Did you know that we’re happier LOOKING FORWARD to a vacation than when we’re actually ON vacation? Weird as it may sound, that time of year when we finally get to do whatever we want and go wherever we please can sometimes be less fun, interesting, or engaging as we thought it might be.
Well, here’s the thing: sometimes there is no reason for a vacation to fail. It just happens.
And it’s no one’s fault, really.
You can have great weather, the accommodation is just peachy and you find yourself in the best of company. Yet somehow it just doesn’t work out.
You return home feeling disappointed at best and cheated at worst.
So there’s nothing we can do, right?
Well, hold on there. Maybe there is.
Even if the hit and miss nature of a vacation is down to fate, karma, destiny, or our own subconscious reaction to the vacation environment, there are a few things we can do to give ourselves the best chance of enjoying our time away.
#1 Lower your expectations
No, I don’t mean expecting the worst. You can travel to almost anywhere civilized these days and expect to get good service, good food and good levels of comfort. What I mean is don’t expect your accommodation to look like a mini replica of the Taj Mahal. And don’t expect the food to taste like it’s been prepared for the grand finale of Master Chef.
That way, you stand a chance of being pleasantly surprised. For instance, the food or accommodation can only be average, unlike what you had come to expect. See, you’re already one up on karma.
#2 Pack like a professional
Prepping and packing for a trip can add heavy layers of stress to a vacation before you even leave the house. One tried and trusted tip is to make yourself a basic packing list that you can use to go anywhere.
Then you add the region-specific stuff, like sun lotion and bathing suit for the Bahamas, heavy boots and thermal underwear for that skiing trip to Aspen. Keep the basic list taped to the inside of your favorite suitcase or travel bag and you’ll never stress out about packing ever again.
#3 Leave behind your devices
Kindle, iPhone, Macbook, iPad? They have to go with you, right? Wrong. Remember this is a vacation and you don’t have to become a digital nomad just because you have all the required devices.
Make an assessment of which device you really need and leave behind what you can. Otherwise, you risk playing out your vacation around or you’re likely to miss ‘being-in-the-moment’. Besides, haven’t you seriously earned a break from all those pesky emails and irritating status updates? So, detox the devices, already. Your traveling companions and your brain will thank you for it.