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Steps for Planning a Stress-free Vacation

by Diana Smith
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Planning a Stress-free Vacation

Planning a Stress-free Vacation: There seems always to be something to worry about. While most people cannot put ‘stress-free’ and ‘vacation’ in the same sentence, there are those who have mastered the skills of traveling for pleasure without stress. As a matter of fact, it is possible for anyone, if they follow these simple steps.

If you are travelling with others…

relaxing bubble baths

Keep in mind that vacationing with others can be extremely tiresome if everyone has different preferences and goals. You may want to go to the beach every day, and your partner is more of a countryside explorer. Your friends might have hoped for a party weekend, and you were looking forward to relaxing bubble baths and watching movies in your hotel bed with the AC on. If you are planning your vacation with other people discuss a common goal of the trip – whether you are expecting an adventure, relaxation, romance or celebration. Just a small talk, but it can avoid many awkward moments later on.

Pack lightly

Pack lightly

Nothing good has ever come out of overpacking. Schlepping too much luggage with you makes the unavoidable stages of your travel – getting to and from the airport, checking in to your hotel, dealing with baggage claim more difficult than they have to be. It is easier said than done, but try to keep you clothing options easy and only pack necessities. You are on a vacation and there is no reason why those comfortable sandals couldn’t replace the heels in any situation. It is always better to underpack and feel comfortable than to overpack and feel worn out.

Don’t check your work phone too often

work phone on travel

If you feel compelled to say you’ll be checking in every day, you are doing it wrong. Keep your vacation plans vague and say something like you’ll be checking the messages from time to time (when you have the cell coverage, ha-ha). The more you check your phone and answer to messages, the more you train your colleagues to believe you are available 24/7. The world is not going to end with you missing, and if there is an emergency, you are probably too far to do something useful.

Ask local people about recommendations

Travel Guide

Better than any guide, printed or posted, locals will know where the best eateries are and where can you watch the best sunset. Locals have been living there longer than you. Feel free to bypass overrated tourist trap restaurants and choose smaller, family-run restaurants a few streets away from the main hub. Read the local newspaper online to discover interesting events and festival that are coming up. Also, browse local Instagram feeds. Instagram has become a popular travel tool, as you can now check where locals and other travellers are checking in. Use hashtags to narrow down your search.

Plan the activities loosely

Vacation Planning

It is only natural that you have a plan for your trip, of things you want to see and ideas you want to do once you get there. However, planning every single event to the minute takes all the enjoyment in what are you doing presently. You will see what you have time for and trying to squeeze everything into a minute-by-minute schedule will suck all the fun out of your trip, leaving only a stress-husk behind. Leave some days completely open. You wouldn’t believe how often unplanned events account for a lot of your vacation time.

Don’t worry about the house

There is an obsession that many people share – to clean the house before vacation, so it is spotless when you return after two weeks. If you find time to clean your house during the week, that’s fine. But getting up at 3 a.m. the day you are travelling isn’t worth it. Why should you feel cranky or sleepy on the first day of your vacation? There is always work to be done when you return. On the other hand, if you have a pet, hire a trusted pet minding agency to take care of your pawed friend with personal and loving attention.

If you want a stress free vacation, you need to relax. Let go things you cannot control and let a great wind carry you across the sky (Ojibwa saying). Travel with an open mind and keep your stress levels low by not making fuss about small things.

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