time to finally organise your photos. They are a reminder of the places you have seen and the memories you have made.  

Once done, you don’t need to show anyone if you don’t want to. Nobody wants to see pictures you took five years ago! If you are an avid photographer and your photos have already been shared at more than one family gathering, that’s okay too. Go through your photos anyway, relive the memories and pick your favourite holiday or where you’d love to go back to. 

Our lives do get busy, it’s easy to forget certain parts of our holiday. So if anything this will help remind you why you enjoy travelling so much.  

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Share your knowledge:

You spent hours researching your trip, you went, you saw, you conquered, and came home with a wealth of knowledge, so why not share what you’ve learnt with others?  

Logon to TripAdvisor or another travel forum and answer questions about the countries you have visited and share any travel tips you may have picked up along the way. One that I have is how to save money on transport – I always buy a “hop-on, hop-off” bus pass, then use the bus as my transport to get around instead of paying for a taxi or public transport.  

Once you’ve started engaging, you’ll soon feel like a travel guru. 

Buy a travel voucher now, for travel later 

A good savings tip is to ask family and friends for a travel voucher instead of a birthday or Christmas gift. No amount is too small and goes a long way in getting you on that plane. Why not buy a travel voucher? 

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Learn a new language: 

If you’ve always wanted to ‘speak foreign,’ now is the perfect time to learn the basics of the language spoken in the country you next plan on visiting. Don’t be like me – in Paris I kept saying “no thanks” to ‘fromage’ (cheese) thinking it was lettuce.   

If you need travel inspiration, check out the Thompsons Holidays website for destination ideas.  

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Get your clan involved:

If planning a family holiday, you can get the whole family involved, especially the kids. Not only will it help them with geography, but you’ll be passing your love of travel down to them, something they’ll be eternally grateful for.  

If planning a friend trip with your closest friends, you can organise Zoom chats to discuss travel ideas, get each other excited and motivated to finally take that trip together that you’ve been promising to make for years. Most importantly, it’s a great way to catch up with each other, share some laughs and take your mind off these trying times.  

I like to travel alone, so I tend to search local forums to try “meet” locals to give me tips on areas to stay in or who serves the best local cuisine. If you hit it off, you might have a newfound friend to have dinner with while on holiday or someone to give you an authentic local tour. Just be selective about who you do meet. Safety first, always! 

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Get a taste of what’s in store:

Learn to cook the food you enjoyed while on previous holidays – and cook some dishes from your future travel destinations.  

Finally, I say, pack your bags. Even I agree it’s a bit extreme to be all packed up with nowhere to go, but look at this way: next time you do go on holiday, you won’t need to separate your holiday clothes from your everyday clothes. Plus, there will be no last-minute dash to the store for toothpaste, and you won’t be sitting on the plane wondering if you packed in enough pairs of socks. 

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If all else fails and you’re still left missing travel, you could always write a travel blog!

Written by Desiré Van Rooyen  

Travel Stories, Travel Tips

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