The phrase "relaxing vacations" might sound redundant, especially if you haven't traveled in a while. But whether it's because of the always-on nature of modern society or because of the mishaps that invariably occur when you're traveling with your kids or significant other, relaxation is far from a guarantee when you travel. Instead, it's something you have to consciously incorporate into each trip, as counterintuitive as that might sound. Don't leave home again without these vacation tips in your back pocket!
From weekend getaways of a purely leisurely type to periods of respite after business trips, there's no better way to find yourself than by getting back to nature. If you're somewhere with a lot of trees, a walk through the forest (popularly known these days as "forest bathing") is a great way to get out of whatever funk you've been in and to live in the moment. Even if you're far from anything resembling the great outdoors, a visit to a botanical garden, a zoo or even a city park can help to ground and center yourself.
Have A Meal With The Whole Gang
During weekend getaways, it's easy to go off and do your own thing, particularly if you're traveling with your spouse and kids — Mom and Dad might be eager for a break! But while it might seem counterintuitive, one great way to relax is to enjoy a mindful, intentional meal together. Nothing fancy — just a restaurant with some of your favorite foods (preferably where you can hear each other talk!) where you can celebrate how great it feels to take a break together. Nothing is more relaxing than spending quality time with family.
Build In Device-Free Time
Nothing disrupts a relaxing vacation like a notification on your phone or tablet. While it probably isn't realistic to leave your device at home, particularly if you're traveling with (or away from) kids or your weekend on land precedes days or weeks at sea on a cruise, it's a good idea to go screen-free whenever you can. One easy way to try this out is to write your grocery list on a piece of paper and go the supermarket unplugged or take a jog in the morning and listen to the sounds of the city instead of your favorite playlist. During your cruise, consider leaving your device inside your (locked) room and read a book by the pool instead of swiping through an application.
Treat Yourself To A Cold One
It's no coincidence that iconic images of relaxing vacations often feature a frosty cocktail glass. Whether you prefer your drinks shaken or stirred or if you enjoy sipping from an icy beer mug rather than an elegant champagne flute, no single word suggests a break from it all better than "cheers." Enjoy a drink or two to put you in relaxation mode while you're out catching some sun, but remember to stay hydrated as well! Have a glass of water for every cocktail, beer or glass of wine you drink.
Try To Keep Track Of Your Sleep
Be mindful during your time spent on the cruise. It's great to sleep in once in a while so you can get extra rest before visiting any new ports, but it's also important to try to go to bed early when you can. Research has shown that a stable sleep schedule is a good predictor of a great mood, and a great mood will make you feel more energized to explore more of your new surroundings. Additionally, waking up with the sun (more or less) when you travel also ensures you have more time to make memories on your cruise.
Whether you're on a cruise ship or in a city hotel, one common thread that runs through all relaxing vacations is your ability to live in the moment. Even if you're out at sea and can't get to a yoga class or meditation session, try to sit down somewhere comfortably, close your eyes and take a deep breath. The goal is to quiet your mind, focus on your breath and appreciate being in this very special moment. You can incorporate your favorite poses into your breathing practice, no matter where you are!