What a Trip
Wherever your plans take you this summer, these tips will help
ensure that your vacation leaves you refreshed not stressed
By June Bell
There's nothing like a vacation to wipe away stress, boredom and
exhaustion. But a vacation done wrong can be every bit as draining
as the day-to-day routine you were so eager to escape in the first
place. We've packed these two pages with tips to help guarantee
that you return refreshed.
Off on the Right Foot
First things first: Decide what kind of vacation you want.
Will you be backpacking? Exploring Manhattan? Hitting Disneyland?
If you detest Mickey, speak up now or be prepared to grit your
teeth through "It's a Small World." Let the entire family weigh in
on the decision so everyone gets a chance to do something they
Set a realistic schedule: You can't possibly study every
painting or eat at every restaurant. So why try? You'll feel less
pressured if you allot some down time each day. Hang out in a park
or schedule a Swedish
Massage. As a Massage Envy member, you have access to more than
230 clinics around the United States.
On the Go
Rest easy: Get a good night's sleep before your trip. That
means you last-minute packers-you know who you are-need to plan
ahead. Once you're en route, avoid alcohol, which has a dehydrating
effect that can amplify jet lag, Murphy says. Resist the urge to
nap when you arrive at your destination. Instead, go to bed early
so you'll wake up in sync with the locals.
Stay healthy: Avoid colds and other bugs by being diligent
about handwashing or using an antibacterial hand gel when you're in
public places. And when sampling local cuisine, think before you
eat and drink.
Make it quick: If you're flying, try to avoid checking
luggage and print out your boarding pass the day before. Anytime
you can avoid a long line, your stress level will go down. If
you're traveling by car, pack up as much as you can the night
before and be sure the gas tank is filled. Then, when you're ready
to hit the road, you can just jump in and go.
Back to Reality
Come home early: You might be tempted to fill every last minute
of vacation time with travel, but you need some time for re-entry.
Give yourself at least a day to unpack, go through your mail and
prepare to plunge back into reality.
Extend the effects: To prolong that cherished feeling of
relaxation, schedule a hot stone massage
for the day of your return. It's a mini-vacation that doesn't
require a passport, luggage or sunglasses.
Take it easy: If possible, plan a light schedule - both at
work and at home - for the week you get back. Too many commitments
right away can erase that new feeling of calm you just worked so
hard to acquire.