The season for summertime vacation and relaxation is finally here. But let’s face it. Not everyone comes back feeling well-rested and ready to return to work. Did you fly home from paradise late Sunday night, only to have to arrive at the office early Monday morning? Were you unable to disconnect from your mobile devices and fully enjoy your break? Or perhaps relaxation was next to impossible on a trip to see family. Whatever the reason, a much-deserved break could be sabotaged from the get-go without a few pre-planned tweaks to your travel itinerary. Here are six secrets to a relaxing summer vacation, so you don’t feel like you need a second one.
1. Leave With a Plan in Place
Make sure your colleagues are comfortable with their roles during your absence. Cover your bases by writing an action plan that they can refer to. Consider delegating specific tasks to your team. For business clients, set up email memos to let them know how long you will be away and who they can contact. If you still need to keep communication open while you’re away, choose one point-person to report to.
2. Detach from Social Media
As tempting as it is to Instagram every fancy meal or beautiful vista, technology can stand in the way of fully embracing the moment. Cut out all mobile usage, including data roaming, push notifications and, yes, email. If you absolutely must be connected, limit email checking to once a day.
3. Slow Down and Stay Present
Resist the temptation to fill the day with activities from sunup to sundown. Fill the majority of your vacation time with relaxing activities such as poolside reading, midday massages or simply doing nothing. If you want to return feeling well-rested, vacation is not the time to overextend yourself.
4. Create Some Buffer Time
Give yourself an extra day of transition before returning to work. This gives you time to tackle post-holiday tasks, such as laundry, grocery shopping and emails. When you return to the office, schedule a coffee break so your co-workers can fill you in on what happened while you were away.
5. Intersperse Family Contact
If you experience stress in anticipation of an annual family visit, it may help to keep in touch more frequently. Maintain contact in different ways throughout the year, so that you aren’t trying to cram a year’s worth of contact in one trip. Skype, email and text to feel connected to loved ones more often.
6. Take a Staycation
Traveling to faraway destinations is not in everyone’s budget. And perhaps what you need most is sleep. But if you choose to stay home, don’t give in to your endless list of household chores and home improvements. Even if you don’t leave the house, you can still experience unfamiliar activities and relax in luxury. Hire a personal chef or call housekeeping for the week. Go to a different restaurant or see a new exhibit. Staying home doesn’t mean you can’t deviate from the norm.