“I need another holiday to recuperate from my holiday!”

Sounds rather ironic, but this was a common disembarkation line during pre-COVID-19 days when many people were travelling frequently.

Given that a holiday is supposed to be an extended period of leisure and recreation, it does make one wonder:

What’s the point of going on a vacation if it’s just going to leave you more drained and tired than before?

Now that the borders have re-opened and everyone’s jumping at the earliest opportunity to hop aboard a plane, we’ve come up with some suggestions on how to have a real holiday that leaves you feeling refreshed and recharged.

Whatever kind of traveller you are, you’ll find some tips here!

1. The all-out chiongsters

The ones who want to maximise their time on vacation and make their money worth it, usually by planning way in advance to squeeze in activities right down to the minute in their travel itineraries. (I must confess, I really relate.

While you will get to cover many places, the downside of a hectic and overpacked schedule is a lack of rest. And although sleep might seem like a waste of time, you don’t want to fall sick and end up spoiling your precious holiday!

Try not to over-plan, and do factor in enough time to rest after activities.

You could also try to time your flight, so you can come back on a Friday and have the weekend to recover. Or if you’re working, schedule an extra day of leave after you’re back.

If you want to hit all the big tourist spots in town, you might want to consider joining a tour group, since transport will be taken care of and you can enjoy the luxury of a quick and safe snooze in the bus!

If group tours are too rigid, local day tours are also a good option as they allow for more flexibility. 

2. The spontaneous explorers

For those who like to go with the flow and generally don’t make concrete plans. As a result, your schedules are usually more fluid.

However, being too spontaneous can also come with the disadvantage of being slightly disorganised.

While your day-to-day activities can be more impromptu, it would help to have at least the important things like transport passes and mandatory travel documents all prepared beforehand. It will save you a lot of unnecessary stress, and you won’t have to panic when you find out that you forgot to book an important ticket!

If you’re a free-spirited explorer looking for fresh experiences, check to see if there are any local cultural festivities that coincide with your trip.

If not, there are always the museums or guided historical tours where you’re sure to learn something new.

Ditch the touristy markets, and explore street food and lesser-known joints.

For the more gung-ho, you might enjoy more adventurous forms of travelling such as backpacking. Or if you’re up for a more rugged experience in nature, try renting a caravan and go on a road trip!

3. The super-connected social butterflies

For outgoing extroverts, solo travels can get pretty boring since your internal batteries get recharged by spending time with people.

If you’re not travelling with family, why not grab a few of your besties? Travelling together is a great opportunity to forge some lasting memories with your friends!

Also, if you love meeting new people like I do, consider connecting with a local host family or fellow travellers while you’re there.

Couchsurfing is similar to Airbnb, except that you get to stay in a host family’s house with them, which will allow you to interact with locals. And the best part? It’s free!

Nevertheless, do be sure to check previous reviews before booking, just to ensure that your host isn’t shady and that the place is safe to stay in.

However, if you’re uncomfortable with the idea of crashing overnight in a random stranger’s house, backpacking hostels are another option. 

Most of these hostels have large communal areas where guests usually gather for meals and to hang out. With some luck, you might even meet some kindred spirits who end up being your travelling buddies afterwards!

4. The peace-loving introverts

On the other hand, being surrounded by a crowd of people can get extremely draining for some who prefer having more alone time.

Rather than travelling in big groups, solo tripping can be very relaxing for those who thrive on peace and quiet.

For the reflective and introspective, journaling is a nice calming activity to try. Spend some time in a nice local café just expressing your thoughts through writing or drawing.

Alternatively, why not head to the countryside for a brief retreat? Solitary holidays surrounded by nature can be a very healing experience.

If you prefer the convenience of staying in the city, you can always take day trips to spots of nature or suburban areas away from the hustle and bustle of people.

On your solo bus rides, enjoy a main character moment as you stare pensively out of the window and savour the sights and sounds of the journey. (I secretly enjoy this too, albeit being an extrovert!)

5. The responsible workaholics

While it might be tempting to keep checking your phone to keep tabs on the development of a project, try not to let the lines between vacation and work blur.

If possible, settle all your important work in advance, so that you can have a stress-free time without having to worry about unfinished business.

Being responsible is great, but even the best of us need to know how to put down our commitments for a while so we won’t end up burning out

If you aren’t going to be in a remote location with no connection, why not intentionally disconnect from your phone? Instead of porting over your mobile data to use overseas, try using a pre-paid local SIM card with limited data, so that you’ll go online less frequently.

Or better still, eliminate the temptation to check your phone entirely, by signing up for a cruise or camping trip where there’s no access to Wi-Fi!

That said, do remember to inform your colleagues that you will be away and tie up any loose ends beforehand. It would make their lives a little easier (and yours too, since they won’t keep pressuring you for replies while you’re on your break).

Whether or not you’re travelling overseas this holidays, do remember that you should take some time to rest and recalibrate.

Hopefully these suggestions will help you to pick the best activities that will leave you fired up for the school semester or work ahead when you return from your vacation!  

  1. Which kind of traveller do you most identify with?
  2. Why is it important to schedule time for rest and recalibration?
  3. Aside from physical rest, have you discovered the One whom your soul can find rest in?
  4. Are you weary in spirit? Pray for God to give you rest today!