It’s the one week everyone looks forward to above any other every calendar year: the annual big vacation. You’ve alternated your computer desktop with images of the beach, then the mountains, then the desert, then back to the beach. But going on vacation can be a stressful activity. Here are five simple suggestions to make sure your next vacation has a lot less stress.
There is nothing more stressful than having to make up your plans on the spot. Some people thrive on chaos but that’s certainly not the majority of us. Planning ahead such details as hotel lodging, transportation schedules, and sites to see can give any traveler true peace of mind. Making a list helps you process your surroundings and focus on “what’s next.”
Don’t Do Too Much
An ambitious schedule can kill any relaxation you hope to achieve. Always being “on the go” is one of the top stressors for people taking vacations. Relax! You’re trying to unwind. Pick one or two things to do every day and be sure to leave several hours for unwinding. Maybe you can find a pier in Santa Monica to walk around or a Dubai spa to relax in. Above all, remember that you cannot visit every place or do everything.
Stay Away From Big City Atmospheres
No atmosphere screams “stress!” like the big city. City lights, street noise and sidewalks full of people tend to gradually build tension. Why do this to yourself on vacation? If you want to see the sights downtown, why not pick a hotel in the countryside and take the train to the city center? If you are staying downtown, schedule trips outside the city limits to escape the hustle and noise.
Rent a Vehicle
Public transportation is widely available in most vacation destinations but one way to avoid crowds, transportation schedules, and constant fees is to rent a vehicle and explore at your own pace. Get outside of the city center and enjoy mountains, coastline, desert, or whatever environment surrounds you. The only place cars aren’t usually relaxing is inside the city centers, so be sure to spend as little time in traffic as possible.
Don’t Eat Food You Don’t Recognize
Nobody likes to be sick when they’re away from home. Food poisoning and allergic reactions can turn a relaxing vacation into a stressful nightmare. Even though one of the great temptations when traveling abroad is to try the local cuisine, be careful what you eat. Choose your food wisely and be sure to take stomach medicines with you wherever you go.