5 ways to make the most out of your holiday destination

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The average employee gets only 2 or 3 weeks of holiday time per year and not necessarily all at once.  With only two or three weeks out of 52 for pure fun and relaxation, it's no wonder people want to make the most of their time and enjoy special experiences.  With limited time that often includes flight and driving days, it can be difficult to fully enjoy being away from your normal routine.  Here are five tips to ensure getting the most out of your holiday destination.

Resource

Just like prime real estate, the location you choose for a vacation destination matters.  Choose carefully making sure there is enough to do for everyone to have fun.  Social media is a great resource to do your research, as the feedback from other traveler’s is usually quite on mark based on their own experiences. It’s also a great way to find images so you can decide whether that area is somewhere you would like to go as your holiday destination. Friends and family are another great FREE resource. Ask them what they enjoyed about their vacations and why.  For instance, choosing a tour of cathedrals in Europe may sound perfectly wonderful to middle aged adults but children or teenagers aren't likely to be thrilled!

Do a little or a lot

Even if you're a go with the flow sort of person, it's not likely everyone in your family or group is.  A little planning can make or break holidays.  Take a moment and consider what you did and did not enjoy about past vacations.  Book a hotel as early as possible for the savings and make a few priority seating arrangements at local restaurants.  In crowded destinations, arranging priority seating can save you time and hassle after a long day of sightseeing.  Plus you avoid the onset of crankiness caused by exhaustion and hunger.

Don't over plan

This may sound contradictory but bear with me.  Yes, you should plan your time.  But don't plan away flexibility.  You may have Tuesday blocked off for shopping but the zip-lining tour sounds too fun to miss.  By all means, go zip-lining.  Shop afterwards or rearrange another day.  Maybe while out and about, you pass a particular museum or art gallery you hadn't read about. Don't drive by if it looks interesting.  Stop in.  You may be pleasantly surprised at what you find.

Take it from a local

Whenever experiencing a new destination, ask the locals for an insider opinion on what makes the area special and unique.  They'll proudly tell you about the best sights, restaurants and shops often unknown to the average tourist. Another benefit of local insight is reducing your travel costs - they can provide you with advice on what transportation to take rather than relying on taxi’s or highly priced (and crowded) travel tour buses.

Take it easy

Remember, you're on holiday, so relax.  Make it a priority.  In fact, plan a day or two where you do nothing but lay about enjoying your hotel or the local watering hole.  Get a massage or lay in the sunshine reading a good book.  Stay up late, sleep in like a teenager and wake up to eat lunch like a ravenous animal.  Well, don't take the ravenous animal bit too literally.  Simply let yourself take life at an easier pace and feel your tensions melt away.

Whatever you do, wherever you go, remember the idea is to have fun and make the most of your time off! It’s an opportunity to create great memories for you, your family and friends, so choose your destination wisely to get the most out of it each and every time.

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Doreen Brown is a PR & Digital Analyst who enjoys working with clients in the travel and hospitality industry, including Yarra Valley Lodge. Connect with one of their travel experts via Google + or Twitter.