Vacation is supposed to be a time when you can take a breather from the stress of work. Too often, though, vacations cause more stress than they relieve. Traveling with young children, following a busy itinerary, or mishaps like losing your luggage can all make your time off feel like extra work. Here are a few tips for making sure you drain away the stress!
1. Get a hotel with a spa.
It's well worth the extra dollars to book a room at Mohonk Mountain House or another hotel that has a full spa treatment and luxurious beds. If you wake up feeling overwhelmed with everything you're doing that day, just wander on down for a massage, a facial or time in the hot tub. You'll feel refreshed and ready for whatever lies ahead that day!
2. Pencil in downtime.
If you're vacationing in a big city, there's an endless supply of things to see and do. You want to visit everything, but spreading yourself too thin is just going to leave you frazzled. Make sure you have a couple hours a day penciled into your itinerary where nothing is planned. If you feel up to it, you can go back out on the town again, but you can also just veg in your room and watch a silly reality show on TV.
3. Unplug from work.
Sometimes the people with the most time-intensive jobs are the ones who get the least time away. Even during vacation, they're constantly being bombarded with emails from work and feel bad if they don't respond to them. Let your workplace know ahead of time that you're going to be on vacation and won't be reading emails, and then don't. Turn off your phone for the week or temporarily remove your work email app. Taking a week off work only makes a difference if you actually leave work behind.
4. Travel with people that make you comfortable.
Sometimes you don't get to choose your traveling companions, but if you're asking friends to go with you, think carefully about your choices. Are they going to cause drama? Are they going to want to do all the things you don't? Will they need to stop every fifteen minutes on your road trip to go to the bathroom? The stress of an uncomfortable travel pal can undo all your fun.
5. Plan out transportation.
For anyone who gets lost easily, driving to or around an unfamiliar city can be a nightmare. Even with a phone GPS, you could lose signal or be unable to find a parking spot. Then when you get to your destination, you're too stressed to enjoy it. Don't let transportation dilemmas get to you! Consider budgeting in extra money for public transportation, like taxi fares or a week-long bus pass. Even if you don't plan on using it all the time, just knowing it's there if you need it can give you peace of mind.
6. Do what you want to do.
This seems like an obvious one, but you may feel that you have to do everything your travel companions do. You don't! If you want to lounge by the hotel pool while they go off to museums, do it! You spend plenty of time following other people's lead at work. Vacation is when you get to do exactly what you want to do.
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