Travel and Leisure

Vacation Planning

Planning a vacation? Don’t forget to follow some simple steps to avoid unnecessary headaches and stress. Careful planning can help you make your well deserved vacation a lot more enjoyable.

Going on a vacation ought to be an opportunity to relax and yet in a lot of cases, it can be a stressful ritual. These tips are recommended to have a more enjoyable and less stressful getaway.

1. Plan first – This may be an obvious but often neglected step. Lack of preparation can cause more problems during and even after the trip, making it more stressful and less enjoyable for you and your companions. Think of what you want to do and what is possible in terms of time and budget.

There are several options of how to go on a vacation without having to spend excessively such as going during off seasons or even just swapping homes. Do the research. Choose a destination that is within your budget. See what there is to in the area and plan what activities you would like to do there. Do some comparison shopping to get the best hotel and transportation deals. Schedule your trip carefully to allow for some transition time before and after the trip if needed.

More importantly, inform friends and relatives of where you are going and how long you will gone so as not to get them worried if you cannot answer calls immediately. Ask if they could keep watch on your house while you are away. This will help keep your mind at ease during your trip, knowing your house is in safe hands.

2. Organize work before leaving – Inform your boss and employees of when you are planning your vacation so as to give them enough time to reallocate workloads and other possible preparations during your leave. The same applies to clients and employees if you have a business.

Make sure you finish up work that needs to be done at the office before going away. Leaving your desk with less work on your mind will help you be able to enjoy your vacation more. As early as possible, ask your coworkers or supervisor about who could fill in for you while you are away. Inform them of their responsibilities, deadlines or other matters that they may need to be aware of.

Let your contacts and clients know who they can contact while you are gone. Do not overwork prior to leaving for your trip. Being exhausted limits the time to enjoy your vacation.

3. Prepare for the trip – Once you have gotten the details of your trip settled, allow enough time to prepare. Some prefer to ease back into their routine after the trip. If you are that type of person, it is recommended that the house be cleaned as well leaving extra money and food available prior to leaving. Plan to have some of the essentials ready for your return home. Organize the things you need to bring at least a week before leaving to allow for last minute arrangements if necessary.

4. Pack wisely – Keep in mind where you will be going and how long you will be gone. Bring the right clothing for the environment and season as well as medicines but try to pack as lightly as possible to avoid paying for additional baggage. This also avoids the stress of having to drag large, heavy bags around with you. If traveling with kids, it may be essential to pack games to keep them busy along the trip.

5. Be There Early – Plan for ample time to get to airports so you can relax a bit before you leave. Avoid having to rush to catch your ride as the exhaustion and stress caused by it will lessen the enjoyment of the trip.

6. Disengage from your cellphone, laptop or Blackberry – With today’s technology and responsibilities, this has become more difficult to avoid. If detaching yourself from your cellphone, laptop, Blackberry and other such electronics is impossible then restrict it as much as possible. This is your vacation. It is hard to relax having your coworkers or employees still calling you for every small detail. Ask them to call you only on important matters. If your work absolutely requires you to keep in touch, schedule such meetings so that both sides will be prepared beforehand. More importantly, make sure that you will be able to use your devices during your trip without worries.

7. Enjoy the moment – Although you have an idea of what activities are possible, do not do them all in one day. Allow enough time for each activity. Trying to do too much in a short amount of time will only increase your stress level during your vacation. Allocate some time to enjoy the view.

8. Rest – As this is a vacation, you need adequate amounts of rest and relaxation. It is recommended that adequate time be given to sleeping, relaxing in terms of taking long walks and enjoying the view as well as pampering yourself by having a massage.

9. Take lots of pictures – It may not seem important during the trip but this will be helpful. Keeping a memory of what happened during the trip might help relieve stress during the transition period. This also becomes a vantage point for future planning of trips.

10. Transition period – Some people prefer not to go directly back to work the day they get home from their vacation. If this is the type of person you are, return at least a day before coming back to work. Another suggestion is scheduling the first two days after coming back as a period of transition, where you relax a little longer and avoid heavy tasks. Do not schedule any major meeting immediately after coming back from your vacation. Jumping straight back in to work might induce stress for some people, making the purpose of the vacation useless.

Copyright (c) 2009 Sherry Tingley