Rethink Travel Plans by Thinking “Alternative“

Enjoying a unique and holiday is an unforgettable experience. Any adventuresome traveller yearns to connect with friendly locals and immerse herself in a lifestyle that is a total escape from the everyday grind. The trick to planning your very own alternative holiday is to start  thinking outside the box.

The best way to inspire yourself is to imagine the letdown of stepping onto the beaten path, already pounded by thousands of tourists’ feet, and feeling that it’s worn and tired – especially if you’ve invested hours in travel time, customs queues and visa procedures. The next time you travel, look for something different!

It doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg either.

Alternative Holiday Plans Near You

You can enjoy your holidays immensely without a passport. Choose to explore your hometown, the neighbouring regions, local waterways or even your own backyard! You’ll spare yourself the great expense that’s usually required for international travel. In addition, you’ll have more flexible time to enjoy yourself.

Exploring your hometown or nearby regions is surely one of the most sensible alternative holiday plans. Whether it is Sentosa Island for a Singaporean or the Mulu Caves for a Malaysian, the attractions in one’s hometown or local bordering areas are often neglected. Maybe you’ve been thinking that you can visit these places anytime you want, when all of a sudden, you wake up one day and realise that you have taken your hometown or regional attractions for granted. You may have to move away permanently, or as you get older over the course of time, you may become disinterested or swamped with responsibilities.

Grab your local or regional guidebook before it’s too late and start searching for the renowned spots that everyone else around the world is longing to visit. If you decide to explore your hometown/regional areas over an extended period of time, it may be best to check into a hotel, guest house, motel or hostel to make your holiday truly adventuresome.

Read: 10 Steps to Develop a Healthy Relationship with Money

If you still can’t convince yourself to explore your hometown or nearby regions, become a tour guide instead. Learn about the nearby tourist attractions first. Then impart your knowledge about your hometown to foreign tourists or the local kids. This can help you earn some extra money while showing off your national pride.

You also have the option to do some sightseeing on local waterways in or around your area. Simply research and locate the waterways and plan your activities there. You might find rivers where you can go rafting. You might want to do some boating in a regatta, or just for fun, or to escape summer’s blazing heat. Some waterways might allow you to go fishing, and these usually require an official license.

The inhabitants of certain cities are lucky enough to have a free fishing day when some or all restrictions on fishing are lifted. You might discover secret fishing spots where you may not need a license or mustn’t stick to a catch limit. These stipulations can vary however, depending on whether a body of water is salt- or freshwater.

There’s a range of ways to vacation simply such as having picnics, going camping or attending a sports match. Search for picnic or camping spots online. Organise an event and invite your family members, relatives and friends to come along. An even simpler undertaking would be to arrange a barbecue party in your very own backyard!

Last-Minute Alternative Holiday Plans

Last-minute alternative holiday organisation can get you cheaper deals with great value-for-money. Such deals are generally offered by cruise operators and tour companies. These opportunities exist because companies know from experience that at least one of their customers will cancel a booking. By charging high prices for people booking well in advance, they can offer reduced prices at the last minute to fill spots left vacant by cancelled reservations and ensure that their capacity is filled.

When you book cruises in advance you pay a hefty price, but booking at the last minute will get you relatively cheap deals, perhaps with upgrades, cash vouchers and other onboard amenities. Online sites like Expedia Cruise will guide you to any cruises still available last-minute.

Tour companies also have high prices when you book early, but offer lower-priced packages when you book at the last minute. A company that will offer you some of the best deals at the last minute is Intrepid Travel.

Alternative Holidays as a Humanitarian Adventurer

The humanitarian approach to alternative holiday planning is a win-win situation. You get to volunteer for the benefit of society at large and travel at a reduced cost to yourself. The top NGO companies seek adventurous volunteers like you and provide the best imaginable support. All of your costs with the exception of travel expenses to and from the destination will be covered by the foremost organisations. Moreover, you won’t end up spending significant amounts of money on your own entertainment.

This is because you’ll be too busy integrating with the surrounding community as you go about your work routine. This means that you’ll have the opportunity to experience a foreign culture for free! Just make sure that you volunteer for an organisation that will channel your efforts into global social improvement rather than capitalising on your hard work to support its own administration.

Unique Alternative Holiday Plans

Some of your out-of-the-box strategic thinking can help you save lots of money even if you’re travelling overseas. You can have a great holiday at some less renowned destinations that offer equally enhancing experiences as the renowned ones. Did you know Budapest is just as romantic as Paris but less expensive? Did you know Greece is much cheaper than Italy? Opt to travel to off-season destinations. In winter, you can journey around the entire European continent at half the price of a summer trip!

Travel to another country and live there at no expense in exchange for work. Your jobs will vary according to the skills you can offer. Discuss your flexibility to work from the very beginning to prevent misunderstandings cropping up during your stay, and enjoy your time abroad without any complications.

Related: How To Save $10,000 A Year By Making Small Changes

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C.E.O @ The New Savvy
Anna Haotanto is passionate about finance, education, women empowerment and children’s issues. Anna has been featured in CNBC, Forbes, The Straits Times, Business Insider, INC and The Peak Singapore.   She was nominated and selected for FORTUNE Most Powerful Women conference in 2016 (Asia) and 2015 (San Francisco, Next Gen).   Anna has 10 years of experience in the financial sector and is currently a Director in Tera Capital. Her previous work experience includes positions at Citigroup, United Overseas Bank, a regional role in Business Monitor and a boutique private equity firm based in Shanghai. She graduated from Singapore Management University (Finance and Quantitative Finance).