Most often than not, at least twice per year for most of us we are usually bitten by the travel bug. That itching like a mosquito bite, albeit not with the unpleasantries but more so a whirlwind of excitement which usually spirals into the quest for unique adventures. People are becoming more open and welcoming to the fact that a great vacation isn’t about being cooped up in an all-inclusive 5-star hotel, sipping cocktails on the beach until the sun fades and its déjà vu for the next week or two. Well unless you decide to go on tours and really experience the people, place and culture; now that would be what a real vacation is all about.

Have No Regrets

I remember going to the Dominican Republic some time ago and my friends and I stayed at a really “posh” hotel with all the niceties a hotel could ever offer. On our return home though we were super disappointed because we came across an online review that spoke about some amazing places that we didn’t visit, all because we played it safe and comfortable by only staying on the hotel grounds.

Vacation Outside the Box

On the sunny side vacationers are beginning to put on their hats of exploration and seek more fulfilling adventures that are not so cliché and popular. People don’t want mundane, but rather fun and thrill with all the possible shenanigans. Live a little and visit places that have a rich history, magical sceneries, finger licking-curl your toes while you eat food and more. Match your interests with the offerings of the vacation spot; if you love hiking, camping, horseback riding etc. a place like Banff would be ideal.

Research to Your Hearts Content

Researching is always good to ensure you’ve got everything down to the “T”. Find out what the locals are like, type of food to expect, hotspots, crime rate (safety comes first) average spending money needed, places to stay, nearest embassy (nope tragedies don’t only happen in movies; remember the Tsunami disaster in Japan, enough said) etc. Social is always a decent “go to” platform for good, honest reviews, I find Quora very useful in this area.

Get Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is a must have, yup we know that dreaded “I” word. But life’s unpredictable and you always want to be in the “I’m always prepared mode”. Whether it’s that unexpected last minute cancellation or protection against theft or natural disasters, talk with your broker to find out which coverage is best for you especially since each country has its own risk. I’m sure you don’t want to be stranded in another country miles away from home with no coverage God forbids something were to ever happen. You can visit to see which coverage suits your needs and make your purchase right away.

Stay Connected with the World

Ensure you’re always connected, so either activate roaming on your phone or get a local mobile/sim card once you get to the airport and always ensure it’s fully charged before you head out on any adventures. If you’re concerned about racking up a huge data bill just ensure you only turn on your phone’s data on an as-needed basis; utilize free Wi-Fi when you can and always ensure you can make outbound calls. Another great tip is to know your route before hand, if you will be hiking/driving/backpacking always know your route prior to the journey even if you are Google GPS reliant (because yes google isn’t perfect, as there’s that slight possibility you may plunge into a lake after following directions as was the case of a young woman in Ontario).

Have an Emergency Contact List

Lastly having an emergency contact list with addresses and telephone numbers of hospitals, police stations, embassies etc. nearby just in case of eventualities is extremely important. Be sure to always have this list close to your chest.

Whether you are in Asia enjoying breath taking views in Bali or mountain hiking somewhere in the Caribbean. Wherever you tread and whatever you do always remember don’t be mundane, do it for the experience and create incredible memories off beaten paths. Now that you’ve been prepped, go forth and enjoy your staycation/vacation.