Whether you’re taking time off for work, vacationing with your family or planning a solo adventure, you want to make sure it’s the most enjoyable and relaxing experience possible. That’s why it’s important to plan ahead and follow a few tips before you go on your next trip.
Ideally, you should start thinking about your vacation a few months in advance. This allows you to have plenty of time to think about your plans, and can help alleviate some of the stress that comes with preparing for a trip, according to UC Riverside psychology professor Sonja Lyubomirsky.
A good place to begin is to take stock of how much you’re looking forward to your trip and how many tasks you’ll have to complete during it. This can also help you decide if you should take a longer vacation, or something shorter to give you more time to enjoy your getaway without being overwhelmed by work.
Before leaving on your trip, unplug any devices that don’t need to be on or that may create a fire hazard while you’re gone. It’s also a good idea to do a full search of your home, making sure it’s free from trash, food and other items that could attract pests or rot while you’re away.
While you’re on your vacation, it’s a great time to make some new friends and get to know the area you’re visiting. Depending on where you’re staying, this might mean going on a tour or joining an organized group to explore a part of town you’ve never seen before.
Having a friend or two on your trip is another way to reduce your stress while you’re on your getaway. Having a support system can help you feel more confident in your ability to deal with whatever problems arise while you’re away.
The most important thing to remember is to take time for self-care and leisure during your vacation. These activities can boost happiness, and give you a fresh perspective on your life when you return to the office.
In addition, a few days of rest can improve your resilience in the workplace. This can help you deal with setbacks or difficult challenges more effectively and prevent them from escalating, according to Ellie Borden, a psychotherapist in Canada.
If you’re not in the mood for a vacation, you can still find ways to unwind. This is especially important for people who have a hard time finding balance and need to take time out to relax on a regular basis.
One of the best things you can do for yourself while on your vacation is to reminisce about your adventures, which can make you feel happy when you come back to work, according to UC Riverside psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky. She recommends bringing a souvenir from your travels to the office, such as a coffee mug, mouse pad or pen.
Having a piece of your vacation with you at work can help you recall your fun memories when you’re stuck in the office, and it can even motivate you to stay productive. Plus, it can make you smile every time you look at it.