Summer is almost over, COVID is sticking around a little longer than anticipated, kids are heading back to school, the weather is warm and we are inspired (and itching) to finally take a break and have some fun! For many of us, we use the summer to travel and venture to exciting places all over the world. While the idea of taking an end-of-summer vacation is exciting, it is also a bit of a stressor...especially if you are the one planning it! Unfortunately, in the moment of planning, packing and scheduling; we forget that the whole point of a vacation is to relax! We want to help alleviate some of that stress, so you get the most of your vacation. Read on for some tips on how to plan a (fingers crossed) stress-free “spontaneous” vacation.
Know What You Want
Indecision is probably the biggest reason for anxiety when planning a trip. The best route around indecision is knowing what you want to spend your time and money on and having a clear vision on what it is you want out of a vacation (is it a beach and pina colada vacation or one with amusement parks and thrills for all ages). When your wants and desires are aligned, the rest of your planning will feel like a breeze (perhaps a nice tropical one).
Once you have a clear vision of your vacation, do all the proper research and planning and find out everything you need to know. Don't forget to look into requirements (passports, enhanced license, etc) but also into the fun activities that may be an option. Knowing about the sunset cruise and nature excursions ahead of time and subsequently booking them will not only alleviate last-minute stress but it will also keep you within your vacay budget!
Packing and prepping for a trip is always another added stressor in planning for a vacation. Think ahead and make a list (I love a good list) of all the items you will need from toiletries to snacks. There is nothing worse than scrambling the day before a trip. Start packing what you can ahead of time so that you don’t feel like you are being faced with an unattainable task minutes before hopping on your flight.
Let Go of the Small Stuff
So we plan this big exciting vacation; every detail is taken care of, every activity and meal planned and all the beautiful photo op spots are sought out and located, only for something unexpected to come up. Whether it is a delayed flight, a week of rain or a closed amusement park…we have to remember that life isn’t perfect, and weather is unpredictable. Don’t sweat the small stuff, sometimes these detours end up bringing the most joy in life that make for the best laughable memories. So our best piece of advice is to detach from your “ideal” outcome and allow life to flow.
Be Open and Show Gratitude
When venturing somewhere new (especially out of the country) always be open to new people, cultures and places. Being receptive to the differences the world has to offer will make your trip that much more enjoyable. Feel at peace with your journey, some of us only get the opportunity to go on vacation once a year, and for others it may be even more infrequent, so when you do get the chance to travel do so with gratitude. Enjoy yourself, relax and have fun...but don't overdo it. So many times we get home from traveling and we feel like we need a vacation from our vacation. Take it easy and soak it up, a vacation is meant to be a time to disconnect and unwind.
Choose Activities that Make Everyone Happy
When vacationing with children, we often forget that it is the parent’s vacation time, too. So while we definitely want to keep our children happy and busy, looking for places that offer stuff for children to do while parents have some alone time to enjoy themselves simultaneously is key. Whether it is a spa treatment, lunch with your significant other or sneaking away to catch up on some work emails...knowing there is something to keep everyone entertained is a great stress reliever.
Vacation...something we long for all year, but figuring out how to keep your family and your bank account happy can be quite overwhelming. Sprinkle in the stress of taking time from work, the toddler meltdowns and the sibling spats and your vacation can start to mimic your daily grind. Everyone deserves some downtime, an ocean breeze and even a refreshing daiquiri if that is your style, but we all know that stress can change the tone of your vacation in a heartbeat. We urge you to implement some of our tips to pave the way for a stress free vacation. Happy late summer travels!
By Melanie Akerberg
People Happiness Manager
Bliss Virtual Services