Vacations are meant to be fun and refreshing but without a little prior planning, they can end up being extremely stressful and more expensive than they need to be. Whether you are planning your next summer destination somewhere in Michigan or aiming for a broader destination, let our tips for having a stress free vacation help you get the most out of your next trip.
Know Why You’re Going
Every trip has a purpose and before you head to your vacation destination, it’s important to know what your plans and expectations are for yours. Some vacations are full of sightseeing and physical activities, some meant strictly for relaxing on a beach or next to a pool and some others include a variation of both. Knowing what you want most out of your trip and communicating it to your fellow travel companions means you can set priorities and expectations while allowing you to start on the planning phase beforehand.
Plan Your Trip Ahead
The old adage of failure to plan is planning to fail holds true for a lot of things, including planning out your trip. Start with the basics… are driving to your destination or flying, will you need to rent a car to make the trek or one when you land there and will you need to bring car seats with you or rent them from a car rental agency? If driving, will you need to reserve a hotel for the trip down and back or will you be driving straight through? Once you are at your destination, will you be staying in a house, a hotel, a campground or with a friend? While you are there, will you be visiting parks, museums or attractions that you could save by purchasing an all in one city pass or traveling during busy holidays where you’ll need to make reservations at a restaurant to avoid long wait times or worse yet, no openings? Making these decisions ahead of time allows you to just enjoy the trip and live in the moment, knowing the details have already been handled. In addition, making “rainy day” or alternative plans in case the weather is less than ideal for an outing or hanging out on the beach, means you won’t be stuck sitting inside bored, wishing you could think of something fun to do. Having more places to visit and do gives you options and with those come possibilities, and in turn can help you enjoy every stressfree moment on your trip.
This might sound harsh but what is the point of going on vacation if you are just going to spend the whole time checking emails and texts from work? Of course, this can be easier said than done. With work being so intertwined into our lives, it can be hard to take a break from checking that email when the notification pings. Do yourself a favor though, and give yourself permission while on vacation to go off of the grid. Let your co-workers know you will not have access to emails and set an auto-response to notify email senders that you will be gone but can respond at a later date. If possible, give another contact name, email and phone number for them to contact if it is an urgent matter so you know things can be taken care of while you’re gone. Want to take it a step further? Decide to only check social media for updates or create your own posts once a day while on your trip so you avoid the temptation of being distracted and maintaining your full presence and attention to your own surroundings and companions.
Plan Your Departure & Return Ahead Of Time
A little bit of planning for your departure and your return can help remove those last minute worries and angst. If you have pets, find a well-recommended pet sitter, house sitter or boarding place for them to stay with so you know they are safe and sound. For longer trips, plan on having your mail stopped during that timeframe to avoid throwing up red flags that you aren’t home. Coming home to an empty fridge and cupboards is one of the toughest things about coming home post-vacation. While it may not be available in all areas, for those that it is, grocery delivery or pickup can be a lifesaver! Start your order ahead of time or schedule it out for your return so you can avoid having to go shopping immediately after returning.
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