Six research-backed tips to have a great vacation

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Mine boil down to two: 1]Gym within walking distance 2] Coffeehouse with comfortable seating nearby.

If I get a good nights sleep [bonus], everything will be fine until happy hour rolls round, then repeat…


Things we have learned:
*Make sure you have time after your trip to decompress, do the accumulated laundry, restock the fridge, etc. If you get home at 9 p.m. and have to immediately go back to work the next day, it’s no fun, even moreso if you have to adjust to a time change.
*If you are on a longer trip, every week or so give yourself a ‘free day’ with nothing scheduled, so you can visit that cool museum you found out about from a street flyer, do laundry, or even just sleep in.
*If you are visiting another country, bring along small regional trinkets or gifts for friends you haven’t met yet. We tend to bring coffee and mac nuts; the look of pleased surprise when you give something to someone who went out of their way to be pleasant or helpful is heartwarming.

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I’ve been on several long international vacations, and scheduling anything goes against my style completely. I hit the ground and then see what’s what. I do tend to plan road trips, but nothing more than ‘drive to this place on this day and then this place on the next day,’ etc.

One time, I went to the Costa del Sol in Spain for 10 days with a couple of friends, and we all agreed to research a couple cities along the way, and split up the work. They planned their days pretty hard and fast. I tore the pages out of the guidebooks for the cities I was given, and let inspiration strike.

I think in that trip, I broke rule #2 (“Think about your personality and who you’ll be going with.”), because the two type-A women I went with weren’t initially very happy with my type-B kind of planning. But it all worked out in the end. (Though, come to think of it, one of them never spoke to me again.)


7: Have money. Lots of it.


I have found the most, most, MOST important tip, is indeed, save time on the far end before you get back to your regular routine. Relaxing around the house is the best buffer between vacation and back to the grind.


I’ve learned that the best thing is to do the research on what you want to see. Find out if there are best times or only times for anything you think will be especially fun, then let the vacation work itself out organically. In that past I planned like your type A friends and it really bothered my husband and it felt like we needed a vacation from our vacation because I put so much into the limited time because I wanted to get my time/money’s worth of the places we went. Now we go with an options list and pick what we do each day. The options list does include scheduled activities but we don’t have to do them, it’s more so we know that if we want to do them that’s when it needs to happen. This is important because we don’t feel obligated but we don’t miss out due to no/little planning. Vacations got much better and more fulfilling once we blended these styles.

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