The Package Holiday Unwrapped

As you get a bit older the attraction of the package holiday tends to wear off a bit. You’re not really that interested in staying up late at night clubbing and recovering from you hangover while lying in the sun, fixing your tan. Welcome to adulthood! (Or should that be middle age?)

Perhaps I shouldn’t admit it here but I’ve never been on a package holiday, even when I was younger they never appealed to me and now I’m that bit older it’s really not something I could see myself getting into. Perhaps I should wait and see, perhaps I’ll take one with my girlfriend who’s half my age once I get to my mid-life crisis!

Until then I think I’ll stick with the tailor made holidays I usually take. The thing I really appreciate about making all the travel arrangements yourself is that you’re in control. If you’re doing all the arrangements yourself it can be a little daunting at first, but you can always get help with that.

The easiest way to travel is to just turn up and get a hotel. Immigration doesn’t always love it but provided you have enough money to cover the cost of accommodation they’re ok. I always travel as light as possible so getting off a plane and catching a cab to a hotel for a night here, a couple of days there is never really a problem. It sounds chaotic but it’s a must if you want to see a city for what it really is instead of the tourist version.

Here’s an example, last time I went to LA I drove out to Barstow to meet a man called Bones and collect crystals in the desert, went to the La Brea tar pits to look at all the animals that fell in thousands of years ago, I found myself at a borax mine and their Twenty Mule Team museum as well as student art shows; it’s difficult to think that I’d have done half of those things if I had booked into a hotel and just gone on their tourist excursions. Of course I did the typically tourist thing and went to the Hollywood walk of fame, Manns Chinese Theater, the Hollywood sign and Griffith observatory too but then it’s hard not to while you’re in town. Unless your tour operator can arrange for you to have a milkshake at the Bagdad Café on Route 66 one morning with a genuine Indian you’re better off trusting your own luck and power of adventure.

The point is that if you want to go abroad to get a tan you might as well stay at home and go on a sun bed. Your reason for visiting a country should be to explore, learn about other cultures that you can’t experience just by seeing them on TV. When you go, get out of your hotel, skip the beach and head inland, have an adventure. At least you’ll have a story to tell and, hopefully, more interesting photos.

Dan Cash is all about tailor made holidays because you cna’t get adventure out of a package

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