At their best, vacations offer a true getaway to a mindful respite from the daily grind. Between experiencing new cultures, navigating unfamiliar streets, and putting faith in strangers, stepping out of your comfort zone is an intrinsic part of travel. For some, this uncertainty is all part of the adventure. But if you’re traveling with anxiety, that vacation you’ve been dreaming about can turn quickly into a minefield.
Here are tricks make sure you have the most relaxing vacation.
1. Pack ahead of time and pack smart
The whole point of taking a vacation is to leave your stress behind and enjoy the activities that lie ahead. Staying up late to pack the night before your flight is a recipe for stress. Instead, make a packing list several days before departure so you have time to pick up anything you might be missing.
2. Plan and don’t put too many things on your itinerary
Some travelers might show up in a new place and wing it, but those with anxiety often prefer to have a well-researched itinerary. Knowing which neighborhoods are safe to walk in, when your must-see attractions are open, and how to best get around the city can help you feel more confident in a new place. It’s hard to pick and choose which activities you want to do when you’re going somewhere exciting for your vacation. As tempting as it might be to sign up for them all, be realistic about how much you can fit in. If you’re running around, trying to tick off all those excursions and destinations in one week, you’ll be so burnt out that you won’t even have the time to unwind. Just put a couple things on your schedule and use the rest of your time to kick your feet up.
3. Set aside some time to do an activity you love
Your vacation is the time to catch up on those activities that get pushed to the side during your normal working hours, so ensure you get the chance to do all those things. The more you do what you love, the more you can relax and feel like the queen that you are.
4. Decrease your screen time
Recent research shows those who constantly or often check their text, email and social media accounts, labeled “constant checkers,” experience higher stress levels than those who take breaks from regularly checking their devices. Platforms like Instagram seem like the perfect place to showcase your vacation, but don’t fall into that rabbit hole. Take all the pictures you want, but resist the urge to waste your precious vacation time filtering your many photos. Enjoy what’s right in front of you. Also, set an automatic reply in your email account. You won’t have to worry about whether your co-workers are wondering why you aren’t responding to their inquiries, and you’ll probably be less inclined to keep reaching for your phone. Chances are the emails in your inbox can certainly wait until you’re done relaxing.
5. Include a buffer day
There are a lot of things to do when you get home from a vacation in order to transition back into your normal schedule, try to include a buffer day in your planning. Jumping straight back into work as soon as you get home is a surefire way to kill the relaxed vibes you’ve cultivated over your vacation. So, chill out before you jump back on the work bandwagon.
Unlock a refreshing, memorable and relaxing vacation this season!