So, are you ready for the great escape? Yes, 2016 has been a tough one, right? But, as all of us, you probably can’t wait to get away from it all!
According to the OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) South Africans are some of the hardest workers in the world; in fact, we are ranked third on the list! And let’s face it, the 21 consecutive days of paid annual leave that most of us are entitled to is, well, very little.
Vacation plays such an important part in recharging and refuelling to enable us to face an exciting and challenging 2017. So, how do we make the most of our free days?
Use these strategies to make your December holiday last well into the New Year:
- Determine what kind of vacation fuels your tank. Do you want to visit family and friends, or do you want to get away from it all? Or, do you simply want to be at home and read through a pile of books? You could easily split your vacation in two parts if you want to be both active and restful. Too often we take time off but return home feeling drained because our trip didn’t meet our needs.
- Do what you enjoy and not what you’re supposed to enjoy.
- Spend time with your loved ones. Relationships should always be at the top of your list.
- Slow down. Less is more. A sure-fire way to turn any vacation into an epic wreck is crafting an itinerary with too many activities leaving you exhausted. Don’t feel guilty about sleeping deliciously late.
- Plan it. Research shows that 99% of people say the happiest vacations are planned more than a month in advance. And yes, this counts for “staycations” as well. Plan trips or breaks well in advance so that you have a chance to enjoy looking forward to them.
- Leave work at work. Enough said.
- Pack like a pro. Avoid unnecessary stress by packing only what you need.
- Manage your expectations. If you’re off to the beach, it might rain … Don’t let small things ruin your mood, try to embrace just about everything.
- Detox from your devices. So, you were thinking of packing your Kindle, iPad MacBook Air, and iPhone for your breakaway? Without devices to distract you, it will be easier to tune into those “can’t-miss moments” like a beautiful sunset or the sound of the ocean.
- Practise mindfulness. Taking a moment to pause and tune into your surroundings will help you to truly appreciate and savour your getaway.
- Collect memories. Studies recommend actively collecting memories that can easily be recalled to boost vacation happiness. Take plenty of pics and post them on Instagram, make a playlist, or buy a souvenir to savour those moments well into 2017. Also, use a scent that you don’t normally use that is unique to your holiday, ready to dip into whenever you need a boost of happiness.
- Stay “in” your vacation, even on the last day. Don’t spend too much time preparing for the return trip, worrying about when to pick up the cat … Take that last walk, or read a novel on your way home. It’s hard, but doable.
- Make your “re-entry” as humane as possible. Leave your home clean – fresh sheets on the bed, laundry done and have something in your freezer so you don’t have to worry about grocery shopping.
Vacation is a mind-set y’all! If you play it right, a half-day spent in your backyard with a pile of magazines can be just as restorative as a week in Spain. Happy getaway!
Source: travel.allwomanstalk.com, www.upromise.com, www.businessinsider.com, www.forbes.com, www.yesandyes.org, www.themuse.com, www.psychologytoday.com, www.self.com, www1.cbn.com, stats.oecd.org, businesstech.co.za, www.lifeoptimizer.org, greatest.com, www.lonelyplanet.com, www.independentraveller.com, psychcentral.com