Some words like bikini evoke summer and warm beaches with warm waters and in this time of winter millions daydream about summer vacations.
Unfortunately, the economy is tight and many of us will find it hard to find the money for Barbados’ exclusive fortnight this year and as a result it may take a little more imagination to choose a cheaper break.
For the fit and healthy, there is the option of a hiking and camping holiday that doesn’t involve expensive meals and spectacular scenery. For the price of a cross-channel ferry from Plymouth to Spain, there are fantastic walks in the Pyrenees.
This area gave birth to that classic lightweight summer shoe: the espadrilles, and although they are not designed for long walks, they should be an essential part of your pack spares, especially for the reward at the end of the walk on a hot beach. Spanish sand.
Many people are drawn to the complete vacation package that to others is their idea of a nightmare. Herding them off the plane like herds of cattle and herding them onto vacation coaches, which are only populated by people of their own nationality, seems like a pretty dire thought.
It is much better to buy a map and plan your own trip and even better to arrive at the airport with only a backpack with a minimum amount of clothing and take the first flight to a warm destination.
Years ago, it used to be quite easy to do just that, and while security means that’s not always possible today, there are still airlines that will let you buy a last-minute ticket just by showing up at the airport.
This is the routine for the beginning of your summer vacation: Pack a backpack with shorts and cotton t-shirts with extra footwear such as very practical and light espadrilles and don’t forget your passport.
On Friday go to work with the backpack and get permission to work during lunch and leave as early as possible. Head to the nearest busy airport and check for flights leaving in a couple of hours or more. Choose an attractive place that you have never visited before and get a ticket!
Putting this little bit of risk and uncertainty into a vacation always adds to the excitement and almost always leads to the most memorable vacations.
An essential part of a vacation is to carry the absolute minimum of luggage. You don’t want to land with bags, as this simply restricts any further movement in the next week or two.
If you arrive with suitcases, the temptation is to look for the first hotel and unpack everything and stay there all the time. With a backpack and little weight you can get up and go whenever you feel like it.