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Planning a vacation is stressful on its own, and actually enjoying a holiday without a few unexpected incidents may appear unimaginable. However, having a good planning strategy is golden. Start with preparations early on, and make sure nothing slips your mind. With a few helpful tips, you’ll easily organize a stress-free vacation that an entire family will enjoy.
Disconnect from work
One of the most important things to think about is devoting your full attention to your family. Spending countless hours at the office leaves you with little time to devote to your kids and spouse, so use the vacation to compensate for the lost time. Let all your co-workers and bosses know you’re on vacation, and that you won’t be available during that time. Make sure you fulfill all the tasks before your trip. Just to be on the safe side, clue in your trustworthy co-workers about your ongoing projects and tasks, so that they can tackle any issues that might arise while you are on a vacation.
Expect the unexpected
You can never be too alert, so it’s always a good idea to be prepared for various unpleasant situations. A delayed flight, bad weather, a flat tire on your car or carsickness could be some of the problems that may ruin your trip, but you could make them less stressful by planning ahead. Don’t let something as small as waiting for your flight an extra hour affect your mood for the rest of the vacation. Some things you just can’t predict, which is why you shouldn’t let them get to you. Avoid being overwhelmed by dissatisfaction and frustration, but rather go with the flow and try to enjoy and savour each moment of your travel.
Take care of your home and pets
Don’t forget to cancel mail and newspaper subscriptions if you’re leaving your home unattended. Furthermore, make sure you provide your pet with a safe and pleasant home while you’re on a vacation. Look for pet boarding and leave your pet in good hands. Also, think about all the food that could go bad while you’re on vacation, and freeze it or throw it away before you leave. The last thing you need is to come back to a smelly home.
Lists are your best allies when it comes to packing. Feel free to write down all the essentials you think that you may forget to pack. From passports, medicines, cosmetics, maps, itineraries, sunblock, to batteries, chargers, phones and money – make sure you’ve crossed everything off the list before you leave. Furthermore, write down everything you need to do as well, like unplugging the electrical devices and appliances, emptying the trash bin and watering the plants, so you can have as stress-free a vacation as possible.
A vacation is usually all about being spontaneous and enjoying the moment, but planning a few activities ahead couldn’t hurt either. Have a back-up solution if bad weather stops you from doing some outdoor activities, such as going paragliding. Planning out the day indoors could save you the unnecessary stress. Therefore, think about going to the museums and planetariums, or maybe visiting the aquarium nearby and enjoy all the beauties of art and entertainment instead of just being stuck in your hotel.
Start packing in time
Packing is probably the most stressful part of every vacation, which is why you should do your best to make it as easier as possible. Start packing at least a week before the trip. This doesn’t mean you should put all of your stuff in a suitcase seven days before the trip, but at least, pick which wardrobe you’d like to bring, and put it aside, so you have everything ready for packing your bags. Use every day to think about potential items you’d want to bring. Don’t end up running around the house 2 hours before you have to leave, not knowing whether you’ve packed your hairbrush, your favourite sweater or a book you want to read at the beach.
Having a stress-free vacation isn’t always easy, but it’s manageable. Just make sure you plan and start everything in time. You’ll enjoy a relaxing vacation with the family and come back fully prepared for the new work challenges.
Sometimes, while travelling for a long time, the hours just seem to drag by. If you get easily bored on a plane, bus or train, why not try some of these tricks to pass the time and arrive fresh and ready to explore?
Catch some Zs
Travelling is a great way to get some extra sleep and pass the time. Although it can be a little uncomfortable for the legs, sleeping on a bus or a train accompanied by the rhythms and the sounds of traffic is hands down the best way to sleep. And don’t hesitate to splurge on a sleeping compartment when on the train. There you can stretch your legs and back, close your eyes and just relax as the train lulls you to sleep. If you have some valuables with you, such as a laptop, camera, phone and money, make sure to keep them close to you while sleeping.
All professional travellers always carry their camera with them, and so should you. You’ll get to shoot some beautiful nature scenes, cities, villages and people you don’t get to see every day. Your photos are actually one of the most valuable things you can take home from your adventures, and most people cherish them forever. So, have your camera at hand at all times and who knows what kind of masterpiece you’ll create.
If you happen to fly, most of today’s flights are equipped with an entertainment system, so you can catch up with the movies you’ve missed in the cinema. However, if you’re travelling by bus, you can take your laptop or tablet and fill it with TV shows and movies to pass the time. They are also good airport companions, especially on long layover flights.
Make new friends
Travelling alone is perfect for meeting new people and making new friends. Look for other solo travellers who look bored like you, or start a conversation with your seatmate. Who knows, you might meet some extraordinary people, your future BFF or even your soul mate. However, don’t be pushy, as some people just want to enjoy their trip in peace.
Bring some cards
No matter if you’re travelling with your friends, family or alone, you should always make some extra space for a deck of cards. This way you can play a variety of games with people and even alone. Solitaire, anyone? Cards are also an amazing way to break the ice and start talking to other people. You can also get one of those travel chess boards with magnets and play a game or two.
Enjoy some music
One thing a traveller mustn’t forget to bring is an iPod or an mp3 player. When you’re down and exhausted, music will pick you up and give you the energy to push forward. It will also relax you and fix your mood. Music is also a great way to tune out conversations, crying babies and loud sounds of the plane or train. But if you just can’t ignore the noises in the background, you can get noise-cancelling headphones such as AKG headphones that will completely isolate you from the rest of the world.
Read a book
Before, it wasn’t so easy to carry two or three books with you at all times, but today, that’s not difficult at all. Even though you might be a fan of the “real deal”, e-books are much more practical for travelling and they can almost fit into your pocket. Any time is good for reading, but if you’re stuck on a plane or a train, it can really save your life. However, it’s not recommended for people who suffer from motion sickness.
So, remember these, and next time you go on a trip, you won’t be bored or lonely. Bon voyage, traveller!