How to Relax on Your Next Vacation
When you return from a trip, do you feel like you need another vacation? Do you spend your time on the beach wondering what is going on back home? Have you been known to travel from charging station to charging station to make sure that you don’t miss out on the latest news from the office? We have all been there.
Most of us know how to take trips, but few of us know how to be on vacation. This means that your vacation may turn out to be one of the most stressful times of your year. Here are some pointers on how to relax on your next vacation.
Prepare the office for your absence
Most vacations are planned several months in advance. But many vacationers don’t start planning for their work absence until the week before their trip. This leads to confusion in the workplace and stresses out the vacationer. Next time, start planning your absence from the office the moment you set your trip plans. This means blocking out your vacation time on your calendar, scheduling client contacts prior to departure (in part to inform them of your time off), and training your co-workers so you can entrust them with responsibilities while you are gone. By properly preparing the workplace for your absence, you won’t have to worry about clients, prospects, and employees so you can truly enjoy your vacation.
Make your home look occupied
Most of us will think to tell our neighbors when we are going to be gone for a few days. However, there is so much more you can do to protect your home while away. Stop your mail or newspaper delivery to prevent any overflow from giving away that you’re gone. Set some lights in your home on a timer to come on in the evenings. Mow the lawn prior to departure to keep up the appearance that you are still there. You can even ask a neighbor to park his or her car in your driveway. The best protection is a subscription to a reputable home security service, but every step that you take to protect your home will be another step toward a relaxing trip.
Budget your vacation in advance
Nothing can ruin a relaxing vacation like wondering how you are going to pay for it. Putting together a vacation budget will not only save on expenses, but it will maximize your brain’s ability to stop worrying. List out essential vacation expenses, such as lodging, travel, and meals. Don’t forget to include funds for recreation and unexpected expenses (like a flat tire or road tolls). If after planning your budget you find you’re overstretched, it is better to shorten your time away so that you can maximize the benefits of your trip.
Plan an itinerary that is reasonable
Go, go, go! With a short time to travel, most tend to cram too much activity and not enough downtime. This leads to family stress, especially for those with small children. A good rule of thumb is to plan one scheduled activity per day. This allows time for things that matter, like family bonding, eating reasonable meals, and staying healthy (the worst vacations involve an unforeseen illness).
On the same note, don’t plan return travel on the very last day of your vacation. Returning to work with fatigue from a long drive or flight will negate all the positive effects of a restful time away. Instead, give yourself a buffer day when you get back. A shortened trip can save your sanity (and even save some of your hard-earned cash).
Turn off your phone
You have prepared for your absence in every way possible. The office won’t need you, your home is safe, and you’ve planned ahead. Now put your phone away; you’re not going to need it. There’s a reason some resorts have even started quiet zones, where electronic devices are not allowed. Phones are a reminder that life is awaiting you at the end of your trip, which defeats the vacation mindset.
If you want to get the most out of your vacation, you’re going to have to find a way to relax. By planning in advance for your office absence, home safety, budget, and itinerary, you’re on your way to a stress-free vacation. Enjoy!
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