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Making Your Vacation Work!

3 Okt 2021

Author: Lote Steina

In a previous blog post we explored the merits of taking vacations. To sum up – they are good for your health, happiness, motivation, productivity, and relationships. Vacations are the rare thing practically everyone in the developed world supports – if you want your workers productive, families strong, and societies resilient, giving people time-off is essential.

All seems to be fine as the majority of people take paid days off every year. This, however, doesn’t mean that they always reap the aforementioned benefits. You see, not all vacations are created equal. In fact, there may be some that leave you more drained and exhausted than at the start.

This blog post will aid you in crafting a perfect vacation that benefits you, your family, your business, and the society around you. I won’t be suggesting any destinations, of course. We all have our own circumstances and preferences.

Instead I’ll highlight the main organizational things to bear in mind while planning your vacation and during it to make the most from your dog days.

To tailor my advice to each according to their needs and wants, I’ll highlight the main things to keep in mind for both those who stay home and those who head out for their breaks.

Making Your Best “Staycation”

Just to be clear – in this blog post I use the word “staycation” to describe a vacation that is spent at your place without much travelling (only around the town/city and its vicinity). If this sounds like your next vacation, take the following steps to profit from all the positive effects vacations have on our minds and bodies:

Truth be told, our vacations may never be the same as they were before the pandemic. Even now there are still parts of the world that are locked down.

As this may not be the last time we are stuck indoors, here are some tips for those taking vacations when leaving your humble abode is impossible or strictly limited. If there is some overlap, it only goes to show why these things are that important.

  • Keep yourself moving. We are all animals - plain and simple. We like movement and exercise. Even if you are caged in for a while, keep yourself active by exercising. Otherwise you’ll be on a one way street towards depression. Remember - a healthy mind in a healthy body!
  • Have screen-free moments. Sure, there may be precious little to do while stuck inside. But trust me - you don’t want screens dominating every waking second of your life. That’s another sure way to mental exhaustion. Instead spend an hour or two just laying down with your own imagination. You might be surprised at what your brain is capable of.
  • Stay social. If there is something screens are good for during a lockdown, it’s keeping in touch with friends and loved ones. Talk, play games online, visit virtual museums together - the digital world is your oyster. Just share that experience with somebody.
  • Get things done. Sure - vacations are for rest. But if you are stuck at home, why not do something that can also boost your morale? Deep clean your place, rearrange your books, fix the tap - whatever has lingered on your to-do list for too long. Getting things done will surely boost your motivation and overall life satisfaction.
  • And, of course, treat yourself! Even if you are stuck at home, there are plenty of ways to get that special feeling. Order food, games, and any other stuff that might spark joy or keep you engaged.

Your Best Vacation

The good thing about staying put for your vacation is that it requires very little effort. This, in turn, allows one to focus exclusively on relaxation and fulfilment. If you are planning to go a bit further away for your vacation things become a bit more complicated.

But no worries. Cover these five bases and you’ll be good to go:

  • Plan, plan, plan! Do your research and understand what attractions, sights, restaurants etc. are available where you are going. There may be some of you who like a degree of spontaneity in your trips and that’s ok. However, if you want to get the best experience, avoid long lines, and find the best local gems, research is essential. Planning is particularly important for those travelling with friends or family. You don’t want to end up arguing about where you should while sitting by a traffic light. Remember - you went on a vacation to escape stress, not create more of it.
  • Know the local rules and regulations. You don’t have to study the Constitution of the USA to visit the country. However, a general understanding of where you are going and how you should behave is advisable. So if you are a German, don’t speed down American highways like it's an autobahn and avoid drinking beer with your 19-year old friends. Knowing the local rules is particularly relevant now with pandemic related restrictions being changed practically every week. Like with the previous point, even a cursory knowledge of local rules and regulations will save you from a lot of unneeded anxiety.
  • Mentally prepare yourself for something going wrong. It is almost certain that something will not go according to plan. Contrary to some who say that this is why you shouldn’t plan at all, I would argue that tempering expectations, being aware that something unexpected will happen, and building your resilience towards it is the way to go.
  • Prepare well in advance. Start packing a few days in advance. Have a list of all the things you will need based on your planned activities, the duration of your trip, whether conditions etc. Trust me - packing frantically the night before or the same morning never ends well. You just end up being over-stimulated and frustrated with others, not to mention short of a couple of important things.
  • Don’t forget to have some excitement. Active vacations that challenge you and your companions usually end up being the most memorable ones. They also help to create stronger bonds and relationships. Of course, if you are a mother of 4 who just wants to sleep by the pool, that’s also fine.

In reality most vacations are a bit of all three types outlined above. Yes, we travel a bit, but we also relax in our town and neighborhood. And when it all just gets too much, we don’t even need a pandemic to shut ourselves off from the entire world.

Regardless of what your vacation will look like, keep the principles outlined above in mind. That way you’ll have a fun and enriching vacation whose positive effects will sustain you for the months ahead.

The Tragedy of Overwork
13 Jun 2022
The Importance of Vacations
25 Sep 2021
Life doesen't have a do-over.
Commit to it! BePrime!
Life doesen't have a do-over.
Commit to it! BePrime!