March 26th, 2019

All Psyched Up: I need a break

By Medicine Hat News on March 15, 2019.

Work and family demands or the weather can get us to thinking about getting away from it all! Unfortunately, many people go away on vacation and return feeling tired and stressed. Here are some things to consider:

1. Stay home – If you really need a rest, you could just plan to take time off from your job and not go anywhere. You likely have reading, movies and hobbies that never get touched because of busyness and staying at home can offer you a cost-free opportunity to enjoy them.

2. Consider the timing – Deciding to go on a trip can be expensive but if you are willing to shop around, there are times that will offer you savings. Flying mid-week is usually less expensive than on weekends. Off-season also costs less and there are always airline sales that offer discounts at various times throughout the year.

3. Set a budget and allow for extras – Travel often costs more than expected, especially if you have delays or need transportation that you hadn’t expected. My cousin used to say that there isn’t any point in buying a boat if you can’t afford the gas to run it! Make sure you have access to extra funds before you leave just in case!

4. Think about travel options – When I went to Boston a couple of years ago, I decided to travel by train to Philadelphia and then to Lancaster. I loved it! Try taking a ferry, boat or even bicycle during part of your adventure.

5. Read reviews about accommodations – There are so many choices when it comes to finding a good place to stay and this can be confusing. I don’t always look for the most popular tourist areas because most places have good transportation options. Also, remember that when I go away, I am going for a rest. I look for clean rooms and good customer service as priorities.

6. Under pack – You likely don’t need as many clothes as you think. Leave room in your luggage for items that you might want to bring home with you. You can always purchase something there. And it is a good idea to pack a smaller suitcase or an extra bag inside your suitcase in case you need it. It is usually less expensive to pay airlines for an extra bag than an overweight one.

7. Allow for delays – Life happens! Weather, mechanical problems and other uncontrollable incidents can result in your flight being cancelled (That is why you might need extra funds for a hotel stay or meal).

8. Treat airports like malls – You can sit and complain about having to wait or you can enjoy your time. I often purchase birthday cards, get my hair done or order a nice meal while I am waiting for connections. It’s actually not very different from visiting a mall in my home city.

9. Plan rest days – I usually plan one day with a tour or outing followed by one day of rest. Most of my trips are 10 days which allow two for travel, four for enjoying the surroundings and four for self-care.

10. Consult with locals – Staff at the hotel or in retail stores will tell you where they eat and shop. These are usually non-tourist sites that offer excellent bargains and lots of nice surprises.

The secret to a good break is in the planning. Investing a little time up front will likely result in lots of smiles and memories for years to come!

Dr. Linda Hancock, the author of “Life is An Adventure…every step of the way” and “Open for Business Success” is a Registered Psychologist who has a private practice in Medicine Hat. She can be reached at 403-529-6877or through email office@drlindahancock.com

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