Travel Tips For Your Winter Getaway Break*



*This is a collaborative post*


Where Has Summer Gone?

And so it seems we can all kiss summer goodbye as we are battered by yet another storm this time by the name of Ali. As we start to look ahead to those long dark days before Christmas and as the chesty coughs and the runny noses begin to circulate I find myself pondering the possibilities of travel to warmer, sunnier climbs if only for a week or so. I am in need of a holiday but I'm unlikely to get away this year due to a manic schedule; if I could get some winter sunshine and beautiful weather then the Canary Islands is always a good option at this time of the year. Translated from Spanish it means Islands of the Dogs and located off the west coast of Africa you are pretty much guaranteed year round sunshine and a warm - hot climate without having to travel too far afield. 

There are many things I enjoy about the Canaries, since I was young we would visit the southern part of Tenerife and I love the scenery and beautiful coast lines as well as the 70+ temperatures in December!! There really is a great satisfaction when sitting on a beach while back home everyone is quietly freezing half to death. I haven't yet visited Fuerteventura yet so i shall have to tick it off at some point.  So in this vein here a few tips for your consideration if you are planning on going away somewhere.






Travel Tips

When To See The Historical Sights

The obvious times to head out and see the sights without too much of the normal hustle and bustle of such sites are either super early in the morning or later on in the evening. However, another good ploy which has paid dividends for me in the past is to head to the sites around lunchtime, as this is when the larger parties of tourists' coach groups etc will most likely be heading for lunch. And let's face it when a site is too busy it becomes more difficult to get the true experience or 'feel' for the place.

Free Wi-Fi

If you find yourself being charged to connect, look for Starbucks, most general cafes or even McDonald's, most public libraries will also offer free wi-fi.

Learn A Few Local Phrases/Words

This is just so key for me whenever I go anywhere, I have always been envious of people who can converse in numerous languages. Of course you do not need to be on a par with the great Christoph Waltz, however just learning some basic words and phrases will go a long way to making your daily interactions much easier and more pleasant. You will endear yourself to the locals with minimal effort too.

Take Free Walking Tours

Take advantage of the numerous freebies which will no doubt be available to you at your respective destination. Free walking tours are a fantastic and economically efficient way of getting your bearings as well as learning some key insights from someone 'in the know', which will only serve to enhance your visit. I also find that the opportunity to ask the guide questions is a great way of getting to grips with an unfamiliar place as well as being a great opportunity to pose any cultural/behavioural queries you might have.

Avoid Taxis

Taxi's can quickly destroy a person's vacation budget. Look for cheaper alternatives such as public transport, or even bicycle hire, a great way to explore the sites and sounds and in a place such as Amsterdam for example, it is a cool way to experience a slice of Dutch culture too. Basically don't use a taxi unless you really have to.

Don't Fly Direct

Of course everyone enjoys the relative smoothness of a direct flight but if you are travelling on a budget then have a look at indirect flights and check trains and buses to get you to your destination once 'in country'. I am not saying this will be everyone's 'cup of tea', but if you aren't too fussed about having to get a train or such then it can be a very easy way to save potentially hundreds of pounds. Leaving you with more spends for the fun stuff.

Always Pack a Towel

Just basic common sense this one. Not just for the beach, you never know when you might want to dry down a rain soaked bench so you can take a pew. Or perhaps you might like to spontaneously interrupt a tranquil country walk with an impromptu dip in the lake. A towel is just a handy thing to have with you.

*Post written by Michael David
*Photo source Pexels. Header photo source Pexels.




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