Do you feel stuck in your daily routine? Your job is extremely demanding, you feel a lack of entertainment and no opportunities in taking a new adventure during the weekend?
Traveling can be the solution for all those problems at once. It can broaden your horizon, give positive feelings and be the best escape from your daily routine.
Getting away from your home and stepping outside your usual routine is beneficial for both your body and soul. According to the novelist Pico Iyer, traveling is not as much about leaving your home, as it is about leaving your old habits.
Benefits of travelling
By having travelling experiences, you:
- Understand how other people live and gain more compassion.
- Learn who you are, as you get more opportunities to have self-reflection moments.
- Develop skills you didn't know you had.
- Learn new languages.
- Experience new adventures.
- Get challenged more, since you face situations that you usually wouldn't.
- Create new and funny stories about your life experience.
- Feel good about yourself, as improve your health and mind by not thinking about problems you could be having at the moment.
Best countries to visit
The winning countries voted by the readers of Condé Nast Traveller in The Readers' Choice Awards 2021 as best countries to visit are:
- New Zealand.
- Sri Lanka.
We have been able to enjoy many trips to this beautiful country known by its culture, hystorical monuments, people and much more!
In addition to being one of the best places to go with friends or with your partner, Portugal is also one of the Europe's best places to travel with kids.
So, here are the best places to visit and what to do in Portugal, starting in Lisbon:
Jerónimos is as a symbol of the wealth of the Age of Discovery, built to honor Vasco da Gama's epic 1498 discovery of India.
- Padrão dos Descobrimentos
Very close to the Torre de Belém, you can find the Padrão dos Descobrimentos. It represented a romanticized idealization of the Portuguese exploration and visiting it is, again, cheap. Luckily, portuguese residents have a free entrance on Sundays and on special holidays.
Portugal is well-known by its delicious food, including pastries. You might have heard of the Pastéis de Nata before and, in some countries, you can find them at supermarkets. The outside of the pastry is crispy, whilst the inside is a creamy, custardy mix. During the summer, tourists wait for hours in front of the official bakery just to get a pastel. The inside of this bakery is beautifully covered with the typical portuguese azulejos and has a very traditional style.
Other things to do in Portugal which all tourists love is taking pictures at Praça do Comércio. It has beautiful yellow buildings all around and a statue of D. José I. There, you can also find some of the famous yellow trems and take pictures of it as well.
- Palácio dos Marqueses de Fronteira
This beautiful palace located in Lisbon can also be ''visited'' in The Netherlands. How? At Mondo Verde, Limburg, there is a ''copy''of it to represent the portuguese culture. So, if you by any change do not go to Portugal but, instead, go to the Netherlands, you can also have a small glimpse of Portugal there.
It is a villa, also known as the beach part of Lisbon. If you want to rest a few days at the beach, you should definitely visit this place located 30 minutes away by train from Lisbon. The best beaches in Cascais are Guincho, Praia da Conceição, Praia da Poça and many others. Casa da guia is also a very cute place with small restaurants and an amazing view towards the sea.
Very known by tourists, especially dutch and british, is in the South of the country which consequently makes it even warmer. People tend to spend their holidays at Albufeira, Vilamoura, Lagos, and more. If you want to try amazing local food, you will definitely get that here.
Opposite to Algarve, it is located in the north of the country and has a lot of cultural places to visit. Just taking a little walk while looking at the colorful buildings and water already feels amazing.
However, if you are specifically looking for other places to go with kids, you can also search about:
- Maribor, Slovenia.
- Reserva Monteverde, Costa Rica.
- Bali & the Gili Islands, Indonesia.
- Havana, Cuba.
- Rosario, Argentina.
- North Island, New Zealand.
Keep in mind that one of our good family travel tips is that you have to listen to your children. Perhaps, they can give new and fun ideas of things to do while you travel. The most important thing is to understand how you can combine what you want to do with what your kids want.
There are many more things to do in Portugal and all the other countries mentioned before but we shouldn't forget one of the most important points to think about when planning a trip- your accomodation.
Most people tend to search up for ''hotels near me'' or ''near hotel by me'' but it is very hard to know if that hotel is good enough for your needs.
