• Andy Bartlett

Making the Most of Your Holiday.


I’d like to start with a question: How many different types of holiday are there?

Today I had the pleasure of spending time in the company of the team behind The Uganda International Marathon. Now in it’s third year, they not only give people a chance to run a marathon in an exciting and beautiful location but also spend time in the local community seeing how the money being raised is spent and practically getting involved with projects themselves.

The director of UGM (Henry Blanchard,) remarked how some people taking part view their time in Uganda, working on the projects and running the marathon as a holiday rather than an adventure which got me thinking: How Many Types of Holiday are there?

Think about yourself, what do you have planned for your 2017 holidays? Do you even have plans for holidays this year or will 12 months roll around and you once again find you’ve not used up your allocated days off from work?

If you were to reply, I suspect there are a multitude of answers; Beach, Ski, Cruise, Camping, Road Trip, City Break or even a Staycation but I’ve concluded that the actual answer is 4. These are:

  1. The Holiday holiday

  2. The Traveling holiday

  3. The Adventure Holiday

  4. The Adventure Plus Holiday

1. The Holiday Holiday.

You make your booking with one company looking after everything for you - flights, accommodation, transfers and maybe even meals as well. You get to the resort, you pass through the gates and possibly never leave the confines of your resort or immediate surroundings for the whole time you are there. There is a pool, beach, restaurants, and several bars - everything you need to switch off, relax and unwind for your time there.

2. The Traveling Holiday

For the slightly more adventurous or those that get restless after a day or two of being sat on a sun lounger. You want to explore and travel; to experience and take in everything your chosen destination has to offer. The culture, food, people and history all interest you. Some will do this as day trips for a static base whilst others will brave local transport (and maybe even the occasional taxi) to help you achieve this.

3. The Adventure Holiday

For when the Travelling Holiday just doesn’t seem to scratch that adventurous itch quite as well as it used to be. It’s time to inject some adventure and move away from the normal definition of “holiday" Chose your mode of transport, fix a route or more likely a destination and then go. Car, motorbike, bycycle, ambulance, hearse, kayak, pogo stick, penny farthing, Paddle Board, your own two feet or any other object which helps (or some times hinders) getting you from A to B. Something to challenge you physically, mentally and often emotionally as well.

My own introduction to this genre to this was with a simple bicycle and some weekend/week long trips. Then came the Stand Up Paddle Board which took me 3000km along the Danube River from source to see (more about that here: www.supthedanube.com)

4. The Adventure Plus Holiday

So what exists beyond an adventure and what is the plus I’m talking about? For me, the plus is taking an adventure and giving it a greater purpose than simply completing it but, in reality, the plus can be added to any of the categories above. Just some ways you can Plus your holiday are:

  • Chose a charity and get sponsorship for your adventure.

  • Contact a local school or charity at your destination and ask if you can offer your time, knowledge orskills for a few hours or days.

  • Use your time away to investigate and raise awareness of a problem or course. (one great example of this is Kate Rawles who uses her cycle trips to investigate and report back on the effects of climate change. www.outdoorphilosophy.co.uk)

  • Sign up with a dedicated project such as the Uganda Marathon, a conservation project or NGO to support their work.

If you are reading this and are living a life which allows you the time and resources to take a holiday then you are incredibly lucky. Holidays and time away are important; they give us time to relax, switch off, refocus and recharge ourselves but, maybe in-between looking after ourselves we can use the time we have away from work and our daily lives to help improve the the lives of others and the planet we live on.