Summertime is a popular time of year to take vacations. We look forward to our trip for many months. But even though vacations are a pleasant experience, they can be stressful as well. Here are some tips that might help make your summer vacation a refreshing trip.
Research your options before committing to a particular establishment. Most people choose hotels to stay in. Hotels are convenient because they might have free breakfast, a pool, cleaning staff, etc. However, you might also want to consider renting a house or a cabin. This will give you and your family a nice private space to enjoy one another’s company. It adds a bit of a personal touch to your vacation. Home/cabin renting is especially popular in the Smoky Mountains. And the prices are usually not much more than what you would pay for a hotel.
Pack your Bible. On our recent vacation I didn’t read my Bible every morning, like I normally do at home. And I could feel it! I felt a bit out of sorts. When I finally pulled my Bible out of my suitcase to read it one morning, it made a big difference in my day.
Make the drive fun. If you are driving, like we did, do something fun in the car. It keeps the drive from getting to be too boring. One idea to break up the monotony is to count the number of churches you see along the way. This is something I did on our recent trip to the mountains. It was neat to see all the different churches and I even took pictures of some. On one particular trip, it got dark along way, so we had a good time looking for lightening bugs.
When I was a child we used to play a game where one person thought of a certain item that you might find in a particular room in a house. They would say to the other people in the car something like, “I’m thinking of something that starts with a ‘B’ in the kitchen.” Then all the other players would take turns guessing what it was. Whoever figured it out first would then have a turn at stumping the group. On one particular trip my father had us all guessing for a very long time before someone finally said the word “breadbox!”
Plan regular stops to stretch your legs. It is amazing what a short walk can do to revive yourself when you have been in a vehicle for many hours.
Carry plenty of water. When you’re on the road, it can be easy to neglect important daily habits, such as drinking water. So pack water in the car to ensure you have it on hand. If you are flying, you could pack water in your suitcase or buy a case when you get there. Of course you can buy a bottle of water almost anywhere. But buying one bottle at a time will obviously cost more money.
Be flexible. Whether you are traveling with members of your household, extended family, children, and/or pets, things can get stressful. Not everyone will have the same likes or interests, which is ok. But try to respect each other’s wants and needs. My friend Lorraine recently told me about something she and her family and friends had done once on a vacation. There were four people in her group and they each picked out one activity that they wanted to do.
Work together. A coworker of mine told me about a method she used when traveling with a large group. They stayed in a large cabin and had over a dozen adults and children. They made a schedule for which adults would be responsible for cooking each meal for the group. I thought this was a fabulous idea.
Be present. We all have mobile devices that distract us. We might be tempted to check our work email, Facebook, or any other all too convenient app. But try to lay your devices down as much as possible. Be fully present and engaged with your loved ones. Let your presence be a present.
And of course, take plenty of pictures and have lots of fun! If you have any tips, please share in the comments!