A vacation should be a time for fun and enjoyment, relaxing and rejuvenating as you escape the daily grind of life and treat yourself to new sites and experiences. Of course, some elements of vacationing can cause stress, too, but you can take steps to lessen it. Read on for 9 ways to make your vacay more stress-free.
1 – Resist the Email Urge
Work can easily become intertwined with other aspects of our lives, especially now that more and more people are working remotely – including from vacation spots. Do yourself a favor and turn off your work email notifications so that you can be fully present in the moment instead of worrying about what’s happening at the office. Your work is important, but so is your mental health. Chances are, things won’t shut down at the office if you take some time away.
2 – Silence Unnecessary Electronic Notifications
Remind yourself that it’s okay to be a little less reachable when you’re on vacation. Of course, family and close friends should be able to get in touch with you in case of emergency, but you should work hard not to be glued to your smartphone or other device. Turn off social media notifications, silence your ringer, and make a deal with yourself to only check your text messages every few hours. Once you’re not so preoccupied with your phone, you’ll get to fully enjoy all the sights and sounds around you and truly engage with the people around you, too.
3 – Leave Some of Your Plans to Chance
Many people try to plan out every moment of their vacay time, either because they worry about getting bored or because they like to squeeze every last drop out of their time away. While it’s smart to have a general idea of your itinerary from day to day, try to embrace the adventure and excitement that comes with leaving some of your plans to chance. Over-scheduling yourself can lead to stress, while allowing for time to wander aimlessly can lead to great fun. For instance, maybe you see a local race happening and develop a new interest in Road Bikes. Suddenly, you find yourself in the local bike shop having a wonderful time – and one that your over-scheduled itinerary never could have allowed for.
4 – Pack Lightly
Unless you won’t have any resources or modern conveniences on your trip, resist the urge to over-pack. Make a list of the essentials – say, any needed medications or your electric vehicle charger if you drive/ own an EV in Australia – and leave all non-essentials at home. More stuff equals more stress, so light packing will make your trip more enjoyable in the end.
5 – Do What the Locals Do
If you really want to experience the locale you’re traveling in, ask the locals where to eat, which dance clubs to visit, or where to find the best beaches. Bypassing overrated tourist traps in favor of experiences with a more local flavor can make your trip even more special. Plus, chances are you’ll meet some incredibly interesting people when you choose to spend your time in more authentic ways – and come away with stories you’ll be telling for years.
6 – Try Something New and Exciting
You may be thinking to yourself that trying new things is stressful, but it’s all about your frame of mind. If you view your vacation as an opportunity to try something new and different, it can be exciting – not to mention a great way to leave your stress behind. Are you interested in salsa dancing? Take a course at your hotel! Have you always wanted to learn about sailing? Take the opportunity to visit the local marina and sign up for a lesson. Before you know it, you’ll be mastering mast steps and learning how to limit corrosion on NITRONIC 50 tie-downs. Whatever new experience you choose, immerse yourself in it.
7 – Set an Overarching Goal for Your Trip
Do you want to return from your vacay feeling reinvigorated? Do you hope to be better rested? Is it your utmost goal to have as many new experiences as possible? Setting an overarching intention for your trip can be a great way to center yourself and calm your frayed nerves in stressful moments. This can be especially helpful in making your trip more enjoyable if you tend to be someone with big expectations that are rarely met. Focus on the big picture of your vacation and don’t sweat the small stuff.
8 – Do Some Transportation Research Before Your Go
One of the most important things to learn ahead of time in order to make your vacay more stress-free is how you’ll get around on your trip. Learning the ins and outs of local transportation options means you won’t be caught without enough cab fare or face struggles using the bus system. Doing simple research ahead of time means you’ll learn whether you need to rent a car.
9 – Teach Yourself How to Relax
We live in such a busy and fast-paced world that it can be hard to remember how to slow down and relax, even when you’re on a vacation. Some people may even feel guilty for relaxing. Relaxation is a bit of a learned skill for some, so think about learning deep breathing exercises or mindfulness meditation to help you more fully enjoy this time you have to dedicate to pursuits other than work or other day-to-day responsibilities. After all, relaxation is the most important ingredient to an enjoyable and carefree vacay.