Are you planning a vacation or a marathon?

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Is there any time more valuable than vacation time?  We scrimp and save all year for that week or two when we escape everyday life.  When that time is used to travel and particularly when traveling overseas, it seems that the time becomes even more valuable.  In this short period of time we want to see and do as much as possible.

At the end of a busy trip, a vacation to recuperate from our vacation is often needed.  Tired is just one result.  Upon return , many report the sensation that one day blurred into the next, they are unable to recall when/where they saw or did something, and feelings of agitation and irritability.  Is that how you want to return from vacation?

When thinking about your next vacation, consider the following:

  • Plan daily activities in advance to better pace your overall vacation. This will allow you to use time more effectively because you are no longer debating activities for the day.
  • Plan each day visiting sites close to each other to maximize your time. This sounds so elementary, but is so easy to forget.
  • Acquire tickets in advance to reduce the time in line and/or waiting for entrance times.
  • Schedule no more than one sightseeing tour or activity a day. This allows you some free time and reduces stress associated with tight schedules.
  • Incorporate free time so that you can wander down an interesting street, sit in a sidewalk café and people watch or check out a recommendation from a tour guide.
  • Occasionally, you must schedule multiple activities. If possible, schedule morning and evening to allow time to relax in between.
  • When scheduling full day tours or activities, schedule a slower day for the next day. Schedule no more than 2 full day tours or activities in a row, if necessary.
  • If at all possible, allow for a good portion of the day free on the day prior to your return home to pack, shop for last minute items and perhaps do/see a must that you were unable to get in earlier.
  • For major trips across multiple time zones, try to return on a Friday or Saturday to allow you time to adjust, decompress and prepare for your return to daily life.

I know the desire to take spend as much time in destination to do as possible is hard to resist, but in the long run, you will enjoy the time away so much more.

Pat Ogle-CollinsAre you planning a vacation or a marathon?

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