You need a vacation. If you’re like me, you’re bad at actually taking vacations. Do you really, truly unplug? I know I don’t… the struggle to disconnect from work and social media is real. It’s hard to do. Follow these suggestions to plan a getaway and make it memorable.
Lower the pressure of the trip. Seriously.
Tons of pressure to make that vacation perfect can wind up backfiring on you. The best memories you make on vacation are often impromptu — the unexpected conversations and laughter is more meaningful than the fancy dinner itself (even if the food is great).
Keep a loose itinerary.
Unexpected events will happen that can stress you out. A delayed flight or traffic on the way to the dinner reservation can throw your whole itinerary off. Have a loose itinerary for some days, but also leave a few days completely open. Whenever your schedule is flexible, you won’t be hurrying to complete everything on your travel wish list. Also, keep the itinerary with you. Print it out, use a custom padfolio like this one, or create a list on your phone so it’s always with you.
Actually take some down time.
At this point in my life, I think that enjoying downtime without feeling guilty or needed elsewhere is a learned skill. You have to actually learn to enjoy the down time, which is somewhat ironic since it’s the whole reason you went on vacation in the first place. Traveling with others can become extremely stressful at times, because everybody has a different set of preferences. So, if downtime means alone time, set that expectation clearly with whoever you’re traveling with. Maybe it’s them, maybe it’s you, but if you need space then speak up. Whatever is life-giving and rejuvenating for you, do it. For some that means being around people, for others it means solitude. You do you, but be clear about it for everyone’s sake so nobody has hurt feelings or misgivings.