How to Turn a Short Break into an Adventure of a Lifetime

June 11, 2013 | By More
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If, like me, you work full time and only get a precious few days off but also have an insatiable desire to travel, then the chances are you want to make the most out of any trip. Those on extended trips have the time and space to go in search of adventure unlike those of us who may only be able to take a short three day break. These shorter excursions requires a certain kind of rigid planning to ensure you see and do everything you want to within your limited timeframe. For some people, this may blitz any sense of adventure but, from experience, there are a number of ways you can guarantee an adventurous break without having to sacrifice a whole lot.

Vacation Friends

Go Local

One of the most important things you can do is go local. This means eating where the locals do, eating what the locals do, befriending locals, and generally stepping off the tourist-trodden track. Of course, this isn’t easy on a short break as you will probably want to see some of the major sites at least. What I’d suggest is leaving an afternoon free and asking some of the locals how and where they spend their spare time. Follow suit and – you’ve got it – live like a local for an afternoon! I find this gives me a deeper understanding of a location and, more often than not, you’ll find the less-touristy places tend to hold many more opportunities for adventure – even if that simply means that it’s difficult to find.

Get Lost

This sort of ties into my last point; letting your nose, eyes, and ears guide you rather than your map means you are way more likely to stumble across something unexpected. When I was in Barcelona last year, I got so fed up with having my face in a map the whole time that I ditched it and trusted my instincts to guide me around. This led me to the quirky Gothic Quarter, a hidden museum, and Belgious, a delicious ice cream shop that I otherwise wouldn’t have found. Of course, getting well and truly lost in a place you don’t know is not ideal, but if you keep an eye on your surroundings and make note of the route back, you’ll be surprised at what you might discover.

Try Something New

Go away and doing the same things you’d do at home means you probably won’t have the adventure of your lifetime. Adventure means getting out of your comfort zone, delving into the unknown, and doing something you wouldn’t normally do. How many people who have just returned from a break have you heard say “we kept exactly the same routine we keep at home and had the best time ever”? Not many, right? How many people have you heard say “I did [this exciting activity] whilst I was away and it was amazing”? Quite a few more, am I right? So, it’s worth researching things you really want to do or try before you go and squeeze them into your itinerary – more often than not it’s these activities that turn short breaks into adventures you’ll remember for a long time.

Enjoy the Moment

More importantly, perhaps, than all the above points, is to simply enjoy your time in any place, however long or short. I don’t know about you, but I often find my mind drifting towards things I need to do once I get back – a bill I need to pay, a phone call I need to make, or an email I need to send; things that I really shouldn’t be thinking about when I’m supposed to be enjoying a new place! Remember that the email, phone call, and bill will still be there once you get home, but the possibility for adventure in a new place will not! Embrace every moment you have away, particularly if it’s only a short break, and you’ll find that you pick up on small things that you otherwise would have missed if your mind was elsewhere.

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About The Author:
Lizzie is a writer and traveller who spends her free-time planning short breaks and converting them into adventurous travel experiences. She believes that time shouldn’t limit your travel opportunities and, in fact, any amount of time is sufficient enough to create your adventure of a lifetime.
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