Daily life is a series of non-stop chaos for many people, composed primarily of working while trying to balance family life. Vacations, therefore, are the perfect opportunity to slow down and live in the moment, allowing harried workers an escape from their everyday turmoil. Whether enjoying a leisurely break on the beach or an adrenaline-fueled ski trip in the mountains, vacations are a time to relax and reset. Travelers can get the most out of their vacations by having a plan, staying mindful, and ignoring their electronic devices.


The primary component for getting the most out of a vacation is to have a plan. This means doing research in advance, choosing a destination, and making the necessary flight and hotel reservations. Research confirms that the anticipation of a trip contributes greatly to the overall enjoyment of the trip, and planning helps to facilitate these positive feelings. Do you want an active vacation exploring ancient temples in Southeast Asia, or do you want to take a leisurely cruise down the Mexican coastline? What is your preferred type of lodging? A hotel or a yurt? Do you want total isolation on your vacation, or do you prefer a more social scene? Thinking through these factors in advance and making the appropriate plans will ultimately lead to a more enjoyable vacation.


Staying mindful and present is another important component of a meaningful vacation. Travelers who truly engage in their surroundings can open themselves up to wonderful new experiences. Whether it is tasting bibimbap for the first time or smelling frangipani flowers on the breeze, being centered and mindful expands the senses and contributes to relaxation. Taking as long of a vacation as possible, whether it is one week or one month, contributes to an overall feeling of being grounded in a new place and soaking in the healing atmosphere.


Finally, as much as possible, it is important to stay off electronic devices to get the most out of your vacation. Do not worry about posting pictures of the beach on Instagram; go swimming and enjoy the beach! Do not post Facebook updates; nobody needs to know every move you make while you’re away. Try not to take work calls or emails. Commit to being fully present in the real world, and focus on enjoying your vacation!