14th Jun 2008
Some vacationers like to work hard at their vacations. My friend, who works as an Internet marketing consultant, is just now planning a holiday that will see her hiking to major tourist attractions and even volunteering time at a local charity! That is just not my style. When I go on a vacation, I don’t want to have to take another vacation just to recover. Luckily, I am remarkably good at being lazy – or at working hard at relaxing. From my travels I have found a few tips that can help you totally unwind on your next trip:
1) Set your expectations low. If you are traveling to a new place, you may feel like you “need” to see the best museums and attractions. Piling up your itinerary just leads to stress and inevitable disappointment. A better strategy is to read up about a place you will visit and then let serendipity take its course. Take a stroll in areas that interest you, but allow yourself to really just experience the destination. Don’t both trying to micromanage every minute. It’s a vacation, not a board meeting.
2) Find ways to relax in the hotel room. Most travel accommodations are not exactly designed to relax you. Impersonal hotel rooms or tiny little cottages don’t always soothe the world-weary traveler. That’s one reason why I pack scented candles when I go anywhere. I just pop open my suitcase, pour myself something nice and light a few wonderfully scented Votivo candles around my room and I have instant mood lighting and aromatherapy in one. Plus, the unlit candles in my suitcase leave my clothes smelling great while the lit candles get out the musty or smoky smell of my hotel room.
3) Learn the art of lingering. While others are off rushing to see a show or a theme park, allow yourself an extra cup of coffee by the pool. It’s you vacation, you can take the extra time with a good book in the park or an hour-long lunch.
4) Consider being where people aren’t. Of course, you don’t want to go wandering alone along empty alleys, but do consider checking out less crowded venues. Travel during the off season, which is less expensive and less stressful, or at least find out which attractions are less well-known. You’ll discover something unique and you’ll have more room to breathe.
5) Talk to people. You will learn more about a place if you talk to people who live there. Ask the clerk at a shop for a restaurant recommendation or ask the hotel doorman about walking tours in the area. You will learn a lot by asking questions about tourist attractions and about the history of a place. I think you will be pleasantly surprised as well – people are eager to talk about their home towns and will generally have stories and anecdotes you won’t find in any tour guide.
6) Get up and move. While lazing around every day is fun at first, mild exercise – such as a short walk each day – will make you feel healthier and better.