Most travellers, while on their adventure, suffer a lot of bad sleep and it is hard to not relate to this problem. No one wishes to have exhausting discovery days and waking up the next day feeling like you had no rest, specially when you travel with kids.
Therefore, knowing some tips to finding a good hotel is essencial when you think about planning a trip:
- Know what you are looking for
If you don't know what you want in a hotel or another type of accomodation, you will not understand if it is the right one for you.
- Know the Holy Grail of amenities
Usually, what people complain about the most is not having air-conditioning, parking, Wi-Fi, and breakfast. Therefore, make sure to check if the hotel has these, in case it is important for you.
- Check the hotel/ accomodation's website
This can help you get to the reviews and read from other people what experience they got out of it.
- Look at a map to determine a hotel's exact location.
Picking a good location is one of the most important factors when looking for a place to stay as it can spare you from a lot of money and time.
- Get information about the sleeping experience that you get at the hotel.
As already mentioned, sleeping well should be one of the most important factors to look at when planning a trip. At the end of a busy day or a night of dancing in the club, you want to make sure to sleep well so that you can wake up the next day full of energy to go on with new adventures.
If it is too hard for you to understand if the sleep experience is good or not, you can get information by contacting the hotel and ask where they buy their mattresses or if that is not an option, bring your own topper.
Vita Talalay makes natural latex mattress toppers appart from latex mattresses and latex pillows and we highly recommend those who struggle with sleeping in beds that are not the ones they're used to, to bring their own latex topper as this can highly elevate your sleeping experience, is ajustable to other mattrasses and is easy to travel around with.
Even when camping, this can be a big factor contributing for improving your sleep.
How to maintain your healthy lifestyle during holiday season
Many of us struggle to keep a balance between fully enjoying our holidays and maintaining our good habits, specially when we're talking about relaxing holidays spent at the beach. Since many people go on holidays in July (mostly warm destinations), that's another reason to believe that most of us take this time to relax and might forget the healthy habits...
In order to be able to remember this break as happy holidays, it's important to keep our shape instead of goig back home feeling guilty about the decisions that we made.
Good habits to implement/ maintain while travelling:
If you're a yoga person, this might be the perfect way to keep your mobility exercises. There are many travel yoga mats that you can find on web shops or physical stores which are very easy to carry around and do not occupy a lot of space in your bag. However, if that is not an option, you can always ask your hotel if they have a mat that you could borrow or rent. This way, you will still be able to do your exercises.
Many experts believe that these short exercise sessions are very powerful. Quick workouts are perfect for people with packed schedules on their holidays. Even if it's just a short workout, it will definitely make a difference on how you feel, and who doesn't love a good morning workout? They are an amazing way to start a day.
Try this 12 minute full body hit by Madfit.
- Take a water bottle everywhere you go.
Staying hydrated is something to have in mind no matter where you are but specially on vacation, since most people walk a lot and find themselves in warm destinations. Take a reusable bottle with you and make sure to always keep it full.
It is extremely important to get enough rest while on a day off and sleeping on a comfortable mattress. Try to sleep at least 7 hours (better 8) and if you feel tired during the day, you can also take 10-20 minute naps.
If you find that the mattress you're sleeping on is not good enough for you, look into the possibilities of taking a natural latex mattres topper with you.
Nevertheless, it is also important to get rest throughout your time away.
While on the plane, car or at the beach, you can:
People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry and Impostor Syndrome by Kathy Wang are perfect to read during this time.
There isn't anything better than enjoying a movie night to relax a little. The movie Heart of the holidays is very interesting to watch if you are able to take a computer or tablet with you and The Christmas Chronicles in case you go on winter holidays.
- Search for good restaurants
Use this free time to look for good restaurants near you. OpenTable, Yelp and Zomato are examples of good apps/ websites where you can find good restaurants, having access to other people's reviews about it. If you follow a specific diet such as the vegan diet, you can check the menu to see if there are options for you or search for best vegan restaurants near me.
Being on vacation and eating out is amazing... However, specially when on a tight budget, this isn't an option for everyone. Taking snacks around such as cookies and energy bars is always a good idea. If you are staying in an apartment or a room with a kitchen, make yourself a yummy homemade pasta or omelettes with veggies inside. These are meals that do not require a lot of ingredients and are easy to make.