Tips for a relaxing vacation

Summer time! The best season of the year! We are waiting for our vacation and finally it is here! But we also want a really relaxed and great holiday! Here are some tips for a relaxing vacation!

Stay at an all inclusive resort! Some people often make mistakes of avoiding all-inclusive resorts because of cost and lack of variety. But when you need to truly relax and let go, an all inclusive resort can be the perfect escape. Not only are you taking a break from work, but you don’t have to worry about the other details that can consume a vacation like “where are we eating?” and “how do we get there?” and “what are we going to do this afternoon?”  Most resorts will offer several dining options on site, transportation is as easy as an elevator ride, and you’ll usually find a full activity calendar centered around multiple pools as well.

Go to the water! Whether it’s a beach, a river or a quiet lake not far from home, the waterfront provides a soothing backdrop for a relaxing vacation.

The best thing about the beach or a lake is that you don’t have to do anything to enjoy it.  Sure, you can swim or surf – depending on the waterfront you’ve found yourself on.  But you can also just sit.  And watch.  And listen the sound of the waves. This is amazing!

Unpack your suitcase! It doesn’t matter if it’s a long weekend or an extended 10 day vacation. I always do it! Digging through luggage every morning can make you feel cluttered and disorganized.  Cluttered and disorganized are not feelings that are conducive to total relaxation.  It’s a constant reminder that you’re not home in your own space – and not in a good way.  Taking the time to put your clothes in the drawers and in closets and unpack your bathroom things creates a home away from home feeling in even the shabbiest hotel room.

Make lists, not itineraries! You can still go sightseeing and play tourist without stressing yourself out.  The trick is to loosen the reigns on your schedule a little bit. Before you leave for your vacation, make a list of the attractions and things to do in the area you want to see.  Take note of prices, hours of operation and days they might be closed.  Make a loose outline instead of rigorous time sheet.  “On Tuesday we’ll head over to the museum.  When we get done there, we’ll go shopping.”  There’s a big difference between “when we get done” and “by 3 we should be at the mall.”  You can still hit the high points without the added stress of keeping an eye on your watch for your entire vacation.  Be in the moment, so to speak.

Bring cash! If you’re traveling on a budget,  it’s hard to fully enjoy the things you’re spending money on if you’re keeping a running total of what you’ve spent in the back of your mind.

Decide on a budget that makes sense for you before you leave.  Regardless of how much or how little you can afford, take out all the cash you’ve budgeted for spending money – souveneirs, dinners out, tips, etc.  Now, you obviously don’t need to be walking around with massive wads of cash.  Put the bulk of it in the hotel safe and take out what you need for the day (or night, whatever).  This might seem silly, but it’s a lot more freeing to know you can spend whatever you’ve got on you without worrying about a surprise on your credit card (or bank statement) when you get home.  It’s hard to relax if you’re stressing about money.

Pamper yourself! Self indulgence is relaxing.  It’s especially relaxing if your primary role in your real life is to take care of other people (see: moms, dads, husbands, wives, managers, and practically any responsible adult). Indulgence means something different for everyone.  It might be a 90 minute massage at an actual spa or buying something because it fits and not just because it’s on sale.  Maybe it’s ordering whatever you want at a great restaurant or going to a popular Broadway show.  Or maybe it’s convincing your wife to go para sailing with you even though it’s $60 a person for a 15 minute ride.  Whatever your selfish indulgence is, allow yourself at least one just for you thing on your vacation.  Use your head and you don’t have to break the bank to feel like you’ve been spoiled.

Get enough sleep! Do you ever notice how exhausted people are when they get home from vacation?  Maybe it’s because they stayed up late and woke up early in a frantic attempt to get it all in.

Remember that you’re paying for this vacation.  And it’s OK to take a break from all the responsibilities and obligations once in a while.  It will all still be there waiting for you when your vacation is over – whether you’ve spent that time truly relaxing or not.

Have a lovely vacation!

Marianna Szoke