Today's post is brought to you by Diana Smith.
Who doesn’t like hanging out by the pool or on a beach, with an ice cream and a cold drink while trying to catch some sun? Vacations are meant to help us relax after we’ve spent weeks and months stressing over work, but it isn’t always that easy to flip that ‘stress switch’ to ‘off’ position. Organizing a perfectly peaceful time-off sounds like a dream, but it also means that you have to put in some work. On the other hand, if you make a bit of effort before you get on the plane, you will be able to enjoy a perfect, stress-free vacation.
Use the map
People today don’t rely on old-school maps as much since they believe that good old GPS will get them safely to their destination. Before you set off on vacation, consult the maps and check Google maps too. Knowing where different things in relation to each other are is always a good idea. After all, you never know if you’ll have a wi-fi signal in your hotel or if something is going to go wrong with your phone. If possible, print out some maps and take them with you so you can be sure that you know where you are at any point. Not just that, but if you use Google maps you will be able to see if there are any fast-food restaurants within walking distance from where you’ll be staying.
Go into offline mode
This is a time for you and you alone (or you and your friends or family), and not the time you’re supposed to spend thinking about work or working. You shouldn’t make yourself too reachable to your boss, even if you feel pressure to say you’ll check in every day. Give out a politically correct but vague promise that you’ll check in from time to time and leave it at that. If you end up checking your email every day and respond to phone calls from your company often, you’re sending out a message that you’ll available 24/7, and that can ruin your vacation. You not being available makes them come up with alternative ways to take care of certain issues without relying on you.
A flexible itinerary
With only a couple of weeks (or days) off, you’ll want to make the most of your vacation time. Even though making detailed plans sounds like a good idea at first, you might end up even more tired than when you left work. Having an itinerary is great, but sticking to it stubbornly means you’ll feel stressed, and that’s counterproductive. Unplanned events can make your vacation much better if only you relax and accept them. Plan some activities for specific days, but make sure you have some ‘empty’ days too. With a flexible schedule, you won’t feel the rush to complete everything on your ‘to do’ travel list.
Take care of your pets
Before you head out for your vacation, make sure you take care of your pets. If you were thinking about taking them with you, organize transport and double-check if your hotel allows pets (you don’t need any unpleasant surprised at the front desk). If, for whatever reason, you can’t take them with you, you should see who will take care of them while you’re away. Friends and family are always there for you, and you can ask them to come over and make sure your fur babies are well while you’re away. If that’s not an option, you can also opt for pet boarding and choose if you want to take your pets to a ‘pet hotel’ or have someone come over and stay at your place while taking care of them.
There will never be a vacation that’s completely stress-free because there will always be something to take care of or something that isn’t going according to your plans. Still, if you start making plans on time and be thorough enough, you will save a lot of time and nerves because you will be able to take care of a lot of things before you depart. This means that once you hit the beach, you won’t have to worry about anything other than tan lines and nice cocktails.