We are almost halfway through semester, which means that the midyear break is fast approaching. If you want something to look forward to once the hard slog is on hold, start planning your travels now!
Whether it’s a weekend away somewhere nearby or an overseas jaunt, these travel tips will help make sure that you’re prepared for the rest and relaxation or chaos and adrenaline-fuelled adventures you are dreaming of.
1. Do your research (even if you like surprises)
When going somewhere new, it’s always a good idea to find out a little something before you go to ensure you stay safe and healthy and, for those who don’t like surprises, have a few ideas of what to see and do. As a minimum, check to see if there are any health or safety risks if you plan to travel overseas – and take action now to prevent them. You might also want to check that there aren’t any major events happening during your planned stay. If you’re like me and prefer not to pre-book, this makes it rather difficult to find a place to stay on arrival. Trust me, I’ve been caught out more than once! It’s kind of like approaching an assignment – while it is possible to wing it, you’re more likely to do well if you know the basics before you get started!
2. Pack light (but have something for all types of weather)
There’s nothing worse than lugging a heavy backpack or suitcase on vacation, only to realise that you don’t use half the stuff you brought with you and need other things, which you left behind. Do you really need 4 pairs of high heels if you’re going to the beach for the weekend? Probably not, but make sure you pack one pair just in case you decide to go out somewhere more formal for dinner or dancing. And make sure you bring something warm – when the weather gets bad, even the seaside can become freezing in summer! And don’t forget a pair of jeans: you can dress them up or down depending on your shoes, top and accessories. It’s kind of like preparing for an exam. You can’t prepare for absolutely everything, but by ensuring you have a broad understanding and focusing on core concepts, you are more likely to succeed.
3. Expect the unexpected (and hope that they’re only positive)
We all know how good it feels to finally be on vacation after a seemingly never-ending semester. You’re no longer on a deadline… you feel on top of the world! Nothing can get in the way of a great vacation… but just in case, make sure you take out travel health insurance, particularly if you’re heading overseas. In some countries, you won’t be treated unless you can prove that you have the money to pay beforehand and it can be very, very expensive. It’s like that last-minute cramming you do before you walk into the exam room – you might not need it but you will be so thankful you put the extra effort in to swot if you do.
4. Go with the flow (unless of course it’s free flow all night!)
So you get to the airport and find that your flight has been delayed, or you check the forecast and that bright, sunny beach you were dreaming of is currently being pummelled with rain. Fret not, for vacations aren’t the time for precise plans anyway. Chances are that there’s some great free stuff to check out at the airport (movies, gardens, even slides for adults!) and reading a book from the dry sanctuary of your beach bungalow is still a more relaxing and tranquil experience than you would have if you were at home. Think of it like tackling the ups and downs of uni. You might not always take the path you had planned or get the grade that you strived for, but you gain that all-important knowledge and understanding in the end.. and it is this that sets you free!
I wish you all a triumphant march to the end of semester. Study hard, but don’t forget to take a break and plan a rewarding vacation to look forward to!