Better than your average beach vacation, and cheaper too.
To some travelers, “vacation” means lying on a tropical beach or staying in an urban hotel, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But with the New Year just around the corner, it is time to think outside the box and start planning trips that help you both unwind and grow as a person.
Trips don’t have to be extravagant. Do yourself a favor and get creative with the types of trips you take. Of course, we don’t always have the time or finances available for regular getaways. But many of these unique trip ideas cost less than your typical beach break, which makes them easier to get on the calendar.
- A solo trip
While it’s wonderful to share a special trip and new experiences with friends, a partner, or family, there’s a compelling case for travel alone from time to time. Solo travel can work for anyone, whether you’re single, in a relationship, extroverted or introverted. Solo travel stretches you in ways that companion travel won’t. Choose a destination where you feel safe but are still outside your comfort zone, and enjoy the rush of self-confidence along with new people that you meet along the way.
- 2An ancestry trip
Do you know where your family is from? Find out, and then plan a journey to wherever that may be. If possible, ask relatives for personalized guides to their hometowns before you go. If you already have been visiting the family village since childhood, consider going to ancestral origin places. Believe me; once you begin filling out your family tree, it is hard to stop. I once read about a person who got so sucked in to finding his ancestry that he spent five hours glued to his laptop tracing down his French, Swedish and Irish roots.
- A digital detox
Try life with no phone, no computer and no TV for just a few days, to see what your creative mind does on its own. Of course, this is easier if you travel someplace where service is scarce. Consider going to the Northern Areas of Pakistan. If you can wing it, escape to an exotic island abroad and if none of these are feasible, the local villages in your area will do just fine. Keep in mind that you must be bold and discipline yourself to not allow the temptation of checking technology take over you. Getting away from the distractions of modern life is truly a rare phenomenon nowadays.
- A long-distance trek
A trek is the ultimate way to clear your head, build quiet confidence and maybe even get a better picture of what you want to do with your life. Pakistan’s Northern Areas and Hilly Cities offer ample opportunities to make this trip happen. You don’t always have to go the mile in order to get any of these things done. The Margalla Hills in Islamabad have numerous trekking routes for the average traveler who does not have practice in hiking/trekking.
- A snorkel or dive trip
Intrepid travelers know that when you’re exhausted from exploring historical sites, when you can’t stand the thought of visiting one more museum, and you’ve trudged through every open-air market, there’s only one thing left to do—head underwater. While scuba divers have the most freedom to explore underwater, snorkeling is easy enough for children, and exciting enough for even the most jaded traveler Research shows that preparing for a trip boosts happiness more than the journey itself. Not only is the practice towards getting snorkeling right be therapeutic but then the actual dive and exploration of the great underwater is going to be worth it.
- A volunteer trip
The chance to give something back, an opportunity to share your skills and knowledge, to meet other travelers or simply to meet the locals, there are many reasons to volunteer while you’re traveling and there are literally thousands of charities and organizations that look for help from passing travelers. Strong relationships, cultural understanding and a sense of accomplishment are just a few benefits of doing something valuable with your time away.
- A road trip
They say the best way to get to know a person is to go on a trip with them. Too often, we take our country’s huge variety of adventures for granted. Whether it’s a trip to every national park, driving through Motorways or Corridors, a road trip is the hilarious journey you’ll never forget. The more the merrier, so stock up on snacks and gather your friends and go for an unforgettable road trip.
- A staycation
But an increasingly popular and fun vacation is the stay-at-home-vacation, or the “staycation.” It’s rare that we drop everything, forget our chores and simply enjoy our hometowns. A staycation — think dinner parties, movie marathons and long, quiet days of reading — is an easy, cheap way to relax and reset. You will also get to save a lot of money. There are no airfare, hotel, or rental car costs.
- A river cruise
For an unforgettable immediate, immersive and intimate travel experience river cruising is hard to beat. River cruises don’t just take you into a country, they let you get under it skin and feel its pulse and see its scenery and sights close up. As you sail at a pleasingly easy pace you’re cocooned in comfort, with attentive staff at your service and the convivial company of like-minded fellow passengers. While ocean cruises stop at major ports after long stretches at sea, river cruising lets you see lesser-known sites with much less lag time in between. River cruise boats are often smaller than ocean liners, letting you get to know everyone on board as you float down the journey.