The time has come to finally get away, relax and recharge by going on vacation! However, taking a break from everyday life isn’t always easy. Vacations can sometimes be stressful, especially when you are transitioning from a hectic lifestyle to fun and relaxation. To enjoy a stress-free vacation, you’ll need to sufficiently prepare for it by setting limits and planning ahead. Here are a few ways to keep stress low for your summer vacation.
Go Someplace Relaxing
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.
Make a Checklist
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 to let them know you are traveling, or get an oil change before you hit the road, 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 www.smartertravel.com.
Pack Your Bags Early
Eliminate last-minute rushing and stress 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 need to take. You don’t want to find out that your hiking poles don’t fit in your suitcase a few minutes before leaving for the airport.
Get Lots of Rest
Lack of sleep will impair your judgment and make tasks more difficult, especially when navigating a destination you’ve never been to. 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. Think about 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 at https://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-topics/jet-lag-and-sleep for more information on the effects of jet lag and how to mitigate them.
Don’t Travel with Lots of Family and Friends
Traveling with a group sounds like fun, but you’ll have to coordinate and compromise a lot. This often leads to disagreements, which can lead to one of the most stressful experiences of your life. 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 responsibility and stresses that come with making your children happy. Recharging and refocusing on yourself, or on your relationship with your significant other, can only benefit the entire family.
Leave Work at Home
Bringing work with you on a trip 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. If you absolutely must take work with you on vacation, limit the amount of time you spend emailing, calling or performing tasks. If you feel compelled to stay connected to the office while you’re away, just remember not to let work detract from the purpose of your vacation – to relax and rejuvenate yourself.
Don’t Overload Your Vacation with Activities
As tempting as it is to see everything you can on your trip, you will cause yourself stress trying to fit it all in. Don’t cram as many activities into each day as possible. You won’t be able to fully relax and enjoy your vacation 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.
Put Your Smartphone Away
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 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 stress and worry while you’re supposed to be having fun. Avoid that by giving Facebook, Instagram and other social media a rest when you’re traveling.
Don’t Let Setbacks Ruin Your Trip
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 expectation that a few things may go wrong, you will be better prepared to deal with problems as they come.