Have you ever come back from a vacation feeling more tired and stressed than before you left? The goal of a vacation is to refresh your mind and body from the stresses of daily life. Managing stress is important for your health. Even if you have your stress under control, it’s still important to take the chance to decompress for extended periods and give yourself a break to rest. Here are some strategies to make your next vacation as relaxing as possible.
Plan A Relaxing Schedule
Your to-do list shouldn’t get longer when you’re on vacation. Planning activities is fine, whether you want to book a boat charter or a walking tour, but make sure you also build plenty of free time into your schedule. This is important for a number of reasons:
- It lets you improvise if you find something new you want to do
- It leaves you room so delays and detours don’t ruin your whole plan
- Downtime is a precious resource. Use the time you have left in between planned activities to sit quietly, read a book, or take a nap. Few things are as relaxing as pressure-free time
Don’t forget to consider your entire vacation period in this schedule, including your travel time. If you’re leaving town, give yourself a day or so at home between work and travel, both before and after your trip. You need time to make your last preparations before you leave, as well as unpack and recover from your travels before you get back into your routine.
Create A Realistic Budget
Make sure your vacation is affordable. It’s easy to look at the cost of transportation and accommodation and forget about other costs. Research the costs of travel, lodging, meals, tourist activities, souvenirs, and other expenses in advance. Build-in room for unplanned costs too.
If you’ve planned a budget with a buffer for unexpected costs, you won’t feel stressed every time you reach for your wallet. Knowing which activities you can afford will help to manage your expectations too.
Unplug From Work
It’s hard to relax if you always have one eye on your email or other reminders of your everyday responsibilities. Before your vacation, make a plan to delegate your work duties so they won’t derail your vacation. Set up an auto-reply for your work email and even your personal email, and leave a contact that people can contact instead if they need urgent attention. The best vacation is one where you can turn off your working self until you get back, but that’s not realistic for everyone.
If it’s not possible for you cut off work communication completely, set a limit on the amount of time per day you’ll spend on work. If that time is up and you get another email, answer it tomorrow. Build time into each day specifically for checking work email, say thirty minutes in the afternoon where you will check your inbox, respond to anything important, and then set work aside again for the rest of the day.
With these simple suggestions, hopefully you can have a more relaxing vacation. What do you do to ensure your vacations aren’t stressful?