Vacations and traveling are fun. Or are they? This week is all about fun and traveling is something that it is supposed to be fun for sure, especially when it comes to holidays. But things do go sometimes wrong on holidays too. Families bicker. Passports and wallets go missing. Food is bad or next to inedible. That beautiful tan you counted on turns out to be burning hot mess, literally, after the first day on the beach. And talk about the pressure of having fun on holidays. Maybe the trip was booked a year in advance and this is your only chance to go abroad this year, or this decade. The pressure is on! But most of the time holidays do go smoothly and with little forward planning (or non-planning) and just letting go, it is easy to have even more fun on holidays. These are some of my holiday “goals” that I try to live by, what are yours? Forward planning is good, or even great, but don’t plan too much. Pick a few things that go on your must-see list and just let it flow. Sticking on to a rigid plan may inhibit you from experiencing something totally different and unexpected, which may become the highlight of the whole trip. As with traveling with baby of which I wrote earlier this year, have a plan B & C. Especially when traveling further afield, it is good to have a copy of passport scanned and emailed to your personal account, details of the embassy or consulate checked out and emergency contacts, details and addresses distributed to family or friends at home. Little bit of extra clothing may also come handy if your luggage goes missing after a long flight or series of flights, so you are not left with only the clothes you’re standing in. And this forward preparation only takes a fraction of your pre-holiday time. Try something new! I keep going on about this but trying something new can take your holiday from great to amazing. My personal highlights of the year were learning to make pasta in Italy and trying out surfing in Portugal. And I still have few months to go! I don’t yet know what’s next, but I’m busy scanning the opportunities. Take your friends along. Family holidays are good, but if you take your friends along they can get even better. If you have kids, they immediately have some company to play with, and adults can take turns in babysitting to have some rare one-on-one time. This is our goal for next year; renting a surfing villa somewhere with bit of sand & surf with a group of friends with toddlers. It will be noisy and messy for sure, but brilliant at the same time, I hope! Don’t take yourself too seriously. It is good to have an idea of the local customs and traditions in order not to offend the locals but if you end up in a situation where you are the laughing stock because of your “strange” customs, so what. You are on holiday after all! RELAX. Maybe this is THE once-in-a-lifetime trip to India or Bali but do you have to fit every single activity and attraction into the time you spend at your destination? It is sometimes hard not to do so. But if you go back from a holiday feeling like you need another one (I do this all too often…), and your camera’s memory card is full of pictures of monuments and buildings you hardly remember the names of, maybe you could’ve dropped one or two gears down and just relaxed by the pool, beach or local cafe enjoying those moments that really make your holiday special.