How to Have a Stress-Free Vacation

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Make lists

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.

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Plan activities

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.

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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.

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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.

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Where to Go in Lake Tahoe When You’re Not Skiing

Lake Tahoe, the cobalt blue lake where California and Nevada meet, boasts a reputation as the ultimate skiing destination for travelers seeking mountainside luxury and rugged adventure. This winter, Tahoe has experienced record snowfall fairly earlyin the season, so visitors looking to plan a trip should act fast, as local resorts will get quickly booked! And while Tahoe is primarily known as a skier’s paradise, with resorts like Sugar Bowl Resort and the upscale Northstar California Resort standing out as popular destinations, there are plenty of options beyond the slopes. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite things to do before or after a day of skiing — or for travelers who would rather take in the scenery than speed down a mountain.

Foodie-Friendly Dining

The Ritz-Carlton’s restaurant, Manzanita, is particularly popular for its refined dishes all made with local ingredients, along with a wine list featuring many Northern California favorites. For a more intimate experience, visitors should check out Cafe Fiore, consisting of seven tables in a tiny alpine cabin. Cafe Fiore is known for its hearty Italian fare, with its house special, scallops and other seafood sauteed in lemon and wine tossed with linguine, a particular standout.

Health-conscious travelers should make a point to stop by Sprouts Cafe, a natural foods cafe established way back in 1990. It’s informal atmosphere is family-friendly, with books and games for kids are scattered about. Another great casual option isBasecamp Pizza Co., which offers hearty fare, including pizzas laden with ingredients ranging from bbq chicken to crisp vegetables. The vibe is laid-back but lively, with a happy hour every day and live music every night.

Daytrip to Truckee, CA

Visitors should trek up to the north shore of the Lake and make a stop in the charming old railroad town of Truckee, CA, now an upscale, hippie town  with a bustling nightlife. The crown jewel is Moody’s Bistro Bar and Beats, tucked into the Victorian-era Truckee Hotel. A hip bar and live music (including past visits by regular Paul McCartney) will make for a lively night on the town. Those interested in a down-to-earth “dive” should stop by the Tourist Club, one of the oldest bars in town and somewhere a party is always happening.

High-Rolling in South Lake Tahoe

Those wishing to get a taste of Vegas-like activities should check out South Lake Tahoe, across the Nevada state line, where a small strip of casinos sits alongside the lake. Harvey’s, which is right along the lake, is known for its old-school atmosphere.  Just down the street is the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, which offers, in addition to its casino, three restaurants and two bars and lounges. The MontBleu Resort Casino & Spa is known for its nightlife, as its Opal Ultra Lounge is the place to go for a wild night out. (It’s a favorite of bachelorette parties!) For affordable lodgings in the area, consider the Holiday Inn Express South Tahoe, which is located near the main casino strip and also features a relaxing sauna.

Bustling Galleries for Art Lovers

Art fans should make sure to check out some of the galleries in the Tahoe area, which specialize in various styles of art, from painting to sculpture to glasswork and photography. A long-time favorite is Gallery Keoki, specializing in fine art photography and even offering the service of creating custom fine art installations for homes and office spaces. The James Harold Galleries has a large and varied collection of paintings and sculpture, all by new and known names in contemporary art. To take a piece of Tahoe home, visitors should definitely stop by the Jon Paul Gallery, which specializes in photographic artworks depicting the majestic natural beauty of Tahoe. Photographer Jon Paul even offers workshops for aspiring photographers, hinging on his philosophy of “bringing the fine art of nature home.”

 

This post was posted by The Hipmunk on Hipmunk’s Tailwind Blog on January 28, 2016.

Sydney’s Coolest Places

If you already reside in sunny Australia or you long for visiting this irresistible country, you just can’t miss the jaw-dropping beauty of one of its greatest jewels, Sydney. As the home of the world’s most beautiful Opera House, impressive harbour and stunning beach richness, Sydney really captivates with its attractiveness and cosmopolitan spirit. Gladsome mentality, unique lifestyle and eternal summer are just a part of astonishing Sydney magic, and if you add an endless number of magnificent spots, you realize why is this city among the best ones in the world.

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There’s no doubt Sydney is a very vibrant city, but here you can read couple of extra firsthand insights:

Surry Hills

In the very heart of the Sydney, Surry Hills is an entertaining and artistic kingdom. Energetic Crown Street is the ultimate location where you’ll be overwhelmed with cuisine and yummy Aussie snacks and desserts along with a variety of prime beverages. From wine bars and cafes to comprehensive restaurants, everything is wrapped into a creative atmosphere. Moving further through the street, you’ll come across a stunning artistic nest full of greatest galleries, design and fashion studios presenting top local and international artworks, designers’ pieces and vintage items.

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You just can’t miss a chance to peek into lovely the Cream on Crown boutique, magnificent Brett Whiteley Studio and imposing Badger and Fox Gallery. As you stroll around, you’ll find the architecture amusing wherever you go.

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Restaurants and bars

Sydney’s tremendous restaurant and bar scene offers a true journey through culinary treasures and premium amusements. Stylish and relaxing at day and powerful parties during the night make The Argyle Bar the ultimate Sydney dining and nightlife venue. In the middle of central business district, there’s a fantastic rooftop bar – The Rook, offering the best lobster dishes and a variety of great wines and cocktails. Excellent restaurants abound from Emperors Garden BBQ and Noodles abounding with royal barbecue menus, pastry delicacies in modern Kingston &Co restaurant to great Asian and Italian specialties in Blue Fin Sushi, Bar Nosh, Pompei’s, Lang Suan restaurant , etc.

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Nature

Not far from downtown, there’s spectacular beaches, from Aussies’ glorious Bondi Beach great for waves’ riding, bathing and relaxing, to spacious Cronulla ideal for beach walks. The best surfer paradises are definitely Narrabeen, Manly and Coogee Beach.

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The greatest natural landmark near Sydney is certainly the breathtaking region of the Blue Mountains, known for impressive rock formations, blue mist and amazing local wildlife. Enjoy the wonderful scenery by taking a Blue Mountains day trip, take a bushwalk, or visit the famous rocks called The Tree Sisters, spot kangaroos, emus, dingo and a lot more.

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Beer

If looking for place to enjoy the best “Amber fluid”, start with old style Keg & Brew that serves traditionally hand -brewed beer. In Surry Hills, jump into the legendary Dove & Olive to drink excellent beer on tap.

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For a multi-tasting experience, head for 4 Pines Brewing Company in Manly, and try anything from stout to Aussie Pale Ale.

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This article was written by Roxana Oliver, a travel enthusiast and an occasional blogger from Sydney, Australia.