Tips for Actually Staying Relaxed on Vacation

You’ve marked your calendar, booked your tickets, and now the much-anticipated vacation is finally here. Yet, amidst the beautiful scenery and exotic foods, relaxation seems elusive. The irony of vacations is that they often require so much planning and activity, the actual “relaxing” part becomes an afterthought. Here’s how to pivot and truly unwind during your getaway.

Put Away Distractions

In the age of smartphones and constant connectivity, achieving a state of relaxation can be a tall order. Whether it’s work emails or social media notifications, digital distractions can keep you in a perpetual state of stress. One of the best things you can do for yourself is to unplug, even if it’s for a few hours a day. Set up an automated email response notifying people that you’re out of reach and will reply upon your return. Then, keep the phone in your hotel room or on “Do Not Disturb” mode when out exploring. If you’re traveling for business, allocate specific times to check your emails and stick to that schedule. Create a boundary between work and leisure so that you can enjoy the sights and sounds around you. Being present in the moment significantly boosts your chances of a stress-free vacation.

Do Relaxing Activities

When on vacation, there’s often the pressure to see and do everything, which can be exhausting. Instead, pick activities that truly make you feel relaxed. If you’re near the ocean, consider a slow beach walk or a serene boat ride. Nature hikes can also be a way to relax and breathe in the fresh air. Spa treatments should be on your itinerary as well. A Swedish massage can help reduce stress and muscle tension in your body. Treat yourself to an aromatherapy session, or perhaps a soothing facial. These activities are not just indulgences; they are necessities for maintaining your well-being during a hectic travel schedule.

Take it Slow

The mantra of a truly relaxing vacation should be quality over quantity. There’s no rule that states you must visit every tourist attraction or eat at all the top-rated restaurants. Prioritize what you really want to see and do, then allow yourself time to leisurely explore those options. Give yourself permission to have a slow morning with breakfast in bed, or spend an afternoon doing absolutely nothing. Another key to a slow vacation is flexibility. Over-planning can lead to stress, so leave some room in your schedule for spontaneous activities. Maybe you’ll discover a local jazz bar that you want to visit, or perhaps you’ll decide to extend your stay at the beach because the sunset is too beautiful to miss. Having the freedom to adjust your plans ensures a more relaxed, fulfilling vacation experience.

Vacations should be a break from the daily grind, a sanctuary for your mind and body. By consciously choosing to put away distractions, engage in calming activities, and adopt a slower pace, you ensure that your time away truly serves its purpose. May your next vacation be as relaxing as you’ve always wished, setting a precedent for all your future trips.

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