5 Ways to Make a Vacation Even Better

April 8, 2015

A rainy but beautiful day in Guanacaste, Costa Rica a few years ago

With summer just a couple of short months away, it's hard to stop myself from thinking about our upcoming family vacation. I love to travel--whether it's a quick road trip to San Diego, a long weekend in a new state, or a week-long getaway to another part of the world--and I've learned a few things over the years that have helped to make every trip an unforgettable experience.  Since our Hawaiian vacation will be our first as a family of four, I'm keeping these things in mind to make sure it's the most amazing trip yet. 

1. Eat where the locals eat.
The best way to sample authentic local cuisine is to ask the locals where they eat. Some of the most memorable meals of my life were based on the recommendations of a concierge, cab driver, or shop owner. 

2. Wake up early.
As tempting as it is to stay in bed and order room service, you'll probably enjoy your trip more if you rise early and take advantage of those few precious hours when other tourists are still sleeping. You'll likely avoid crowds at beaches, attractions, and eateries, plus get some great photos with amazing morning light and no randos photobombing you.

3. Keep an open mind and try to say yes often.
It's sometimes hard to do things you wouldn't normally do, even on vacation, but make the effort. If the rest of your group wants to go snorkeling or hiking or some other activity that you swore you would never do, just give it a try. Vacations are all about making memories, so step outside your comfort zone and make some. 

4. Send postcards to yourself.
Besides journaling and taking countless photos, a nice way to chronicle your vacation is by writing it all down on postcards and sending them to your home address. Whether they arrive before or after you return home, they'll act as a sweet little reminder of the wonderful time you had away.

5. Plan a day with no plans.
It's easy to get roped in to the idea that we have to see everything and do everything in one single trip, but set aside at least a day that doesn't include schedules or plans. Take a cab or bus into town and wander around, relax on the beach and memorize the sound of the waves, do something (or nothing at all) without the pressure of watching the clock to make sure you don't miss a scheduled tour or reservation.

What advice do you have for traveling? I'd love to hear your tips.


  1. Great advice! I definitely stepped out of my comfort zone when we went to Puerta Vallarta and I'm glad I did. Snorkeling, speed boats are just not my thing, but I had a ball!

    1. I know, that was an AMAZING trip! We definitely need to do another girls-only trip, even if it's just an overnighter.


Thank you so much for your comments! I always enjoy reading them.

Proudly designed by | mlekoshi Playground |