7 Ways to have a Calming Vacation!

Ever have a horrible vacation where one thing after another goes wrong?

Many of us have been there, from lost luggage to overbooked hotels to missing passports. Even when things are going well, we sometimes have trouble relaxing. Find out how to leave the stress behind!

Wrap up loose ends before you go. Even if it requires overtime before you leave, finish any work or household projects before vacation. Then, make it clear that you will not be available. Appoint a go-to person to fill in your shoes. It should be someone capable of handling problems while you are on vacation. Remember, vacation is your downtime to relax. Make sure that the house is in order before you leave. The last thing you’ll want to do after vacation is come home to a messy house that needs cleaning. Leave your kids and/or pets in good hands with trusted family or friends. Leave the house in good hands with a house sitter. If you can afford it, have your lawn professionally mowed in your absence, and stop the mail and newspaper delivery while you’re away.

Tailor your vacation to your needs. Find vacations that check all of the boxes that fit your idea of relaxation. If lying on the beach on a secluded island is your style, then by all means, go for it. Before booking a vacation, do your homework. Reflect on what makes you happy. If you’re traveling with kids, choose a resort that offers supervised activities for them so that you and your significant other can spend some down-time together. Don’t get talked into taking group vacations that involve tons of activities. There’s nothing worse than going on vacation and being handed an itinerary when all you want to do is walk along a sandy beach. Be firm and select the vacation that best suits your needs.

Be flexible. While you can’t always control circumstances, you can generally control your response. If you get to the hotel and your room is not ready, don’t throw a fit. Make the best of your time and situation. Ask the hotel to store your luggage in a safe place. Then, go enjoy a cocktail by the bar or take a walk along the beach. Be positive and flexible and don’t let every little thing become an annoyance. Before reacting, think about how you can make the best of situations. If something goes wrong, do your best to set your emotions aside. Skip the meltdown and go into troubleshooting mode. Ask, “What steps do I need to take to solve this problem?” and “How can I make the best of it?”

Maintain minimal contact with people. Do share your itinerary with trusted family or friends. It’s okay to check in to let them know you’ve safely arrived on vacation. However, once at your destination, it’s important to focus on taking care of yourself and/or spending time with your travel companions. It is not the time to spend on the phone dealing with pesky clients, annoying business associates, nor with your sister who is angry with her husband at the moment. Don’t invite stress on vacation. Unless it’s a dire emergency, put those folks on hold until you get home.

Leave stressors at home. Social media is a large part of American lives, but unfortunately it can sometimes be the source of stress. If you regularly are on the Facebook, yet sometimes feel annoyed by other people’s comments and lack of filters, stay off the internet. Better yet, leave the computer at home. On vacation you are the master of your time. Don’t let other people eat into your fun. Instead, live in the moment. Besides, it’s generally not a good idea to advertise to everyone that you are away on vacation. Post photos and descriptions of your vacation after you get home.

Do what you want to do on vacation. In the event that you are traveling with a group, it’s okay to say no if you don’t want to do something. For example, if you and your spouse want to relax on the beach, but the couple with whom your traveling prefers to head into town to go shopping, by all means go your separate ways. There’s no reason to spend a day doing something you do not enjoy. Simply agree to meet up later for dinner where you can share your different experiences.

Take an extra day or two off before heading back to work. Jet lag, delayed flights, and having to come home to unpack, do laundry, and go grocery shopping can make the return from a relaxing trip hectic. Thus, it’s a great idea to give yourself some time to acclimate and get back into the rhythm of being home. It is really nice to sleep in your own bed for a night or two without the compounded stress of having to rise early to jump back into work mode.

Happy Vacationing! 

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