Sunday, May 17, 2009

Vacation Stress: An Oxymoron? Not Always!

12 Tips to De-Stress Your Vacation
Whether you're young and single, married with children or empty-nesters with loads of money there are a few basic things you can do to make your vacation much more fun and stress-free.

12 Strategize

Ponder your destination in advance. What are your preferences? (Sunny beaches, cool pine forests, active night life) Once you've decided where to go, check out what there is to do there so you don't miss anything or waste your precious vacation time researching. Get individual input from others joining you so everyone feels satisfied, including the kids. Determine how you'll arrive at your destination and the best lodging options to meet your needs. Vacation Rentals By is a great site to investigate.

*For free travel guides check this out: click here.

11 Fully Medicated

Pack a little kit with any meds you might need (Children's Tylenol, Ibuprophen for hangover, Band-Aids for blisters from new shoes, antacid tablets for the rich food). Your doctor may even be willing to give you a prescription for an antibiotic if you are prone to sinus or ear infections—"just in case" --it stinks to spend half a day at the beach clinic. Been there!

10 Vehicle Maintenance

Have the mechanic do a once-over on you car. Check hoses, tires, belts and fluids. A break-down means a stalled vacation. Been there too!

9 Coupons, Bargain Days

Major attractions and museums sometimes offer discount days, local restaurants may offer early-bird specials and always look online prior to your trip for coupons. Google: "coupons" plus your destination city.

8 Local Cuisine

Find out where the locals eat and go there. Chains are fine because you know what you're getting but it's fun to venture out. Locals won't keep a place open if it isn't good. Avoid tourist trap eateries. Check out the Food Network for regional dining options. Burgers at Hodads , Ocean Beach...mmm!

7 Think: Action!

Some sitting around and enjoying the scenery is fine, bus tours are great for an over-view but unless you have a disability get out and move! Most of us pack on the pounds while traveling. To prevent this and enhance your trip try hiking the local trails; renting a bike to cruise the boardwalk; paddle boats, kayaks and canoes for a water experience.

6 Give Me A Break!

I believe that parents and children need a break from each other. If possible, bring along a teenager or grandma to help with those breaks or contact a local service with great credentials to hire childcare for a romantic night out. Parents (single or married) need a little adult time, so include this in your plan.

5 Efficient Packing

Know the climate and suitable attire. Wear things more than once, find a laundry service and layer up. Avoid checking luggage on planes to prevent losing bags and delays at the terminal.

4 Pace Yourself

While it's tempting to try to see and do everything, if you pack too much in you'll be exhausted, have less in your bank account and won't likely remember all of it. Prioritize your activities and plan to come again if you don't see everything. Get a little rest. Each activity will be more fun if you're refreshed.

3 The More The Merrier

Unless you're on a honeymoon it can add a fun dimension to travel with friends. Another couple allows for women to have a little girl time, maybe getting a pedicure while the guys catch a game on TV at the local pub. Another family provides children with a new friend instead of just a sibling. Conversations are more lively and fresh when additional folks are involved.

2 Be Flexible

Travel delays, bad weather, illness, sold-out events and more happen in life and on vacation. Expect it and roll with it. Don't let the little things ruin your trip. Your attitude is contagious. If you can bounce back from unexpected challenges or disappointments, so will the rest of your group.

Numer Ono: PRAY
Ask for wisdom as you plan, safety as you travel, provision to stretch you dollars, patience in big measure and that you'll be blessed with a lasting precious memory...don't forget to say thanks that you're even able to take a vacation, because not everyone can.

Any Chevy Chase "Vacation" Experiences to share? More suggestions?

Diane Markins


Anonymous said...

Hi! Speaking from immediate exp. there are 3 places we go in no special order. The thrift store=we pick up things we forgot plus you get a quick lay of the land. We have gathered alot of "local" info there. Secondly we check the churches out. We truly enjoy worshiping with God's family wherever we are. We also check out the library esp. if it raining. You can usually get a library card by using the address of wherever you are staying. We also check out local theaters, art galleries and farmers markets.
Most of all we just sit outside weather permitting and marvel at the beauty of God's creation.

Diane Markins said...

In the mid 80s we took our newborn daughter and three-year-old son to Disneyland in November. We didn't have much money and had few vacation days each year but this seemed like the thing to do when you had kids, right?
It was very much like the Wally World experience in the Chevy Chase movie. We drove up to the gates and it was closed. It may not have happened since, but DISNEYLAND WAS CLOSED!
We then went to Knotts Berry Farm so the adventure was redeemed. But it was cold, we were hauling a new baby around and our son was tired and grouchy. He wasn't tall enough to go on many of the "big" rides yet.
We learned! When our daughter was 4 and son was 7 we met another family with same-age kids at the Magic Kingdom...AFTER we made sure they were open!

Anonymous said...

For the more adventuresome vacationers, you might want to check out It is a worldwide network of home exchanges. My husband and I are having a ball with this one!
Pat Williams
Mary Kay Director