Every year people head off to the sunshine or to travel in Asia with their friends. They often return with a collection of stories and pictures you've heard and seen a million times before. Of course, it's a new and exciting experience for them but it does make you wonder if there's something missing from the vacation imagination.
This year's circumstances are very different from previous years. There is still a global crisis happening and uncertainty everywhere. This will undoubtedly affect vacation choices, but not always in a bad way. Perhaps the restrictions will help us think outside the box and choose a memorable vacation we hadn't thought of before.
A Pilgrimage in India
India is a magical land known for vibrant colors, friendly people, and stunning natural beauty. It is also known for its spirituality which stretches back thousands of years. In many ways, India is the natural home of spirituality with so many lasting religions and practices founded there.
You don't have to be a religious person to go on a pilgrimage to India. Even if you only do a bit of yoga and meditation you will find a pilgrimage a rich and valuable experience. Visit the place where the Buddha attained enlightenment along with the stupa where his bones are buried.
A Skiing Holiday
The global situation may still be ongoing for now but that doesn't mean we can't start planning for the summer, autumn, and winter months. If you think that skiing is only available in winter then think again. If you choose the right location you can enjoy summer skiing too.
A skiing holiday is great for all the family or even a small group of friends. It's active, invigorating, beautiful, and after skiing, you can enjoy good times at the cosy lodgings. For all year skiing holidays check out Central Europe and Scandinavia.
A Gambling Adventure
Many people love gambling and dream of going to Las Vegas or Macau for a holiday. Others don't necessarily, but that doesn't mean they won't have an excellent time. These gambling resorts offer much more than playing slots and cards, they are adventure cities.
They say New York is the city that never sleeps, but someone forgot to mention Las Vegas. When you enter the place the clocks stop and time vanishes. On this holiday you will emerge yourself in a neon world of wonder and imagination. You can also get some excellent deals on high-class hotels.
A Boating Holiday
If you want an alternative holiday that isn't affected by the global crisis, then consider a boating holiday. This is when you hire a boat or transport one you own to a nearby lake or river. Camp for a few days and sail your boat with your friends or family creating lasting memories.
Boats are more available than ever before, they are also dropping in price and have become more affordable to ordinary working families. Check out jon boats for an idea of what kind of boats are available for your next vacation.
A Volunteer Holiday
When you think of a vacation you probably think of some time in a foreign location, laying in the sun or riding on the back of an elephant. You probably don't think about paying money to help out in a school or animal sanctuary.
However, this type of vacation is becoming more popular as people look for ways to contribute to the world and bring more meaning to their vacation time. You might have to invest a little hard-earned cash, but it goes to a good cause and gives you a rare opportunity.
Camping and Hiking
One other vacation that has been relatively unaffected by the global crisis is camping and hiking. Regardless of social distancing and restrictions in some places, you can still take to the hills or the countryside with your backpack and water bottle.
This vacation is a no-brainer this year, especially with so much uncertainty still around. Invest in a good pair of hiking boots and a quality tent. Waterproof gear is also a good idea. Hiking and camping is the perfect combination of vacation and exercise.
An Unusual Location
Are you bored of the same ideas that come to mind over and over when you think about where to go on your next vacation? It is always the same places you think of those same places your friends talk about constantly at the mention of a vacation.
It would be nice to have a different experience and angle for the conversation. Think outside the box this year and choose a lesser-known or available location. Think of the middle east, or Eastern Europe, what about northern Vietnam or Cambodia. It will give you plenty to discuss.
*Post contributed by peer writer and travel lover, Paul Smithton, an ex-pat living in London.*