One of life’s great ironies is that we often yearn for vacation time, so we can have some time to “relax,” but often come home from vacation completely exhausted. Vacation time is so precious that we try to use that time to live life to its fullest. We want new fun and novel experiences to create happy memories. That endeavour can actually be stressful and tiring. But believe it or not, you can both have fun and experience restorative relaxation. Master this concept and you will come back rejuvenated. Here are a few helpful tips for your next vacation trip.
Research ahead of time.
If you are going to travel soon, use online resources to find the most popular attractions and activities in the place where you are going. You might start on the “official” website for that town or country. Then you could do a Google search for the place and add the word “tour” to your search. Whether you actually want to go on a guided tour or not, use this search to see where the tour operators take people. You may find places to go and things to see that you did not know existed. If you are a lover of nature or architecture, do a Google image search for that place. When you find an outstanding scene that you would like to see in person, then play detective and find out where the photo was taken. Such planning can make the trip more fun, because planning becomes part of the excitement of the trip.
Keep to a schedule, but do not overload the schedule.
Vacation time always feels too short. If you have picked a truly worthy vacation destination, you could spend weeks or months exploring the landscape and culture. It can be hard to fit it all in a day or a week. Don’t try to see everything. Just make a schedule of which attractions you are going to visit and when. For example, you might schedule 2 hours for a museum or 4 hours for a nature hike. Be sure to add some padding into your schedule, because delays happen, and some places make take longer to see and enjoy than you expect. Don’t leave yourself stressed about getting to your next scheduled attraction. A good rule of thumb is to plan for 50% more time at each place than you would guess you need.
Schedule some “me time.”
If one of your vacation goals is to come back relaxed, actually schedule some “me time.” This could be something like going to get a make-over or spa treatment, or just laying on a beach in the sun for a few hours. If you are traveling with children, look into activities the kids can do alone, or if they are young, check into babysitting services. This will give you a chance to have some adult time, free of the responsibilities of watching after the little ones.
On multi-day trips, leave a full day unplanned.
If you are traveling to someplace you have never been, especially in a new country, you will discover new places that you would like to explorer and activities you would like to do, that you didn’t know existed. If every moment of your time is planned for, you will be disappointed at the things you couldn’t do on your trip. Try leaving the last day of your trip completely unplanned.
Even if the whole trip was packed with activities, these techniques will leave you feeling unhurried. It will color your memories of the trip with a feeling of relaxation. You will come home feeling restored.