How many times have you been distracted today? Did you just get distracted when the notification for this post appeared? 🙂
So, since I have you for a moment, consider this question. Have you allowed yourself a few moments to daydream about what you would rather be doing instead of what you feel like you have to do right now?
What would you think about? Getting off work tomorrow? Warmer weather? TAKING A VACATION? If a vacation is what you’ve been dreaming about, let me stop you right there and prepare you for your next trip.
Traveling can be the most exciting, yet draining activity ever. Do you ever feel like you need a vacation when you get back from vacation? Why is that? Why do you feel so drained after coming back from what was supposed to be relaxation, serenity and peace?
If you really want to take a real vacation and return back to the day-to-day hustle and bustle of life with a recharged life battery, consider some of these vacation life skill approaches that work like a charm for us:
1 – Slow Down: The older you become, doesn’t it seem like time just flies by super fast. Well, the truth is that time is not going any faster than it was when you were 5, 15 or 25. We are just much more distracted and continuously rushing from one place to the next. During a recent trip to the Dominican Republic, I decided to sit and gaze out of the plane window instead of anxiously awaiting for the fasten seat belt sign to turn off, so I could fire up my laptop. Just those 3-4 minutes that I intentionally sat and looked out the window, I captured this wonderful video of the plane climbing above the clouds. There is beauty, peace and tranquility all around us. If you’re looking to take advantage of it, especially as you prepare to take a vacation, just slow down long enough to take it all in.
2 – Pack Smart: Look, I get it; no one wants to get to their vacation destination and realize that the didn’t pack their must have body wash, medication or phone chargers. There are 3 very simple ways to be a smart, efficient and prepared packer:
- Don’t wait until the last-minute: I probably lost most people on this one. Waiting until the last-minute is the fastest way to start your trip off on the wrong foot. How can you focus on peace and tranquility when you are busy worrying if you packed enough underwear to make it through the trip? Just slowly pack over a week or even a few days to ensure that you have what you need.
- Limit your space: The more space you have, the more likely that you will max that space out. In the pictured above, I severely limited my space on two different trips. The backpack was a weekend trip to New Orleans and even included my laptop, a dress to attend a wedding, shoes and other essentials. The bottom right photo is a new product that I’ve been testing out – Smart Cargo cord keeper. I usually have cords all over the place, since the number of electronic devices that I travel with has increased, so I decided to find a “cord keeper” to keep them organized and in one place while I’m in transit. So far, so good with this new product, but I’ll provide you with a formal review over on Jacqueline’s Product Review page soon.
- Commit: The easiest way to limit yourself and to not over pack is to commit. People are often amazed when I tell them how efficiently I can pack. Packing efficiently requires you to select clothing that you know will work on the trip. It requires thought, planning and some weather checking, but the outcome is not having to pay for checked luggage, not losing your luggage and being nimble, quick and easily moving from the plane to your vacation.
3 – Try New Stuff: Your favorite restaurant, activity and hobbies are important, but trying something new, especially while you are on vacation is a fantastic idea. On a recent trip, instead of the normal rushy activities that I’m used to engaging in, I decided to sit on a bench on the resort that I was staying at, and look at the pond. To my surprise, there were two beautiful flamingos who lived in that pond, that kept my attention for close to 30 minutes. When you slow down, embrace flexibility and open yourself up to new things, beautiful things just have a way of happening.
4 – Read the Fine Print: Behind missing luggage, there are few things that ruin a trip besides realizing that you did not read your travel information correctly. Read your confirmation details thoroughly, ask questions and double-check your itinerary. Some of the most commonly misread travel document include:
- Boarding Zone – Are you really in zone F trying to board with Zone A; just wait your turn.
- Transportation Pick Up – Don’t get left stranded at a foreign airport because you assumed that transportation was included with your travel package.
- Excursions – Vacation excursions are cool, but they get expensive very quickly. Make sure that you know what’s included and what’s not.
- Baggage Rules – The days of 1 free carry on and 1 personal items are slowly become extinct. On many airlines, it costs to even carry on. Don’t get to the airport and burn through $100 in baggage check fees because you didn’t read the fine print.
5 – Ask Before You Assume: Have you ever gotten to your plane seat and someone was sitting there? When they see you approach, then they say, “do you mind if I change seats with you”? That order of operations is not correct. They made the assumption that you would be quite alright with the move before they even really asked. Before you assume that someone will be OK with you taking their seats, just ask first.
6- Set Some Expectations With Friends/Family: As part of National Etiquette Week, yesterdays blog post touched on the importance of thinking through your guest list for a dinner party. It equally, or some would say is more important to think through who you are inviting on a trip with you. While at a first thought, inviting all of your friends on a trips seems like a dynamic idea, but the reality is that everyone does not travel well together. Stop and consider these common problems that people have with traveling with friends they’ve never traveled with before:
- Being late for everything
- Would rather watch TV in the room, instead of checking out the city or the resort
- Wants to only go to mainstream restaurants that they frequent back home
- Is cheap and doesn’t want to pay for anything
- Stays on the phone with family and friends back home all day
Just because you can’t travel with someone doesn’t mean they can’t be your friend. It means that you’re simply not travel compatible, and that’s OK.
Scarlet Says…traveling can be a fantastic way to relax, recharge and experience new things. Considering the time, financial investment and energy that it takes to travel, its in our best interest to ensure that our plans, companions and activities are carefully considered. Happy Traveling this summer!
Until Next Time,