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Make the Most of Your Vacation: Refreshing Rejuvenation Tips for Vacationers

Vacation: The ultimate relaxation? Not always.

No work, no worries. Like any other holiday, people hope for postcard-perfect vacations with nary a blemish. It’s a shame vacations rarely turn out that way.

Vacation time, whether spent close to home or in a faraway tropical locale, may cause more stress than rejuvenation. Follow a few simple tips, however, and your off time can be as relaxing and refreshing as you want it to be.

Before You Go

If your vacation plan involves changing time zones, you can minimize jet lag and travel fatigue by adjusting your sleep schedule by one or two hours for several consecutive nights. The National Sleep Foundation describes a ‘circadian clock’ that regulates our 24 hour sleep and wakefulness rhythms. Time zone changes wreak havoc with circadian rhythms and can require days to overcome.

Traveling eastward? Wake up earlier and go to bed earlier for at least five nights prior to departure. If you’ll be traveling westward, go to bed later and wake up later for five consecutive pre-vacation nights. WebMD advises against using Benadryl to facilitate sleep due to the likelihood of next-day grogginess.

Sleeping in a hammock is good for you!

Doctors say that the best way to sleep is lying on your back with the head slightly elevated 10 to 30 percent.

Don’t wait until you’re exhausted to take a vacation. Tie up loose ends at work and clear your calendar for at least a week. Seriously. While a three-day weekend can be a nice respite from your workaday world, it takes at least seven work-free days to totally relax. Don’t schedule any meetings for the first day after your vacation. Arrange for pet sitters and child care well in advance.

Spend as little time traveling to and from your vacation destination as possible. Consider a “staycation” close to home. Book a bed & breakfast in a nearby town and enjoy a scenic roadtrip. For extra comfort, treat your vehicle to new sheepskin seat covers from

While You’re Vacationing

Keep a simple itinerary, and don’t try to cram too many activities into your vacation. A long weekend at an all-inclusive resort can recharge your batteries, so to speak, and allow you to arrive home feeling relaxed and refreshed instead of frazzled and in need of a days-long nap. Factor plenty of do-nothing downtime into your vacation schedule.

Enjoy a moderate amount of exercise every day of your vacation. If you stay at a spa, start each day with a few leisurely laps in the hotel pool. If you can, go for a stroll in the evening. Exercise will help you sleep well and will discourage weight gained due to rich vacation meals.

Keep a simple itinerary

Don’t expect a vacation to magically repair your relationship. If you and your traveling companion bicker at home, chances are good that behavior will come along for the ride. Do your best to anticipate friction, and dedicate yourself to the idea of cutting your partner some extra slack while on holiday. Schedule at least one activity separate from your significant other, and let a bit of absence make your hearts grow fonder.

Stay within your means. Nothing stirs up vacation stress like overspending. It is counterproductive to rack up enormous credit card bills on a vacation, only to be stuck paying them off for the rest of the year.

After your vacation

Plan to arrive home at least one full day before you have to return to work. Two days is even better. Use the time to unpack, do laundry, stock the refrigerator and generally recuperate from traveling.

When you do get back to the office, check your voicemails before your emails. In most cases, people who left voice mail have more pressing issues than those who take time to write and send a letter. Don’t tackle important business meetings your first day back, but do plan to enjoy lunch with coworkers.

Plan ahead, don’t overfill your itinerary and be sure to confirm your reservations. Spend as much time doing nothing as you spend sightseeing, and you’re bound to come home refreshed and rejuvenated.

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Jackie Ambrose has just landed her dream job in the travel industry after graduating from university in 2014. She still loves to travel herself, and uses the time when she’s stuck on planes, trains or boats to write her travel articles.

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