TEDxVienna members OUT THERE: Things I’ve learned on vacation

Vacations are wonderful. The oceans, the blue skies, the carefree atmosphere. Everything about escaping day to day life feels amazing and fills a true traveller’s heart with pure gratitude. However, there are also moments abroad which teach you valuable life lessons. We may be well aware of most of these facts already, but truly experiencing them first hand reminds us of how carefree life is in our hometowns; in my case: Vienna.

I was lucky enough to spend five amazing days in the beautiful Alcudia on the island of Mallorca. And although my mini vacation was better than I ever imagined, I was reminded of the many things to keep in mind when travelling abroad. Let’s dive in.

1. Save your ears! 

Let me tell you: after my most recent holiday, I am never leaving the country without seeing my ear doctor beforehand ever again. To cut to the chase, I ended  up getting a clogged up and infected ear while swimming in my hotel’s little pool. The next day, I woke up deaf in one ear and – long story short – a super competent Spanish doctor ended up telling me that the chlorine from the pool had infected my ear canal severely. Also, according to a study published by curezone.com, the risk of your body developing cancerous malignant cells is increased by up to 93% by drinking chlorinated pool water. So make sure those chemicals stay in the pool and outside of your body!

2. Check the tap!

Yes, we all know this. But are we always truly aware of how lucky we are? Whilst in Spain, I had totally forgotten that being away from Vienna meant actually having to buy bottled water at the supermarket. So next time you’re abroad, make sure to buy some nice and clean water in bulk at the store before you realize you’re slowly starting to dehydrate in your hotel room with the $10 mini bar bottles teasing you. Or simply pre-pack that yummy Austrian tapwater in some environmentally-friendly glas bottles into your larger luggage. In case you’re not sure as to whether your next travel destination may have clean drinking water, try finding the location of interest on fun sites like isthewatersafetodrink.com.

3. Feeling too carefree can end up ruining your vacation

Luckily this hasn’t happened to me yet. But on my last holiday, I did see a young German couple, desperately asking the Spanish lifeguards for help because someone seemed to have stolen their beach bags. It’s super easy to feel like you’re floating on Cloud 9 when vacationing. However, always be alert and informed about the dangers of what looks like innocent fun. Be it a city trip or a beach vacation, it’s always a smart idea to either leave your valuables in a safe at the hotel or take them with you, stored inside waterproof and close-to-the-body containers. Because hey, investing in some good waterproof floating cases is better than having your entire trip ruined by a cunning thief, right? If you want to be super-precautious like I was, I’d recommend taking a look at some helpful emergency hotlines – you know, just in case…

So go forth and have fun abroad! Enjoy the country’s culture, cuisine and scenery. But do not forget to stay safe and healthy! That’s the most important thing to remember. With that in mind, nothing can keep your next holiday from being the most amazing experience ever.


Photo credits: Cover image by Pixabay

Share this post

About Katie Reschenhofer

Katie is majoring in English & American Studies at the University in Vienna and is interested in the evolution of social media. Having lived in Oman, she is particularly interested in Middle Eastern affairs. In her spare time, Katie gives in to her shopping-addiction and satisfies her craving for sushi & maki. Shopping can sure make you hungry, you know!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *