Hoping for a great summer? We set high expectations for a rejuvenating and joyful experience. With the amount of money invested, the trip better offer an amazing ROI. Many of us cross our fingers or clenching our jaws, anxiously waiting to find out if this year’s vacation proves to be a dream or nightmare.
A vacation can increase stress before AND after the trip meant as stress-relief. Fortunately, there’s an alternative to high-strung attempts at respite. Craft a thorough, but flexible plan.
- Keep expenses reasonable, but set a budget with a little wiggle room at the edges.
- Research accommodations.
- Find options for a balance of meals (budget-conscious, novel, healthy, indulgent) and keep energizing snacks handy.
- Survey co-travelers’ preferences, while putting a positive spin on cooperation.
- Plan more distractions than you’ll need, while remembering not to treat them as a checklist.
- Don’t skimp on rest.
- Research local shopping, unique eateries, and cultural activities. Look for experiences you can’t have at home.
- Balance activities with relaxation. Stretch, move, AND rest.
- Check the weather and plan a back up in case it changes.
- Plan to hit the supermarket on arrival to stock up on things you don’t have room to pack. First aid kit, antacids, ibuprofen, ear plugs, allergy tablets, sleep masks, bug repellent, sunscreen, toiletries, vitamins/supplements, antibacterial hand wipes, bottled water, healthy snacks, and quick meals you can eat on the go are some of the options you might shop for in your first hour on the trip.
- Take a packing/re-packing list so you don’t leave anything behind coming or going. Make sure your phone charger is listed (and your pillow, if you brought it from home), since it ranks highest among items left in hotel rooms.
- Restrain specific expectations, but remain optimistic about the personal experience.
- Pack your patience. Plan distracting activities to avert boredom and impatience.
- Pack your sense of humor. It could be the most relaxing part of your trip.
- Maximize reward points and discounts. Compare your credit card benefits (hotels, flights, restaurants, gas), but try to use the same booking site.
- Balance time together and apart. Take note of the various needs of those traveling with you, according to their different personalities.
- Take photos, but agree to spend time facing one another, too.
- Debrief mid-trip and post-trip. Let each traveler with you categorize events as their favorite, most unexpected, or funniest.
That’s my list of planning suggestions. If you have any travel tips to share with us, I’d love to read your comments!
Have a great holiday, and I look forward to seeing you again next week.