How To Have a Relaxing Vacation


According to the dictionary, vacation is defined as a period of time spent away from home or business in travel. In my humble opinion, vacation should be a time to get away from things like work and stress so that you can reconnect and recharge. I can recall several vacations that I went on that were simply exhausting. In search for some of the possible reasons for this, I turned to research.

Tim Bono, PhD believes that “When you have a routine, there’s less mental energy that has to go towards figuring out what we have to do, It’s part of the reason why vacations can be so exhausting. You have to figure out, okay, ‘where do we park the car? Where do we get our coffee? If we want something to eat, where do we go? What are the choices for what we’re going to do today?’,”

Dr Bono’s explanation makes perfect sense. Even with pre-trip planning, the newness of a place away from home creates a lot of brain power which can tire us out. So how do we prevent this vacation burn out?

Over the past few years I have made a dramatic shift in how I approach vacation. At one time my goal was to do the most, see the most and leave nothing unturned. But now I realize that it is important for me to begin taking my self care into consideration while on vacation . Everyone vacations differently, some people prefer packed itineraries, some people prefer to explore every edge of the vcation destination No matter your style I believe that the following tips will help you take care of your self and return home more rested as opposed to more exhausted

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Planning out a vacation minute by minute can really add to the anxiety of the vacation experience. Before you even book you ticket, I suggest setting an intention for your trip. Why are you going on vacation anyway? Are you going to relax? are you going to turn up? Taking vacation can become routine if we do not take a moment to think about the purpose. Setting that intention will impact how you plan , execute your vacation.

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One of the exciting parts about going on vacation for me is the opportunity to create a familiar home environment in a new place. Whether I stay in an Airbnb or in a hotel I am always thinking about how the environment will assist me in feeling relaxed and comfortable.

For some, home away from home may look like a staying in a log cabin in the woods. For others a luxury hotel suite or a private villa. When booking your lodging pay attention to things like decor, furnishings, the surrounding neighborhood to make sure that you feel at home while you are away. It can also be really helpful to bring items with you on  vacation that make you feel more at home such as candles, fabric spray, magazines, books or even your favorite foods. 

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Sometimes we spend so much time “doing stuff” that we don’t truly soak in the destinationThe fastest way to burn out on a vacation as far as I am concerned it to over plan. Over planning looks like booking various experiences, tours, events, tourist attractions, shopping, dining, going to see a shows etc. Running back and forth trying to make it to various activities is tiring. My suggestion is to be realistic about what you can accomplish in the time that you are on vacation and enjoy the location.

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No matter how far the distance, traveling is exhausting for various reasons and nothing is more tiring than the thought of racing to a show or dinner reservations as soon as you touch down for vacation. If you are looking to feel more rested during and after vacation I highly suggest planning in a day of rest. This is a day where you do not have any planned activities. This free flow day is for you to check in with yourself and ask the question “what do I need today?” What do I want to do?”

Just like any other thing in life , on vacation we can run on auto pilot , free flow day is about doing only what you want to do and responding to your body. Some examples of free flow activities could be sleeping, eating in, taking a walk, or doing an activity. The options are endless but it must be unplanned prior to the trip and done only after you sit with yourself and discover what you need.

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I love going to the spa, but depending on my budget, I cannot always afford to get a massage or facial at a luxury spa while on vacation. So instead, I bring the Spa to my hotel room. Pack travel size beauty and skin care items such as sheet masks, manicure kits, serums, face scrubs and essential oils. You can implement these items by having a spa day with yourself or taking a few minutes to throw on a mask as you meditate or set intentions.

Lonnie Woods III