Holiday tips 2016 – How to recharge your batteries
End of year holidays mean different things to different people – for some it is ‘we time ‘ with family and friends, while for others, it is recharging the batteries to face the year to come. While my other half likes to fill his holidays with activities, I like to soak up the atmosphere, explore local cuisine, culture and crafts, stimulate my mind and get the creative juices flowing. At this time of the year we are loath to talk schedules and planning, however if we avoid some ‘silly’ mistakes this silly season, the recharge and unwind exercise need not degenerate into a nightmare.
Holiday tips 2016 – Do your homework:
If you are traveling to hitherto unexplored territory, it pays to do some homework. Familiarise yourself with local culture. Learn about protocols you need to follow and precautions you need to take. Carry a smart traveler booklet with you. Make photocopies of your travel documents and credit cards carry one set with you; leave the other set with a trusted friend or family member at home. Get sufficient travel insurance. Notify your bank about your travel plans. Buy a local SIM card (available at most airports) or use mobile apps to stay connected. Roaming facilities on your mobile phone can cost you an arm and a leg.
Holiday tips 2016 – Pack savvy:
Pack colorful, light weight and crease resistant kaftans. Rolled up, these little numbers can fit the nooks and crannies of your suitcase. Kaftans are perfect as daywear or beachwear. They can be dressed up and down. They are compatible with most cultures. Carry sturdy and comfortable shoes like ballet flats. It is a good idea to wear sneakers while flying. If you are changing flights, the trek from one gate to another can be a good 5 km walk. No kidding, I did that just yesterday at Changi International Airport and ended up feeling very sorry for the woman who was walking ahead of me, wearing a pair of high boots. Another travel friendly accessory is a sling bag. A sling bag holds your essential documents while leaving your hands free for the trolleys.
Holiday tips 2016 – Travel light:
It is wise to travel light. The fewer luggages you have, the less vulnerable you are to loss and theft. Think before you pack the evening dress or the fancy pair of shoes. Beautiful indeed, but do you really need it on a hiking trip? Carry minimal or no precious jewelry. Costume jewelry is fun and if you lose an earring or two it does not weigh on your conscience or your purse.
Holiday tips 2016 – Carry a scarf:
Carry a scarf, in fact two. I cannot highlight enough the versatility of the humble scarf. At the beach, a scarf is a pareo, a bandanna and a throw over bathers. On a sunny day, it is an effective headscarf. If it is nippy, a scarf tied in a dead man’s knot around your neck protects you against the chill. Some religious monuments require you to cover your head, shoulders or legs. Scarves are handy on such occasions.
Holiday tips 2016 – Expect the unexpected:
Go with an open mind. If you have seen ‘The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’ you will realize those that enjoy the most are the ones who embrace and accept. Explore local cuisine, crafts and culture. It helps though, if you make sure that the local signature dish does not contain seafood you are allergic to.
Last but not the least, unwind. After all, this is about recharging the batteries.