5 Tips for a Stress-Free Vacation
With the end of the school year right around the corner, families across the country are preparing for a fun-filled summer season. Whether you’re planning a road trip or taking to the skies, the following tips will put you in vacation mode while taking the stress out of the equation.
1. Plan ahead. There are some things that can be done way ahead of your trip, like making reservations, taking the car for a tune up, and letting neighbors know you will be away. Even packing can be done earlier than most people think. For instance, getting your bag ready on Tuesday for your weekend at the lake will be less stressful than packing it on Friday, with your family in the car honking the horn.
2. Delegate. Scrambling around to get everything ready for your trip? Dole out tasks to lighten your load. Tell your kids to clean out the car before piling in for that road trip. Ask your teenager to look up good restaurants in the area you’re staying. Have your husband or wife contact the kennel to make reservations for your four-legged friend.
3. Unplug—everything! Leave your laptop at home, turn off your BlackBerry and stow away your iPod. Designate 20 minutes a day for catching up with work related emails only if necessary. We are so focused on technology today we forget what it’s like to be away from it. After a few hours of connecting with your family, friends, or just nature, you will feel liberated and care-free.
4. Do nothing. Pencil in time to do nothing. Whether this is two days on your weeklong vacation, or an afternoon during a long weekend, section off a block of time where you have nothing planned. This will allow you to plan your activities based on how you feel at that moment—a true luxury in this fast paced world.
5. Smile. This may seem like a given, but often we get hung up on the small stuff – even while on vacation. Don’t get upset if a friend bails last minute, or your hotel room is smaller than it seemed in the picture, or you forgot to pack your kid’s bathing suit. When you look back on your trip, these inconveniences will be forgotten, so don’t let them ruin your time in the moment, either.