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Plan the perfect holiday

DIVYA KUMAR
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The keyword here is ‘plan’. We’re not talking frantically looking up a couple of travel websites a week or two before you book your tickets. No, you need to start thinking about your next holiday pretty much the moment you get off the plane from your last. You need to eat, sleep and breathe the holiday, obsessively planning it down to the last sight-seeing destination, until you’re sufficiently satisfied that you have every single second of the trip accounted for, and are gettingpaisa vasoolfor every last buck.

The cornerstone of such diligent planning is research, research, and more research. It isn’t enough to dream up your ideal vacation; you need to ferret out every little piece of information you can find on the location, on the sights to be seen, on its hotels, and / or on the package tour you’re signing up for. Buy every travel guide you can find. Stalk people who’ve travelled there before until they spill the beans on every last detail. And, annoy your travel agent non-stop until he gives you the best deal possible (even if it is on the condition that you’ll never, ever travel with them again).

The Internet is, of course, your best friend, whether it’s looking up airline deals or hotel ratings or travel blogs or just pretty, pretty pictures of local landmarks. So, you must make the most of your online time when in holiday-planning mode. Get started on your browsing as you sip your coffee first thing in the morning, and use every possible break at work to surf the Net. (Just make sure your boss isn’t looking over your shoulder as you search for ‘clothing optional beaches’ or such).

One potential problem to watch out is the ‘Holiday Fugue Syndrome’. This is a trap vacation-planning newbies — and even veterans — can find themselves falling into, when the daydreams about the beautiful, oh-so-perfect holiday (which is due to begin in 21 days five hours and 23 minutes) take over the brain, and all other functions essentially shut down. You know you’ve been hit bad when you find yourself drawing little pyramids (with miniature mummies) at the corner of your notebook during meetings, and are apt to blurt out ‘King Tut!’ when called upon to make a contribution.

Finally, remember that planning alone doesn’t make the perfect holiday. Execution is just as important. So, don’t spend the entire run-up to your holiday dithering over destinations (“Greece or Turkey? Oooh, how about Brazil?”), or dreaming about that designer vacation wardrobe. Make the bookings, get that visa, and finish up with the shopping. And, remember to have a ball once you’re on your way; you don’t need to worry about any more planning until your plane touches down again, after all!

DIVYA KUMAR

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