A lot of folks look forward to vacation for months ahead of time, brightening the dark winter days with thoughts of summer fun ahead. Getting away from it all allows you to temporarily forget your never-ending to-do list, form lasting memories with your family, and return to your regular routine with a spring in your step.
But as most of us learn the hard way, vacation doesn’t always live up to its promise.
From the traffic jam you hit as soon as you pull out of your driveway (ugh) to the mounds of laundry when you return (where does it come from?), there are all kinds of obstacles to true relaxation in your path. Here’s how to overcome five of the most vexing:
1. Getting Caught Unprepared.
Poor planning is the top reason vacays go awry. The solution is to gather as much intel as you can before your trip. Where is the traffic always congested? What’s the weather got in store? What time of day are the lines longest at the amusement park? Find out, then you can plan around it. That said, you can’t predict everything. Sometimes you have to be flexible and roll with the punches.
2. Being Overscheduled.
When you’re planning your trip, it’s tempting to fill every day with action, whether that’s roaming the streets of a bustling city, snorkeling, or climbing to the top of a Mayan temple. Trying to pack in too many activities can leave you feeling like you need a vacation from your vacation. That goes double if you have kiddos. Try planning activities for the morning and saving the afternoons for chilling out, or go on a day-long outing every other day. Not only will you be more relaxed, but you may also stumble across some unexpected pleasures when you allow space in your days.
3. Staying Plugged into Work.
This one is a real challenge for some people, which is crazy, because vacation! Ideally, you should pretend this is 1985 and that laptops and smartphones don’t exist. That means not checking your work email at all on vacation. If that would lead to losing your job, though, try restricting yourself to checking just once per day. Ideally, you should check at the same time each day so you don’t feel tethered to your inbox the rest of the time.
4. Setting Expectations Too High.
Just like people, no experience can be perfect. If you don’t expect it will be, then your toddler’s tantrum in the middle of the boardwalk or a string of rainy days won’t seem like the end of the world. Sometimes you just need to scrap your plans and start over. Take the screaming banshee to the beach and let her run around. Poke around the rental house shelves and find some puzzles or games to keep everyone occupied until the sun behaves properly. Sometimes plan B can make the best memories.
5. Suffering from Tummy Troubles.
Nothing can spoil a vacation like digestive distress. Unfamiliar foods or differences in the water supply can throw your system out of whack, leaving you running to the toilet. Flora’s clinically proven Travel Care Probiotic can help. This gluten-free, vegetarian, non-dairy supplement combats occasional loose stool while you’re on the road by helping rebalance your gastrointestinal system.* So you can be thinking about where the next beach is, not the next bathroom.