You’ve been busy at work all year long. Meanwhile, obligations at home take up what little free time you have.
Fortunately, you have plenty of PTO left. It’s time for a vacation! Where will you go?
Figuring out the destination is the fun part, followed by the slightly stressful process of booking airfare, lodging, et cetera. After that, it’s all about counting the days.
Or is it? The unfortunate reality is many people end up with an underwhelming or flat-out unbearable vacation experience. The reasons why range widely, but it often comes down to poor planning and insufficient preparation.
Do you want to make the most of a hard-earned vacation? If so, keep reading. The following are six tips for making the most of your next trip:
Adjust your sleep schedule ahead of time
Traveling across multiple time zones leads to a phenomenon known as jet lag. That means you’re either too tired during the day or too wired at night. While we understand this isn’t practical for everyone, those with the opportunity to adjust their sleep schedule ahead of time should consider doing so in order to make the most of their trip. The alternative is to spend one or more vacation days adjusting to the local time zone. Who wants that?
One of the most common mistakes travelers make is getting carried away with their intended itinerary. Simply put, they try to cram too many activities into their trip. The result is a ceaseless sense of feeling rushed and under pressure. If that’s not the opposite of how you want to feel on vacation, we don’t know what is! The solution is to avoid overscheduling. We suggest planning two major activities per day with one or more options if time allows.
Are you a native English speaker planning to travel someplace where Spanish is the local language? If so, you’ll want to brush up on common words and basic sentences. Is the trip taking you to an unfamiliar major city? Buy a map and study it prior to your arrival. These and other forms of pre-trip preparation will go a long way in making your vacation more enjoyable and less vulnerable to common travel-related problems such as language miscues and navigational errors.
Take vitamin supplements
Spending half the day traveling takes its toll on your body and mind. Making matters worse is the fact you’re probably not getting adequate nutrition during this time. The result is an increased likelihood of arriving at your destination feeling confused and exhausted. With this in mind, consider packing a vitamin B6 supplement and other vitamin supplements in order to improve focus and reenergize your body in time to enjoy your trip. That way, you aren’t relying on caffeine and sugar to keep you going.
Soak it in before capturing it on camera
Everyone has a smartphone these days, which means everyone carries around a camera in their purse or front pocket. For vacationers, the result is wanting to capture everything they see and do as images and videos to share on Instagram and Facebook. But in doing so, they often fail to enjoy the moment! Rather than feel compelled to pull your phone out every time you see something spectacular, stop and soak it in as a memory. While photos and video recordings are great mementos, nothing will replace the genuine rush of emotions that come from living in the moment.
Bookend the trip with days off at home
Again, we understand this isn’t practical for everyone, especially those without paid time off work. But if you can swing it financially and professionally, consider taking two additional days off, one before the trip and one for when you get home. These extra days off come in handy for packing and preparing for your vacation, as well as adjusting to life back home upon your return.
Are you gearing up for a long overdue vacation? If so, you’ll be counting on it being a fun and enjoyable experience. But don’t take it for granted! Travelers have an obligation to take steps to ensure their trip is everything they want and more.
Michael Driver is a freelance writer from Texas. He enjoys covering topics related to history, sports, and travel. Michael can be reached at ReddishRaddish87@gmail.com.