Travel To Madeira Without Pre-Holiday Tension

Published: 12th January 2012
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Copyright (c) 2011 Robert James

A holiday can, in itself, prompt anxiety and stress. You have waited all year for the date to arrive and you are placing so many hopes on that stay away from home. It just has to be perfect. Indeed, you just cannot afford for anything to go wrong - and this fact can end up heaping more pressure on you as the precious time approaches.

Madeira is well known for its relaxed atmosphere. It would be a shame to spoil your stay on the island because preparation for your trip left you feeling drained of energy.

Take note of the following Top 5 tips and you will simply be bursting with energy as soon as you step on Madeiran soil.

TIP 1:
Madeira is an island with diverse landscapes and attractions. Before you book your holiday, decide what you really want to get out of it.

If you enjoy walking, or even more strenuous hiking, then Madeira has plenty to offer. Rabacal in the north west, Porto Moniz on the extreme tip, Calheta in the south west or Machico in the south east would be ideal bases for a walking holiday.

If you just want a relaxing time, but want access to all the usual trappings, then Funchal the capital city is the best location to book.

If you want to experience the Madeiran culture away from the more commercialisation aimed at tourists, then think about staying in in the small northern village of Sao Jorge.

Whatever your preferences, you will be greatly helped in your choice of location if you can obtain recommendations from family and friends who know your personal likes and dislikes.

TIP 2:
Having decided on your destination and having booked your flight, prepare well in advance.

Airline travel can be stressful at the best of times and, even though many airlines fly direct to Madeira from various European airports, flying to Madeira is no exception.

In order to reduce the stress on the day, if it is allowed by your carrier, print airline tickets and boarding passes at home. Today, the Internet and online booking management systems make this easy to do.

Check your passport is valid. For most nationalities, you need at least 6 months clear to your passport's expiry date on the date of arrival in Madeira.

Obtain adequate travel insurance, and obtain it well in advance. There is no point in getting travel insurance that covers you for a holiday cancellation due to illness the day before you are due to depart - that will not be much use if you suffer a medical condition three weeks before you are due to travel.

TIP 3:
Finalise all preparations the day before you fly.

Have you ever watched one of those fly-on-the-wall TV airport documentaries? There is always someone who is too late to check-in because they missed their transport link - or they left their passport at home. Do you really want to feature on the next episode?

You don't want to be subject to a last minute rush so check all your documentation, finish packing your bags and confirm whatever transport you have lined up to get you to the airport the day before you are due to fly. If your airline requires passport details prior to flying, make sure that you have supplied them.

Funchal airport generally has relaxed custom and immigration controls so, if you have an e-passport, the electronic border check will be quick and easy.

TIP 4:
Remember, Madeira is highly dependent on imports.

So, if you have a favourite brand of tea that you just cannot bare to go without, or if you have particular medication requirements etc. then take a good supply with you.

Most shops in Funchal are open until 9pm or 10pm, but the Portuguese in general do not see a need for cans of Rice Pudding or the such like.

TIP 5:
Remember this is a holiday, so enjoy yourself.

You will find the local Madeiran population welcoming and friendly. As a society, they actually seem eager to please their visitors and to show off all that Madeira has to offer.

Most locals are fluent in English and many have a good command of Spanish, French or German. So you should have no fear of being intimidated by a foreign culture.

If you let it, vacations can sometimes be a stressful experience.

Madeira wants you to have a pleasant stay and to return home with a multitude of happy memories. So, to make sure that you return from your travels refreshed and rested, just follow these few easy tips.

Happy holidays!


Robert James is a frequent visitor to Madeira. He runs an informative and useful Madeira website. Robert is well travelled and an independent writer with 30 years experience. Madeira public transport can be somewhat difficult to use due to the harsh terrain and the often infrequent service. Those wanting to explore the island should pre-book a Madeira tour.

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