On Vacation: Is Relaxing a Forgotten Art?

Reviewed Jan 26, 2017

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Summary

  • Brainstorm what you liked/disliked about previous vacations.
  • Find out as much as you can about your destination ahead of time.
  • Leave work at work.

We think of vacation time as an escape from our everyday world, a chance to relax, have fun, try new things, or explore new possibilities. But too often, people return from holiday more exhausted than when they left because they tried to cram too much into too little time. Are we so eager to “have it all” that we exhaust ourselves in the name of relaxation?

Plan for success

You can help ensure that everyone in your family or group gets something close to the vacation of their dreams:

  1. Brainstorm about what you liked/disliked about previous trips and what you want or need from this one. What is the goal for this vacation? A good holiday finds a balance between activity and rest, between comfort and adventure.
  2. Do some research. Find out as much as you can about the chosen destination: What are the costs? What are the crowds like? Are options available for all family members?
  3. Plan. Make a list of activities to do, places to visit, things to see. Remember that this is a list of possibilities, not demands. Choose wisely.
  4. Once you arrive, remember your goal for the trip, and remember everyone else has a goal. If you need to rest and relax, stay behind sometimes. If you like to keep moving, don’t expect everyone else to be with you every minute. Get what you need from the holiday: Don’t do what you think you should do.
  5. If possible, plan to arrive home early enough to spend a full day unwinding and making the transition back to reality.

Holiday time for the person who works all the time

For a person who works all the time, vacation time can be very stressful. Many Americans check in with their place of business while on vacation. Some dread vacations because they work overtime to prepare for their absence, then work to catch up after they return. Typically, business owners and managers find it difficult to leave work: They forget that the whole idea is to escape. If you live with or are a person who works nonstop, here are some tips for you:

  • Keep family time and work time separate. A more balanced life will make it easier to judge what is a crisis and what can wait. You can be more productive both at work and at home.
  • Remember that you are creating memories. Do you want your spouse or child to remember you frolicking in the waves with them or in the hotel room on the phone?
  • Stop believing that your workplace can’t survive without you. Leave a clear list of projects and their status, prepare your co-workers for your absence, and empower someone to make decisions.
  • Remember that the point of a vacation is recreation and renewal so you can return energized and with greater creativity.

Vacation at home

If you cannot afford to go away, or don’t want to, you can still have a holiday. With creative thinking and planning, it can be fun, eye-opening, and restful.

  • Splurge on take-out foods so you can “pretend” you are in a hotel.
  • Explore a new hobby you never had time for, or teach your passion to your kids.
  • Visit relatives or friends you don’t see often enough.
  • Return to childhood pastimes such as fishing, hiking, or biking.
  • Explore your own city or countryside as a tourist would. Most people never experience the nearby sites that others come hundreds of miles to see. Start with the Visitor’s Center or Chamber of Commerce and learn the history and wonder of your own backyard.
  • Send your kids to camp and stay home alone. You might rediscover your spouse.

The key to a great vacation is to be clear about what you need from it, then plan to achieve that goal.

By Allyson Johns
Source: For the Busy, Vacation Time Actually Means Stress Time by Bob D. McDonald and Don Hutcheson, Atlanta Business Chronicle, 1997; American City Business Journals, Inc.; www.bizjournals.com; Ideas for the At-Home Vacation, by Kimberly L. Keith, July 1997, About.com Network

Summary

  • Brainstorm what you liked/disliked about previous vacations.
  • Find out as much as you can about your destination ahead of time.
  • Leave work at work.

We think of vacation time as an escape from our everyday world, a chance to relax, have fun, try new things, or explore new possibilities. But too often, people return from holiday more exhausted than when they left because they tried to cram too much into too little time. Are we so eager to “have it all” that we exhaust ourselves in the name of relaxation?

Plan for success

You can help ensure that everyone in your family or group gets something close to the vacation of their dreams:

  1. Brainstorm about what you liked/disliked about previous trips and what you want or need from this one. What is the goal for this vacation? A good holiday finds a balance between activity and rest, between comfort and adventure.
  2. Do some research. Find out as much as you can about the chosen destination: What are the costs? What are the crowds like? Are options available for all family members?
  3. Plan. Make a list of activities to do, places to visit, things to see. Remember that this is a list of possibilities, not demands. Choose wisely.
  4. Once you arrive, remember your goal for the trip, and remember everyone else has a goal. If you need to rest and relax, stay behind sometimes. If you like to keep moving, don’t expect everyone else to be with you every minute. Get what you need from the holiday: Don’t do what you think you should do.
  5. If possible, plan to arrive home early enough to spend a full day unwinding and making the transition back to reality.

