A while back, I planned a trip with a group of friends and we were all so excited to travel, de-stress, and have fun together. Once we arrived at our destination, even though we were greeted by blue skies and perfect weather, everything seemed off. Somehow, in those seven days away, I couldn’t help but realize that we didn’t have nearly as much fun as we’d had sitting at our house doing nothing.
On our way home, I remember saying: “Well, I guess you just can’t plan for fun. Too bad!” My sense of being let down by my vacation is not unique: There’s research to show that people are happiest when they’re looking forward to a trip away—not when they’re actually vacationing, but I 100% think that this needs to change. I mean, we pay so much money to travel and we spend so much time planning our travels. Shouldn’t we at least enjoy it a little bit…or a lot!? I think so.
I’ve gotten a little better at enjoying myself on our trips over the years, and it’s not just because I’ve taken trips beyond my local state. Here are a couple of tips I’ve used over the years to relax, disengage, and make the most of my limited vacation time. I hope this helps anyone that is in the same boat as I was!
Go with like-minded people
One major issue I had on that trip with friends is that we all wanted different things. I wanted to relax and see the area we visited and all they wanted to do was sleep. This led to a lot of confusion, drama, and stress on both sides because we all felt like we were being pulled in different directions. Authentic Celtic Travel says, “It never ceases to amaze me the connections people make. The diverse interests and personal history we all contain brings something to the mix. A musician hearing a new arrangement of an old tune, a foodie commenting on the delight of the soup, a horticulturist explain a plant new to others, the artist raving about stained glass. All of these shared joys add to the sum of the whole. Single travelers do not feel alone; if the women want to shop the men can entertain each other. Often subgroups are established to engage in an activity.” So yes, finding like-minded individuals can make your trip that much better!
Start the relaxing process before you leave
According to Bell, you should begin the relaxation process before you even leave for the airport. This, Bell explained, can be done by building in rituals and routines you can perform before, during, and after a trip “that help anchor you and act as a buffer to the stress that’s going to try to creep back in.” Relaxing looks different for everyone – maybe you want to get a massage before you leave, or spend time with your best friend. Maybe it means getting a new book to read, or buying hot tea at the airport. Whatever it is – find your own way to relax before you leave on your trip.
Saving for your trip is a huge stress relief because the worst feeling is running out of money when you are on your travels – that is a sure way to ruin your enjoyment on the trip! My advice is to plan a tentative itinerary and look up the things you want to do, figure out how much you will be spending on each activity, factor in your food and drinks, hotel, transportation, and anything else you can think of, and then make a budget so that you do not have to stress when you are traveling.
Finish up your work before leaving on your trip, so you won’t have to work or stress about your work getting done. If you cannot finish everything before you leave, consider hiring a virtual assistant, or a marketing agency to work for you. There are people like NJ SEO that can help you. New Jersey SEO expert, Matt Anton along with his brother Dan Anton run NJ SEO with two locations – one in New Jersey and one in Georgia. If you want to appear on the first page of Google, they are the company to work with! According to their website, “We offer professional SEO services that help websites increase their organic search score drastically in order to compete for the highest rankings — even when it comes to highly competitive keywords.” After 12 years in marketing, this family-run business will help you achieve your goals, without you having to do all of the work, especially if you need to relax on vacation!
Do you stress on your vacations? I’d love to hear any other tips you might have!