There’s something that I must confess, right now…I am awful at relaxing. As much as I love downtime, nothing stresses me out more than taking time off from work to enjoy a vacation or a trip. You might wonder why…maybe it’s because I am a workaholic, I love being connected and I need to be proactive…but truth of the matter is there’s nothing more important in this world than taking time off for yourself.
This week, I am headed to Cancun for a trip and I couldn’t be more excited. But my friends and my husband made fun of me when I said I was scared I wouldn’t have access to my email as much as I do have access to it in South Florida. Something about not being able to respond immediately causes me stress and it had made me devise a plan to make sure I am able to tune out everyday stress when I am rightfully on paid time off.
As an editor, professor and all-around go-getter, I have decided to share my secrets with you on how I disconnect when the time comes to have an experience away from home that requires me to say “I’ll get back to you later” or to turn on my out-of-office e-mail message. Below are three tips that I follow whenever I get travel or vacation anxiety.
1. Plan ahead: Nothing helps me more than planning ahead. And, by planning ahead, I mean organizing my life to a degree that when I get back I fall right into the groove that I had before I went on vacation. This means, preparing my out-of-office, scheduling a day or two off to catch-up when you get back and making sure all pressing assignments are taken care of before I leave. Once I take care of all my duties before I leave that might be needed to be taken care of before I leave, I feel better when hopping on that plane and getting ready for my getaway.
2. Pack light: Nothing is more stressful than having a heavy suitcase filled with unnecessary items. Make a list of planned activities for the trip and make sure you pack for such activities and prepare your outfits in advance. Nothing is more stressful than lugging a too-heavy suitcase at the airport and this way there’s even a possibility that you won’t have to check it in so you can just breeze as much as you can through security.
3. Bring entertainment: As a book lover, I bring a book and pack an extra one. I also jam-pack my iPod with new tunes and secure my iPad with even more fresh reads. Traveling should be fun and you should always find ways to entertain yourself while out and far away from work emails. Everyone deserves a time-out.
So, tell me, how do you relax before a big trip? Let me know by tweeting at me at @AuroraMiami. I always welcome fresh advice from fellow jet-setters.