Holiday time for the person who works all the time

For a person who works all the time, vacation time can be very stressful. Many Americans check in with their place of business while on vacation. Some dread vacations because they work overtime to prepare for their absence, then work to catch up after they return. Typically, business owners and managers find it difficult to leave work: They forget that the whole idea is to escape. If you live with or are a person who works nonstop, here are some tips for you:

  • Keep family time and work time separate. A more balanced life will make it easier to judge what is a crisis and what can wait. You can be more productive both at work and at home.
  • Remember that you are creating memories. Do you want your spouse or child to remember you frolicking in the waves with them or in the hotel room on the phone?
  • Stop believing that your workplace can’t survive without you. Leave a clear list of projects and their status, prepare your co-workers for your absence, and empower someone to make decisions.
  • Remember that the point of a vacation is recreation and renewal so you can return energized and with greater creativity.

Vacation at home

If you cannot afford to go away, or don’t want to, you can still have a holiday. With creative thinking and planning, it can be fun, eye-opening, and restful.

  • Splurge on take-out foods so you can “pretend” you are in a hotel.
  • Explore a new hobby you never had time for, or teach your passion to your kids.
  • Visit relatives or friends you don’t see often enough.
  • Return to childhood pastimes such as fishing, hiking, or biking.
  • Explore your own city or countryside as a tourist would. Most people never experience the nearby sites that others come hundreds of miles to see. Start with the Visitor’s Center or Chamber of Commerce and learn the history and wonder of your own backyard.
  • Send your kids to camp and stay home alone. You might rediscover your spouse.

The key to a great vacation is to be clear about what you need from it, then plan to achieve that goal.

By Allyson Johns
Source: For the Busy, Vacation Time Actually Means Stress Time by Bob D. McDonald and Don Hutcheson, Atlanta Business Chronicle, 1997; American City Business Journals, Inc.; www.bizjournals.com; Ideas for the At-Home Vacation, by Kimberly L. Keith, July 1997, About.com Network

Summary

  • Brainstorm what you liked/disliked about previous vacations.
  • Find out as much as you can about your destination ahead of time.
  • Leave work at work.

We think of vacation time as an escape from our everyday world, a chance to relax, have fun, try new things, or explore new possibilities. But too often, people return from holiday more exhausted than when they left because they tried to cram too much into too little time. Are we so eager to “have it all” that we exhaust ourselves in the name of relaxation?

Plan for success

You can help ensure that everyone in your family or group gets something close to the vacation of their dreams:

  1. Brainstorm about what you liked/disliked about previous trips and what you want or need from this one. What is the goal for this vacation? A good holiday finds a balance between activity and rest, between comfort and adventure.
  2. Do some research. Find out as much as you can about the chosen destination: What are the costs? What are the crowds like? Are options available for all family members?
  3. Plan. Make a list of activities to do, places to visit, things to see. Remember that this is a list of possibilities, not demands. Choose wisely.
  4. Once you arrive, remember your goal for the trip, and remember everyone else has a goal. If you need to rest and relax, stay behind sometimes. If you like to keep moving, don’t expect everyone else to be with you every minute. Get what you need from the holiday: Don’t do what you think you should do.
  5. If possible, plan to arrive home early enough to spend a full day unwinding and making the transition back to reality.

Holiday time for the person who works all the time

For a person who works all the time, vacation time can be very stressful. Many Americans check in with their place of business while on vacation. Some dread vacations because they work overtime to prepare for their absence, then work to catch up after they return. Typically, business owners and managers find it difficult to leave work: They forget that the whole idea is to escape. If you live with or are a person who works nonstop, here are some tips for you:

  • Keep family time and work time separate. A more balanced life will make it easier to judge what is a crisis and what can wait. You can be more productive both at work and at home.
  • Remember that you are creating memories. Do you want your spouse or child to remember you frolicking in the waves with them or in the hotel room on the phone?
  • Stop believing that your workplace can’t survive without you. Leave a clear list of projects and their status, prepare your co-workers for your absence, and empower someone to make decisions.
  • Remember that the point of a vacation is recreation and renewal so you can return energized and with greater creativity.

Vacation at home

If you cannot afford to go away, or don’t want to, you can still have a holiday. With creative thinking and planning, it can be fun, eye-opening, and restful.

  • Splurge on take-out foods so you can “pretend” you are in a hotel.
  • Explore a new hobby you never had time for, or teach your passion to your kids.
  • Visit relatives or friends you don’t see often enough.
  • Return to childhood pastimes such as fishing, hiking, or biking.
  • Explore your own city or countryside as a tourist would. Most people never experience the nearby sites that others come hundreds of miles to see. Start with the Visitor’s Center or Chamber of Commerce and learn the history and wonder of your own backyard.
  • Send your kids to camp and stay home alone. You might rediscover your spouse.

The key to a great vacation is to be clear about what you need from it, then plan to achieve that goal.

By Allyson Johns
Source: For the Busy, Vacation Time Actually Means Stress Time by Bob D. McDonald and Don Hutcheson, Atlanta Business Chronicle, 1997; American City Business Journals, Inc.; www.bizjournals.com; Ideas for the At-Home Vacation, by Kimberly L. Keith, July 1997, About.com Network

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