Travel Like a Song

Lux Sleep Street Eats wishes everyone–whatever your gender, religion, nationality, social background–a wonderful closing to 2018 and many more beautiful moments in the upcoming year. For our last entry of the year, I wanted to touch on how to make trips more interesting.

While one of our goals here is to share how to access premium travel, the underlying philosophy is about helping people create memorable trips for various budgets. Lux sleep doesn’t mean that we only stay at high end hotels nor do street eats restrict us from upscale dining. We advocate planning a structure that’s not too rigid (a chance to just relax or soak up your surroundings) and paying particular attention on the order of planned activities. Lastly, tell yourself to enjoy all aspects of your trip, even when things go wrong.

Inle Lake: A New Friend
Little moments can be special; this doggie followed us around Inle Lake (Myanmar)

Think of travel as a good song. With most musical genres, there’s a soft opening that draws you in. Then there are varying notes and rests that keeps it from being monotonous or overwhelming. All of it to set up for the culmination in a huge note that marks the experience. This in-your-face expression usually happens after the mid-way point and sometimes near the finish (“ending with a bang” so to speak). Then usually a gentle fade-out to signal closure.

Our trips usually follow the pattern:

  • Start off with a familiar location or try to stay at places where we’ll likely get a good night’s rest which sets a pleasant tone.
  • Pick 1 or 2 to-do items, but rarely head out to do them right away; rather, we meander our way and there are times where we find something that interests us more.
  • Take breaks to recharge; I tend to nap a lot. You’ll also often find us at a cafe playing card games.
  • Try something we couldn’t do at home.
  • Eat something we really like and linger in our room before going home.

Most of us have a physical or mental itinerary and with limited vacation time, it’s understandable that you want to plan out everything that you have to do. I used to be like this and then we became friends with another couple that really take their time in a place instead of running around. Adopting their style really changed how much I appreciated visiting a new place. There’s a sense of belonging that comes with not sticking to a tourist plan. That stroll in a park, lingering in a cafe or erasing some items off the need-to-do list may seem like a waste of precious time; however, they give your brain its needed rest and you’re more likely to enjoy whatever you’ll do after that. These “non-activities” also provide a contrast that will help you remember the various moments more.

Tepoztlan Hike
Experience something not available at home–here a hike in Tepotzlan
Park Hyatt Tokyo: New York Bar Manhattan
Ryan’s to-do? A drink and jazz at Park Hyatt Tokyo’s New York Bar of “Lost in Translation”

As with the song, order your trip activities in a way that swings your most anticipated activity towards the end. Maybe there’s a highly rated hotel you want to stay at, you’re craving a particular dish, a show that you’ve waited to see or you want to skydive, etc. It’s particularly effective to precede this moment with a rest so your body and brain are primed for the full experience.

Park Hyatt Seoul: Bathtub
Ryan likes to soak and read before we check out

After it all, take some time for yourself to relax as your trip finishes. Avoid stressing ourselves out e.g. no last minute shopping or packing and give yourselves plenty of time to get to airport. We’re usually able to get late checkout and schedule departures in the late afternoon; especially as we get older, we find this helps us appreciate the trip even more.

As an aside, I also like to write letters or postcards to people that I don’t get to see often. I’m not referring to the single sentence “Wish you were here” thing (not to offend anyone, particularly friends who do this, as it is the thought that counts and not everyone enjoys writing). The contents of my message helps me 1) remember what I’ve done and 2) remind me of what I found noteworthy i.e. that’s what I end up sharing.

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We’ve got a 3-week eastern Thailand road trip coming up right after Christmas and then I go to Europe for a week so we’ll be back in late January with new reviews: a boutique hotel in Khao Yai, accessible-by-boat-only hotel on Koh Kood, Cathay Pacific A350 business class HKG-BRU, as well as Thailand/European location briefs and a second visit review on Korean Air first class and Park Hyatt Bangkok.

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