The whole idea behind taking a vacation is that you get a break—a break from your regular life, with its frustrations, bills, and work projects. Twenty-four connectivity through the Internet, email and mobile phone mean that anyone can reach you anywhere at any time, even when you're supposed to be on a break.
Going on a vacation is a job in itself because you have to plan and organize your trip, remember to pack everything you need, be on time for your flight and while you're there, find and engage in activities. Just listing all of that out is exhausting. When you get home, you need a vacation from your vacation.
If you've had either of the above experiences, here's how to be more comfortable and relaxed while you're on vacation.
Don't take your electronic devices.
This one may be difficult if you have a job that requires you to check in regularly. Most people don't, and it's the fear that they'll meet a pile of work waiting for them when they return that prompts furtive sneaks at their mobile phones and emails.
This will only make you anxious. It's better not to take your electronic devices to avoid the temptation. Or, if you do, set stringent limits on how often you will check them once you are on vacation.
Set up an automatic response letting people you are out of office. That way, they won't leave projects that need to be completed urgently or messages that need immediate answers. Unless it is life or death, do not respond to messages sent on vacation. This only encourages senders to interrupt your vacation time.
Don't leave your itinerary to chance.
There's a lot to be said about spontaneity. Surprisingly, your vacation is not a time to be spontaneous. You don't just go on vacation and expect magical experiences to happen. Those need to be planned.
You need to get a few guidebooks, read them, and decide which of your vacation sites' most popular venues you will see. You're not going to get to see all, and you shouldn't stress yourself out by trying.
Because you would have done your research, you'll know how to avoid crowds and lines at the most popular venues. You'll get to see more, and because you are following an itinerary, you're not randomly deciding where you'll be going at the spur of the moment. It will be less expensive too, since you won't be journeying out only to find the museum or play you wanted to see was closed or fully booked and won't be available until you leave.
Strike a balance
While you want to have an organized approach to seeing the sites, you also want to leave some room for those magical moments we spoke about earlier to happen. Some spontaneity is good, just not too much.
For example, if you are traveling within a tour group and have a day off, why not go out and see the country for yourself. Several local services will facilitate this, including car rentals, where you can pay for a vehicle and see the country on your terms. Who knows what you might discover? That perfect village cafe with the most divine pasta and red wine. That beautiful scene is overlooking a valley at sunset. Things you would have never experienced if you didn't decide to strike out on your own.
Remember, the point of your vacation is to relax. So make sure you don't spend it running from place to place; otherwise, you will be concerned by the time you return to work.
Activities in your downtime should be things that you find relaxing. If you like to read, then read. If you want to visit the hotel spa and have a massage, then do that. If relaxing means having a couple of days where you do nothing but sleep, then get comfy, close those eyes and nod off. It's your vacation, and you decide what you do.
Engage in healthy habits
Part of the reason we feel so tired in our regular lives is that we eat poorly, neglect our sleep and do things that undermine our general health.
Your vacation period is when you should try to detox from these and give your body a chance to recover its equilibrium. Therefore, do not drink a lot of alcohol on your vacation, as tempting as it may be to indulge. Don't overindulge in food as well. Try to get the rest, water, and healthy food your body is denied because of how hectic your regular schedule is.
Don't turn your vacation into another job you return from, tired and grumpy. Get the relaxation you need following these tips and come back happy, healthy, and with memories to last a lifetime.