All people deserve a break now and then. Workers, parents, students, retirees, and everyone in between can benefit from stepping out of their normal routines to enjoy a trip or an adventure that lasts for a few days. Vacations can help you recharge and get back to being the best version of yourself when you return to the everyday patterns.
But not everyone knows how to make the most of their vacation experience. Some people come back as tired as they were when they left, which could be a result of a variety of factors. Maybe their vacation schedule was too crammed and they never got to truly rest. Or perhaps travel became stressful on the way back and it reversed whatever restorative work had been done over the course of the trip.
It is important to know of some ways to get the best out of your break from monotony, so here are some tips for getting the full experience on your vacation and returning to normal life completely restored.
Don’t overschedule your time
Enough of this happens when we are at home living our normal lives. Everything is overscheduled with work, school, children’s activities, even social engagements. Plus, many employers expect you to be ready to answer the phone, even during the weekend or after hours. A vacation should not feel as busy as everyday life does. While you may be going to a cool new place that you have never been to and want to see all that there is to see, leave some room for a little relaxation. Time to sit by a pool, or cuddle up on a couch, and just exist for a little while. That will give your brain and body the rest that it needs.
Take pictures, but not too many
You are creating a memory on your vacation, so of course, you should take pictures of beautiful places or things that you want to look back on later. However, you could get so absorbed into your camera or phone that you miss out on the experience of actually being there. You spend too much time thinking about how to get the best angle or pose instead of enjoying the moment. Take pictures, but don’t get too wrapped up in finding the perfect shot everywhere you go. Instead, just BE.
If you work, use an extra day off after the trip
This will help you readjust to your regular routine. Taking an extra day once you have returned from your trip before heading to work again will give you the time needed to mentally prepare for normalcy. Plus, you can use that time to relax just a little bit more. Getting back home late at night and then heading to work the next morning is a recipe for disaster in terms of your energy level and motivation to do your job.
Make sure your vacation suits your personality
A lot of people think of vacations as going on adventures that they have never done before, and that is a great way to think about it. However, you also want to make sure that your plans will actually mesh well with your personality or the personalities of those on the trip. Different types of experiences work for different people, and not everyone enjoys the same things. Going on a road trip might work for some families who love going for long drives, (make sure you have good auto insurance if this is you), but others might prefer to visit a foreign country and hit up a tourist hotspot. Maybe you should go on a cruise, or go tent camping for a few nights. When deciding what type of vacation this will be, talk about what everyone wants to get out of it before you make the final choice.
Step out of your comfort zone
While you should design this trip around your personality and what your fellow travelers want to experience, you also shouldn’t be afraid to try new things. Maybe you can all try an exotic dish together at a foreign restaurant. Or you could learn something new like how to surf together. You could attend a local event that would normally be way outside your comfort zone. Just prepare yourself for new experiences, since vacations are a great way to engage with the world in different ways.
You deserve this
You work hard all the time. Whether you are a parent, a 9-5er, a student, or retired, going on new adventures can be a stimulating experience that is great for your mental health. Don’t fall into the trap of feeling like you cannot take a break from your weekly and daily routines. In fact, it will be far better for your success if you unplug every once in a while and relax. It can restore your energy and help you do what you do more effectively going forward. The process of planning and anticipating a vacation is often what energizes people the most, so start brainstorming today.