With Halloween upon us, the world, or rather the world’s children, will be dressing up and hitting the streets to take part in the traditional trick or treat escapades. But tricks and treats aren’t just for children, and not just for Halloween either... To take the theme to a fiendishly new level, we’ve come up with a range of travel tricks and treats of our own.
The ‘tricks’ are great, time and money-saving tips to make the most of your holidays. The ‘treats’ are some ideas on how to splash out, with the savings you’ve made using our 'tricks', on those once-in-a-lifetime experiences to turn your holiday into something truly spook-tacular!
Holidays are supposed to be a time to relax, so don’t worry about taking your entire wardrobe with you - it’s ok to wear the same thing twice if you’re just chilling out on the beach. When you’re packing, a good rule of thumb is to get out all the clothes you think you’ll need - then only pack half of them.
Buying a smaller bag or case will also force you to pack light, as you’ll always be tempted to fill a bigger bag, even though you don’t need to. And the really good news is - there won't be any nasty extra baggage payments to make at check-in when you get to the airport.
Make copies of important documents
Always take copies of your passport and documents, whether as photocopies or scans, and keep them separate to the originals. It’s also an idea to print spare copies of your tickets/boarding passes, as well as email them to yourself - many airline tickets are e-tickets these days. All these measures will come in useful and make life easier while on holiday if you lose or have items stolen, and also if you need any documentation when you’re out and about, but don’t want to carry the valuable originals.
Always try to get behind business travellers when in security lines at the airport - they know the routine like clockwork and travel light. At the other end of the scale, try to avoid getting behind families as they invariably have a lot of stuff - as well as children - to handle.
Get a map - but also get lost
Many people hate to look like a tourist, but taking a map out or asking for directions is far better than getting lost and ending up on the wrong side of town, so embrace your tourist status! Conversely, take the occasional opportunity to put the map away and spend some time wandering around aimlessly - it’ll not only help you get to know a place, but you’ll probably discover a few hidden gems.
Lunchtime is the right time
Whether you want to visit the most popular attractions, museums or historic sites, or dine at the most desirable restaurants, lunchtime is the time to do it. With so many people taking a break to grab a quick lunch there’ll be smaller crowds at the attractions, while if you want to try out that expensive restaurant you like the look of, now’s the time do it, as many offer lunchtime specials featuring the same dishes they serve at dinner but at half the price.
Save money - but don’t penny-pinch
There are lots of ways to save money on your holiday, from using credit and debit cards that don’t charge foreign transaction or ATM fees, to pre-booking tickets for attractions before you leave for holiday, which will often allow you to jump the queue too, as well as get your tickets at discounted rates. But as much as you should always keep an eye out for the good deals, don’t hike miles out of your way or miss out on a truly great holiday experience for the sake of a few euros.
Speaking of which, how about a few ‘treats’ that are worth splashing out on? Here’s a few one-off travel experiences that could turn your holiday into the trip of a lifetime.
Flight of fancy
If you’re visiting Las Vegas, set aside a day to take a helicopter trip to the Grand Canyon. It’s a relatively short flight (around 45-50 minutes) and you’re sure to love every second. The journey itself is amazing - you pass over the Hoover Dam and Lake Mead en route - and the jaw-dropping destination is one of the wonders of the world. You can fly over and through it or, better yet, land and enjoy a picnic or perhaps take a visit to the Skywalk - a horseshoe shaped glass walkway that allows you to step out over the canyon's rim.
Safari so good
If you’re lucky enough to be on a safari holiday in Africa, then why not push the boat (well, the basket) out to enjoy a whole new perspective of the African plains in a hot air balloon? Taking a dawn flight over the Maasai Mara in Kenya or the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania means you’ll see Africa laid out beneath you, as far as the eye can see, in beautifully subdued golden colours. A bonus is getting a bird’s eye view of the fabulous wildlife.
Have a whale of a time
You can always take a ‘floating safari', in a boat on a whale- and dolphin-watching trip. There are few better places to do this than on the temperate waters surrounding the Canary Islands. More than 20 different species pass through the channel between Tenerife and La Gomera every year, including minke, sperm whales and orcas. There are also resident pods of bottlenose dolphins, so you’re pretty much guaranteed to see something - and it’s a truly moving experience to see these wonderful creatures, close up. Better yet, the two to three hour trips will hardly break the bank at around €20-25 per person. Holiday spends well spent!
An extravagant meal is always a holiday treat, but some restaurants offer more than just fine dining, being very special destinations in themselves. You certainly get both at the spectacular 5.8 Undersea Restaurant in the Maldives, which is named after its location 5.8 metres beneath a lagoon. The world’s largest all-glass undersea restaurant is a marvel of design, and serves a range of culinary delights to match. However, it's the surrounding views of fish swimming in the coral reef that will almost certainly be the thing you remember most.
Underwater dining experiences are also available at Sea at Anantara Kihavah Villas, also in the Maldives; the Aquarium Restaurant in Nashville’s Opry Mills Mall; the Atrium Bar, directly below a huge aquarium in the lobby of the Radisson Blu in Berlin; and the Cargo Hold Restaurant, brilliantly located in the stern of the Phantom Ship in Durban.
It is always worth going that extra mile - after you have literally travelled so many miles from home - to invest in an experience you would never get anywhere else in the world.
If you would like to visit any of the destinations featured in today's blog - or explore a world of holiday options - click on the RCI Resort Directory button below to start your search for the next fabulous holiday adventure you could be taking with RCI membership.
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