Leave work behind
Make sure your work is dealt with or delegated before leaving the office. Also make it clear to colleagues that it will be nearly impossible to contact you while you’re away – and resist the urge to check emails or messages.
Take a breather
Having a day off between your last day at work and your first day of vacation will give you that window to unwind and allow you to make sure you’re well-rested for the journey ahead.
Suit your style
Does lounging on a beach bore you to tears? Or is running from attraction to attraction your own personal nightmare? Ask yourself what you really like to do and then plan accordingly.
Prepare, prepare, prepare
Put tickets and passports together in one easily remembered spot. A week before leaving, buy everything you might need for the trip. And catch up on your laundry! No one wants to arrive at the hotel and realize that their best dinner outfit is still back home.
Get your house ready
Nothing spells stress at the airport like worrying you’ve left the iron on or forgot to lock the front door. Make a list of everything that needs to be dealt with before you leave and go through the checklist one last time before heading out.
Most of us travel with others so let everyone choose at least one excursion – and then make sure you take pleasure in everyone’s choices. You might be surprised by what turns out to be fun when someone else is leading the way.
Plan your journey
Few things will raise your stress-levels like a mad dash to the airport, with the clock ticking and you unsure if you’re going to make your flight. Plan your route to the airport beforehand and give yourself margins.
Keep travel to a minimum
When planning your destination think about what is close by. Try to choose a vacation spot that offers a good mix of activities so that you are less likely to start feeling at loose ends or the itch to ‘do’ something.
Value unscheduled time
Have at least one ‘free day’ where nothing is planned. This is perfect for wandering the local area at leisure, discovering an out of the way eatery, and just enjoying the company of the people you’re with.
Even the best-laid plans can sometimes go awry so if something does go wrong just roll with it. Those unplanned moments are often when you’ll have a once-in-a-lifetime experience – the one that will have you telling stories for years to come.