Summer is synonymous with vacation. You’ve worked hard and it’s time to get away, relax and recharge. However, taking a break from everyday life isn’t always easy. Vacations can sometimes be stressful; often you can’t get your mind off work or the planning for your trip can become hectic. To prepare for a less stressful vacation try some of these
Set Realistic Expectations
Things don’t always go perfectly in your daily life, or on vacation. Setting realistic expectations for your trip will help to alleviate stress should a problem occur, such as a flight delay, the cancellation of an activity you booked, or bad weather. Don’t let these kinds of setbacks ruin your vacation. If you go on your trip with the mindset that somethings might not work out, you could save yourself from the disappointment. Have a backup plan in place just in case so you’ll always have an alternative.
Choose a Laid-Back Trip
If you are worried about stress, forego a trip to a big city and select a destination with a relaxing vibe, like a tropical resort or beach town. Places like these are designed to make you feel comfortable and calm–that’s why they are so popular! You can make this type of trip even more relaxing by going in the off-season before or after the big crowds.
Plan in Advance
You are guaranteed to get stressed out if you are preparing for your trip last minute. If it’s the day before your trip and you suddenly remember you need to figure out directions, have your mail held, call your credit card companies–the list can go on and on and your stress levels will skyrocket. Weeks or even months before your trip, make sure you start a checklist for what to do before you go. There are many vacation preparation checklists and apps available to help you, like this one from Smart Travel. Planning your budget beforehand is always a great way to ease anxiety before travel. Check out this guide on how to start a budget for your vacation to help.
Pack Your Suitcase Early
If you are packing a few minutes before leaving for the airport, you’re going to get stressed out. Eliminate last-minute rushing and anxiety by getting everything together in advance. Download a packing list and gather the items you need days before you leave. You may also want to do a trial pack run to make sure you can fit everything. You don’t want to find out that your hiking poles don’t fit in your suitcase the night before you leave for Hawaii. Preparing about a week or so in advance can help you know what sort of packing concessions you may need to make.
Make Sure You Rest Up
It’s important that you get the right amount of sleep before you go, so you do not travel tired. Lack of sleep will impair your judgment and make tasks more difficult, especially when navigating an unfamiliar destination. You can also be irritable or short-tempered during your trip. If you’re traveling with others, this can make for an awful experience for everyone involved. To ensure you get the sleep you need, take the time to prepare for your trip. Consider taking a personal day off before and after the trip to provide a buffer. This will make sure you are relaxed and rested. Buffer days can also help alleviate jet lag. Visit the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) website for more information on the effects of jet lag and how to mitigate them.
Don’t Over Schedule Activities
When traveling some people like to cram as many activities into each day as possible because they want to experience everything their destination has to offer. Don’t succumb to that. As tempting as it is to see everything, you will cause yourself stress trying to fit it all in. You won’t be able to fully relax and enjoy your vacation activities if you are over-scheduled. Avoid this by picking one or two big activities to do per day, and make sure you build in some time where you don’t have to be anywhere. Don’t rush through your vacation. Enjoy your time.
Unplug from Work to Have a Less Stressful Vacation
You may feel compelled to bring your laptop, check work e-mails and stay connected to the office while you’re away. But, your vacation shouldn’t be consumed by your job. Taking work with you takes away your opportunity to disengage from the stress and pressure of your job. Make sure your work is covered while you’re away, and have a talk with your employer to set boundaries while on your trip. If you absolutely must take work with you on vacation, limit the amount of time you spend e-mailing, calling or performing tasks. Don’t let work detract from the purpose of your vacation – to relax and rejuvenate yourself.
Skip on Social Media
It may be hard, but opting to stay away from social media should be considered if you want to alleviate stress while vacationing. Many of us constantly check email, social media, and websites on our smartphones. But doing that on vacation means you’ll be missing out on the full experience of the place you’re visiting. The idea of a getaway is to get away, not just from work and everyday stresses, but from routines that can cause you anxiety. Constant emails and text alerts can potentially cause you to fret while you’re supposed to be having fun. Give sharing on social media a rest while away, you can still post your amazing vacation photos when you return.
Travel Alone or with One Other Person
Taking a vacation with many people, whether they are family or friends, may sound like a lot of fun, but too many people can make vacation become unwieldy. When you travel with a group, you’ll have to coordinate and compromise a lot. This often leads to disagreements. Avoid this drama by going on vacation by yourself or with one other person who enjoys the things you do. You’ll be much more relaxed, and you will enjoy the experience more.
If you’re a parent, don’t be afraid to take a vacation without your kids. It’s vital that you get away alone or just with your spouse, from time to time. It’s okay to enjoy a vacation without the pressure that comes with making your children happy. Recharging and refocusing on yourself, or on your relationship with your significant other, can only benefit the entire family.
A vacation is all about relaxations, so it’s important to mitigate potential anxiety. Having a less stressful vacation is key to making your getaway a success. Try out some of these ways before your next trip, and sleep easier both before and while on your vacation.
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