We all need vacations to decompress from our daily lives, so why do we always make our preparation process so stressful? We’ve all done it – running around like crazy people taking care of last minute details so we can hop on that plane and get to our final destination. But that preparation doesn’t have to be crazy making!
Here are 6 tips for how to avoid making yourself even more stressed while getting ready for vacation:
Plan the week leading up to your departure, and schedule out the things you need to do in preparation for your vacation. Leaving everything to the last day will drive you insane. It’s easy, like this: pick up your clothes from the dry cleaner on Monday; go buy those little travel-size bottles of whatever-you-need on Tuesday; do the laundry on Wednesday and put aside the clothes you want to bring; get your suitcase out and start packing on Thursday. You get the drill.
Take a day before and a day after at home.
How many of us have tried to cram every last second of vacation time in, only to be left saying we need a vacation from our vacation? Do yourself a favor and don’t schedule your outbound flight for Friday night after you get off work, and do plan to come home on Saturday instead of Sunday (or come home Sunday and take Monday off). You will need a day to manage the re-entry shock, and no one wants their suitcase full of dirty vacation clothes on the floor of their bedroom all week while you pull your shit back together.
Leave yourself a clean house.
There is nothing worse that rushing to the airport and leaving your house a pig sty in the aftermath, only to come home to find that very same sty. Take it from my experience: clean the house before you leave and your vacation vibe won’t evaporate the minute you open your front door. I learned this the hard way. Too many times to count.
Don’t overdo it by loading your vacation agenda with activities day and night.
Vacations are adventures for your mind, body and spirit. We all recharge in different ways – some people need more lazy time than others, and some like it action packed. But do yourself a favor: don’t stress yourself out – or your traveling companions – with a wacky scheduled agenda where every hour is maniacally timed, leaving you to race from one thing to the next. Come on, you know those people. You might even BE one of those people. Don’t. Just don’t.
Schedule a massage or spa appointment the day after you arrive.
This is very important: take a moment to yourself and unwind on the second day. The first day you will be too amped up to relax anyway. But the second day? It sets the tone for the remainder of the vacation, and gets your head and body reconnected. If massage is not your thing, take a very long walk on the beach, or go for a very long run by yourself, or just take a nice yoga class. Embrace the chill, and your smile will widen for the remainder of your vacation.
Work if you have to.
Many a time I have tried to escape work completely, desperate to put it out of my mind while away. BUT it never seems to work out exactly that way, does it? That project with the deadline that shifted and is now looming near completion while you are out of the office? Yeah, hard to put out of your head. So work if you have to. Take a call a day, or check in with the team covering for you. It’s so much better on your psyche than fretting about it the whole time and letting it invade your beautiful vacation. This works best if you schedule it for a specific time that is convenient for you. Just don’t get sucked back in! AND DON’T BE THAT GUY AT THE POOL TALKING TO THE OFFICE LOUDLY ON HIS MOBILE. Yeah, no one wants you to be that asshole.
Believe me, I have tried all of these things and they help. If you’re going to work that hard to earn your vacation money, you might as well do everything you can to enjoy it.
Have any other tips you want to add to this list? Comment here and I’ll create a follow-up post!