10 Tips for a Stress-Free Vacation

Vacations don’t always go the way that you planned, and sometimes what was supposed to be your time to relax only stresses you out. Worry no more, for there are steps you can take to ensure that you’ll be able to make the most of your getaway and get the rest and relaxation you deserve.

Make checklists. With all the preparations you need to make, it’s easy to forget a thing or two in the midst of all the packing and planning. Have checklists for the tasks you need to accomplish before setting off, for the things you need to bring on your trip, and for the things you may need to check at the last minute before you leave.

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Check the weather and get clear directions. Get your weather worries and trip anxiety out of the way by taking a look at the weather forecast for the duration of your trip and making sure you have clear directions to your destination. That way, you’ll be more prepared for your trip.

Get work and other responsibilities done before leaving, but don’t wear yourself out. You’ll be on vacation, and who wants to be thinking about deadlines and payments while lounging on the beach? Get your immediate work and personal responsibilities out of the way, like submitting deliverables and paying your bills, before leaving for your trip, so that you won’t need to spend your hard-earned down time finishing up things for work. Pace yourself and adjust your workload also, so that you won’t be too tired from frontloading during your travels.

Ask a trusted friend/co-worker to take charge of any work-related concerns for when you’re gone. Even if you were able to finish your work before your trip, unexpected situations may arise that you won’t be able to handle while you’re away. By having someone you trust in charge of whatever issues may arise during your leave, you’ll be able to get the most out of your vacation without having to sacrifice your work.

Stop working when you get to your destination! Be sure to inform your co-workers and business contacts that you’ll be away on leave during a set time, so that they will be able to direct their concerns elsewhere, and you won’t need to constantly check up on how things are at your workplace. Part of “getting away from it all” is leaving it (i.e., the little everyday things that can contribute to stress) all behind. Besides, you’ll only worry more if you find out there’s no Internet connection where you’re going.

If you live alone, ask someone check in on your home/pets/plants while you’re away. A good vacation can be ruined by a bad homecoming, so if nobody will be left at home during your vacation, have a friend drop by your place every now and then to feed your cat, water your houseplants, and make sure that everything at home is generally okay.

Prepare for any emergencies you may encounter. Aside from your travel emergency kit (which should include first aid items and personal medicines), make sure to bring a set of extra clothes, items for drastic weather changes, like a small umbrella and a jacket, and enough extra cash to be able to sustain you should you have any emergency expenses during your trip.

Stay within your budget. You don’t have to scrimp on the things you want, but make sure you won’t find yourself without enough cash to get you safely back home. Make a mental note that you can only spend so much, and make sure not to touch your emergency cash unless absolutely necessary.

Be spontaneous and have fun! Maybe you prefer to have your activities all planned out, but don’t get upset if things don’t always go according to plan. Go with the flow and you’ll find that you’re having fun.

Give yourself time to rest before work starts again. Try to schedule your vacation so that you have a day or two to recover from the trip before going back to work. Having ample time to rest before returning to the daily grind will keep you fresh and energized for when work starts again.