When you work hard throughout the year, it’s comforting to know you have vacation time coming up. Your days off usually create happy memories, but sometimes they can be disappointing.
If you work in the US, you have even more reasons to make each day enjoyable because your paid leave is probably limited. Workers in France, Germany, Spain, and the UK receive more than 30 days of vacation time, while you have 10 days on average.
The pandemic has added new difficulties too. More than 92% of Americans canceled, postponed, or didn’t book a vacation in 2020, according to a poll reported by CNBC.
How can you increase your chances of having a delightful time away? Try these suggestions for enjoying your vacation more.
Steps to Take Before Your Vacation
Some studies have found that planning a vacation can be just as much fun as taking one.
Savor the anticipation with these strategies:
1. Start early. Your employer decides how many vacation days to grant you, but you can give yourself as much time as you want to plan them. Make it an ongoing process, so you can give yourself a boost whenever you need one.
2. Research destinations. Watch travel videos and read magazines. Talk with others about their favorite spots. Study different cultures and languages.
3. Choose your companions. If you’re traveling with family and friends, think about how you’ll get along sharing more time together. If you want to make new pals, join a group that shares your interests.
Steps to Take During Your Vacation
At home or away, you can make each day more special.
Try these tips for a refreshing break:
1. Pace yourself. Be realistic about your schedule. Appreciating a slice of Paris beats trying to rush through a long checklist of museums and landmarks.
2. Disengage from work. Leave your job behind to the greatest extent possible. Do as much as you can ahead of time. Turn on your out-of-office message and let your colleagues know that you’re available for urgent matters only.
3. Try new things. Use your vacation to sample fresh experiences. Depending on your comfort level, that could mean cage diving with sharks or just dining at local restaurants.
4. Indulge yourself. Schedule time for doing things you love. Attend concerts and art exhibits. Go sailing or hiking.
5. Take notes. Clicking photos with your phone is easy, but writing about your experiences could make them more meaningful. Jot your thoughts down during meals or before bed.
6. Create a grand finale. Arrange something special for your last day or evening. Those will probably be the moments that you’ll remember most.
Steps to Take After Your Vacation
Do you sometimes feel letdown when you return home? Learn how to hang onto your happy feelings.
Try these techniques:
1. Rest up. Allow yourself time to unwind before going back to the office and tackling household chores. Maybe you can take an extra day off or spend a quiet evening ordering takeout and watching a funny movie.
2. Set new goals. Now that you’re feeling refreshed, find an exciting project to dive into. Start a vegetable garden or register for a course online.
3. Address underlying issues. Vacations are wonderful, but you’ll need to take further action if you want to make major changes in your life. That could include talking with a therapist or exercising regularly.
4. Plan more trips. Start working on your next vacation. When you travel more, the successful days will balance out the occasional bouts of harsh weather and indigestion.
Vacations are essential for your mental and physical health. Take time off and use it well, so you’ll stay cheerful and productive.