5shares Holidays often go by in a blur, and before you know it, you’re back home with a bad case of vacation blues. We all want to make sure that we take home fond memories of our travels. To help you out with that, here are some easy ways to bring your next vacation to the next level and really make the most of your time overseas. 1. Don’t buy a souvenir from the gift shop There are so many ways to remember your trip, and a kitschy mass-produced souvenir from the gift shop is not one of them. So stay away from the miniature figurines and tacky t-shirts and find something truly unique. Maybe pick up a seashell from the beach (if it’s allowed!), buy a book from a local bookstore, or purchase a unique piece of art. You could even bring home a new skill set – sign yourself up for some traditional cooking or handicraft classes. Of course, if you love kitschy souvenirs, then knock yourself out. The point is to make sure you’re bringing home something special to you! 2. Talk to locals Guidebooks are great, but nobody knows a place better than locals. After all, we all know there’s so much more to Singapore than the Merlion and Marina Bay Sands. It can be intimidating to talk to strangers but you’ll be surprised at how friendly people can be. Most of the time, they’re really happy that somebody’s taking the time to really get to know the culture and people. Take the plunge and strike up a conversation – ask about the best places to eat and what to do. The answers that you get are sure to take you out of the tourist zones/traps. Plus, there’s no better way to immerse yourself in a country than to get to know its people. You’ll learn more, and you may even find yourself with a new friend! 3. Step out of your comfort zone Try a new dish. Do something you wouldn’t usually do. Go cliff diving! While lazing by the pool or beach can be heavenly, why not experience something extraordinary on your next trip? We challenge you to do something that you normally wouldn’t do – it can be as simple as watching going for a walking tour, going on a solo hike up a mountain or something crazy like paragliding! Get the adrenaline pumping and explore the world, because if you’re not living life on the edge, you’re taking too much space. 4. Alternative accommodations Hotels are nice. Hotels are comfy. But hotels are usually pricey, and after a while they all start to look the same. Why not save some cash and gain an authentic experience by trying out different forms of accommodations? Traditional homestays, hostels, seaside huts, glass igloos and tree houses – these are just some of the different places that are sure to open up your horizons. Choosing to stay somewhere other than a hotel offers you a whole new world of experiences. You can immerse yourself in the customs and culture of your host country, meet fellow travellers, or just try something new! To find your swanky new accommodation, check out Booking.com or Airbnb. 5. Be prepared for setbacks No matter how well prepared you are, things can sometimes go wrong. You might miss a bus, sprain an ankle, or lose something – just take it in your stride and don’t let one little thing ruin your holiday. Always remember that one day you’ll look back on these memories and laugh. It’s about the journey, not the destination (it also makes for a great story)! 6. Hydrate Finally, remember to hydrate! If you’re coming from somewhere hot and humid, and are used to heat, in colder and drier climates, we might not realize how much moisture we’re losing. Don’t rely on feeling thirsty as an indicator. Avoid falling ill and keep drinking regularly. Of course, the tips that we’ve got here are very general. But you can use these six tips as the foundations for every trip. Keep them in mind wherever you go, and enjoy that perfect vacation. Happy travelling! For more tips on travelling, check out trip101.com.