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Mindful Living

Take Your Best Vacation EVER

June 15, 2016

Vacations are not a luxury. Vacations are critical for your mental, physical, and spiritual health. You and your family need a great vacation this summer. Most of us have survived a year of being overbooked, overworked, and overwhelmed. Make your vacation a priority because you can relax, have fun, and create memories that will last a lifetime.

10 Tips For Your Best Summer Vacation:

  1. Do advanced planning. Go on the Internet with your family and discover all you can about where you are going. Find out what hotels, cuisine, restaurants, transportation, and activities are available, such as snorkeling, skiing, hiking, gambling, beaches, and pools.
  2. Relax your schedule. Don’t pack too many activities into a short period of time. You will be miserable if you have a tight schedule with no breathing room. Also, don’t travel to too many destinations during the trip as you’ll be stressed by packing-unpacking and acclimating to each new destination.
  3. Finances cause stress. Have a family meeting after researching the available activities, food, and hotels. Discuss what each person wants to do on this vacation. Total the costs of each activity and meal and begin creating a budget. This will tell you ahead of time what you can afford to do. It is so much easier than getting there and arguing or spending money you don’t have that will show up on your credits cards when you get home.
  4. Time alone-time together. Scheduling family time is important for family vacations. However, in your daily schedule be sure to leave two to three hours free so each person can have some personal time. This allows each person to honor their own space and practice self-care. They may choose to read, swim, or play games. Personal time keeps the family time from getting overwhelming and stressful.
  5. Healthcare. Make sure that you take a goodie bag with you filled with aspirin, Tylenol, antibiotics, sunscreen, and any other medications your family may need. If someone in your family has health concerns make sure you know what healthcare is available at your destination.
  6. Expect the unexpected. Have a family meeting and talk about how this vacation is a learning experience. It is like an adventure, so you can only plan so much, and everything else is the universe teaching you something. This way when planes are delayed, restaurants are closed, or the hotel doesn’t meet your standards, you can smile and say, “Isn’t this interesting. What can I learn from this?”
  7. Play. From the very beginning of the planning of the trip reinforce that this is about your family having fun and playing. Whatever you do, remind yourself that this is not about a “perfect vacation.” This poses too much pressure and too many expectations on yourself. Keep reinforcing your expectations of “fun and play.”
  8. Casual clothes. A trip is less stressful when you don’t have to pack and travel with a lot of clothes or take special care with dressy clothing.
  9. Boredom. Children get bored easily. Have each child bring along whatever they love to play with. This may be a tablet, a smartphone, games, cards, or books. This cuts down on the fighting and the stress of constantly being together for many hours and days.
  10. Stress reduction. Before you leave on your vacation go over some simple stress reduction techniques. Deep breathing, yoga stretches, walking, short guided imagery, or meditation can be helpful. You can also journal, carry meditation or prayer beads, or get a bottle of water and focus on the relaxing effect of the water on your body.
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