While living on an island as interesting as ours has its perks, there’s no denying that we all crave the chance to see a little bit more of the world. Summer is the perfect time for a quick getaway, and many Maltese people go through the same stages when planning their vacation.
1. Booking leave before even choosing where you’re off to
You wake up one morning on the wrong side of the bed. As you sit in your car, stuck in traffic on the way to work, you decide it’s high time you went on another holiday. The first thing you do (after making yourself a coffee) is open up your email and apply for time off in July.
Yes, it’s kind of early, but you’re not gonna risk the application being rejected. You need this holiday.
2. Eliminating any place that’s hotter than Malta
While the Maltese are partial to a good beach holiday, if we’re gonna leave the island it better be to somewhere a more moderate climate. Who wants to be sweating for 90% of their vacation?
3. Harassing all your friends to join you
Once you’ve settled on a dream destination, every third message on your WhatsApp thread is a photo of a beautiful piazza or an article highlighting all the reasons to visit that city. Slowly but surely you erode their resistances and before long you’re sharing a bottle of wine and booking a flight together.
4. Having to tell every family member one by one
“Iva ħa nsiefer na. Le, m’hemmx ISIS Venezja.”
You hang up from her and start dialling the next person. There’s no way a Maltese person can leave the island without informing at least three members of their immediate family and four from their extended.
5. Nodding while ignoring all their unfounded advice
Your great uncle tells you to pack an extra thick jacket ‘just in case it gets cold’ on your summer trip to Spain, while your aunt suggests you search for that one shop she accidentally stepped into 10 years ago where they sold a drink that kind of tasted like Kinnie. Your mother is insisting you spend more on insurance than you did on your flight and your father has printed five copies of your boarding pass. The easiest thing to do is smile, nod and say thank you.
6. Mapping out the important destinations, aka all the best restaurants
Sure, the Eiffel Tower is stunning, but have you tried the little bakery two streets down from the amazing pastry shop that’s around the corner from the macaroon place? Maltese people love good food, and most holidays are planned around the best places to grab a bit.
7. Checking the expiration date on your passport
One piece of advice you should take from your family is checking the expiration date on literally the most important document when travelling. Yes, passports do expire and no, you won’t be able to travel if yours has.
8. Taking advantage of special offers while they last
If your passport is expired, or about to expire soon, then you’d better hurry and take advantage of Identity Malta’s March price reductions. Everyone who applies for an adult passport (16+) before the end of March will save over 12%.
The whole process usually takes less than 15 minutes to do, and anyone applying is advised to fill in the form found here. And if you lose your passport while you’re abroad head straight to a police station, make a report and get in touch with Malta’s embassy or consulate in the country you’re visiting.