Make the Most of Your Precious Vacation Time

Your vacation time is a precious and limited resource. Treat it that way. I believe in quality over quantity and focus on the quality of each experience while planning trips for my clients. However, I don’t get to go with you on vacation. The ten tips below focus on improving your experience and improving your mental state while traveling.

1)    You must pack yourself on vacation.

You are still you when you go on vacation. You don’t become an Instagram celebrity once you step through airport security. You’re quirks, stress and problems will come with you. Don’t pressure yourself to become someone that you’re not. Be realistic about your preferences, your problems and your stress. Use tips five, seven and eight to limit the amount of stress that follows you on vacation and be kind to yourself.

2)    Your wonder will not last forever.

When you first arrive in a beautiful destination, you will feel a sense of awe and wonderment. However, we are biologically predisposed to adapt to our surroundings. Your sense of wonder will not last no matter how beautiful the view from your room is. Try to follow tip nine to savor that sense of awe.

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3)    Don’t be afraid to get local.

Immerse yourself in the culture, food and people of your destination. You chose this destination for a reason, make the most of it. Don’t be afraid because its all new or you don’t speak the language. Jump in and broaden your horizons. There is no guarantee that it’s for you, but you will learn something.

4)    Spend more on experiences and less on trinkets.

Spend your money in a way that will have a lasting impact. Don’t get sucked in by the sense of scarcity promoted by most gift shops. Experiences will stay with you and perhaps even change you, but that overpriced trinket will end up shoved in a drawer. If you want to invest in souvenirs, select local products. My personal philosophy is: only buy it if you can eat it, wear it or hang it on your wall.

5)    Don’t focus on the price tag.

Vacations are expensive. It's often our largest purchase of the year. Wanderlust got the best of you, and you are about to head out on your much-needed vacation. Don’t spend the whole time counting pennies. It takes the fun and relaxation out of it! Plan your vacation according to your budget (or work with a Travel Designer who can help you do this) and then go and enjoy! If you really find the urge to count each dollar, try an all-inclusive resort or a pre-paid tour.

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6)    Don’t over-research your destination before you leave.

Social media has its pitfalls which includes heavily doctored photos. Those snapshots are exactly that snapshots. They only capture a small piece of the entire experience. Don’t get wrapped up in these unrealistic and seemingly perfect snapshots. It’s an easy way to breed disappointment.

7)    Stay off social media!!!!!!

This is probably my most important tip! Teddy Roosevelt said it best: “Comparison is the thief of joy”. Stay away! You can post all your vacation pictures when you get home. Stay in the moment and savor your experience rather than checking out what everyone back home is up to.

8)    Stay out of the office.

Take the time before you leave on vacation to wrap up your work. Try to tie off loose ends and pass on your projects to co-workers. Put up an out-of-office and stay off your email. If you have to check-in with work, limit yourself to pre-determined hour each day. You’re spending a lot of money to be on vacation, enjoy it! You will return to your office energized and more productive, if you take a true vacation.

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9)    Savor your experience.

Remind yourself to slow down and savor the amazing experiences that you’re having. It can be hard to change pace from the everyday rush. Use your camera mindfully. Enjoy the view without a lens in front of your face. Take in the moment!

10)    Be grateful.

Be grateful that you can go on vacation. Be grateful that you have the time, resources and opportunity to travel.

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