What do you think of when you imagine a holiday? Soft white sand? A calming view over the sea or a shady woodland hike? What about the waft of warm air as you walk out into a hot city?
How many of these things are specific to one particular destination? Not taking into account particular sights that you might dream of visiting (thinking the Colosseum, the Great Pyramids the Parthenon etc) many of the key elements of a holiday can take place – if not anywhere – then in a variety of places.
I had a conversation with a customer recently about the mindset shift that prompted him to finally book a trip with us – his first rail holiday.
He said he read our top tips for flight-free travel in the evening standard, and the one which stood out the most was about changing the way you think about travel.
Change how you plan your trips:
Most of the time when we plan a holiday, we’ll pick a destination based on a number of factors – weather, scenery, sights, a certain hotel or attraction. Next, we’ll work out how to get there – and more often than not the cheapest and easiest way will be to fly.
But how about looking at things from the reverse perspective? What if first, you start by looking at where you could feasibly and affordably go *without* flying (you can check out our trips for more inspiration). Then, choose a destination you’d love to visit for your next holiday – whether you go for its scenery, food, nightlife, cultural scene or beaches is up to you.
It’s a simple shift, right? But one which opens up a whole world of flight-free travel possibilities. Instead of starting from the status quo and trying to go against the grain, you’ll find yourself looking with a fresh perspective at options that already exist.
Expectations don’t always equal reality
Of course we can’t say you should never visit the sights you’ve dreamed of – those which can only be experienced in a specific location – but it’s worth giving some thought to whether those places will really live up to your expectations given the burden of over-tourism they face. Anyone who has queued at 3am to board a sunrise bus to Machu Picchu with thousands of other tourists can attest that the reality is very different from the photos.
If all you’re really in search of is nature, sand, sea, relaxation and time to rest, remember that despite what airlines would have us believe this world is very big and so very beautiful. There are almost infinite ways and places to find a slice of peace… you might find that planning your next holiday differently broadens, rather than limits, your horizons.