No one wants to spend an entire vacation watching TV in the hotel room, because one can do that at home. Similarly, no one wants to spend an entire vacation galloping from one activity to the next, because most people already do that every day. Finding a balance between these two extremes is often the key to an energizing and relaxing vacation.
This balance starts with the right destination. Lounging on a quiet beach is a great way to spend a few hours, but it may get a little old after a few days. Then again, if you only have a few days, places with lots of attractions — like New York City or Rome — may not be a good idea either, because you could very easily run yourself ragged going from one to the next, and leave feeling like you rushed through an incomplete vacation.
The next step is finding the right hotel. It should not have a lot of extras that you will probably never use but pay for nonetheless, but it should also be a comfortable enough place to spend some time. The Marriott SpringHill Suites in Dallas is a good example of this balance. It boasts spacious rooms, a very stable Wifi connection, modern kitchenettes, and a large fully-equipped fitness center. Take stock of what’s important to you and find a hotel that matches those expectations, because there are tons of available choices.
Making Time for Yourself
Once you arrive, build in plenty of extra time to your daily schedule. If the tour bus leaves the hotel at 11, arrive in the lobby by about 10:30 and have a cup of coffee while you look at the morning’s headlines or watch a few YouTube videos. This technique kills two birds with one stone. You feel at ease while not rushing from one place to the next.
Some people take this idea a step further and basically have no schedule all while they vacation. Instead, they only have a general idea of where they want to go and what they want to see. This method may simply raise your stress level, but it’s something to think about.
Also, get in touch with your natural body rhythm. Instead of waking up to an alarm clock buzzer, wake up when it feels natural to do so. The rest of the body clock adjustment should take care of itself. Obviously, if you’re with friends or family, you’ll have to make some compromises. For example, every other morning could be a “no-alarm” day.
Finally, be flexible. If the tour bus is ten minutes late, try not to fume over it, because a reaction like that just adds to your stress level while doing nothing to change the situation. It’s not always easy to give up control like that, so this whole flexibility thing may require some practice.
The time you invest in yourself while on vacation will almost certainly pay significant dividends once you get back to the real world.