How to enjoy every moment of your vacation – 5 tips
Summer will be winding down soon but it is still peak vacation season in the Northern Hemisphere.
For some a vacation means going to a beach resort, or visiting family in other states. For others the best vacation is staying at home and working on a hobby. What we do during our time off though isn't as important as enjoying every moment and being able to return to our daily lives with a clear head.
Assuming we have done all of the proper preparation work (packed the right gear, handed over our work responsibilities, etc.), we can make the most of our vacations if we:
1. Take time off from the devices
I know this makes me sound like I was born in 1937, but the point of a vacation is to get away from the boring office emails (Whoever stole my sandwich from the fridge, please come forward.), the tweets, and other digital stimuli of the 21st century. Limiting time on the devices when we’re on vacation helps us to stay in the moment and relax. I mean would you really rather be reading emails from corporate IT instead of having a margarita at the pool with your spouse??
Side note: I have seen MANY tourists in Amsterdam step directly out in front of a Dutchman flying by on his bicycle because they were trying to take the perfect selfie. The end result isn’t pretty. Another benefit of staying in the moment is that you are more aware of your surroundings….
2. Have real conversations with others
As a follow-up to #1, use the time off to have meaningful conversations with your family or travel partners. Make it interesting by asking them deeper questions about their past, their views on current events, and their goals for the future. You’ll get the chance to see a different side of the person that you might not get to see in daily life.
To get a better idea on how to have a meaningful conversation, start by looking here.
3. Experience something new
When we’re in our daily routine we go to the same office every day, eat at the same restaurants, drive on the same roads…...aka, BORING. One of the best parts about being on vacation is that we can shake up our routine and try something new for a change.
When I was in Korea I ate live octopus. In Guam I obtained my scuba diving certification. In Morocco I rode a camel for the first time.
Each of these experiences was special and created a memory that I will never forget, especially the octopus moving around in my mouth as I tried to eat it!
So go out and enjoy all that life has to offer!
4. Use all of our senses
When visiting a new location we often focus on what we see and pay little attention to our other senses. To experience your vacation on a complete physical level take short breaks and focus on what your 5 senses are registering.
How does the air smell?
What do the clouds look like? The mountains?
What sounds do you hear? Ocean waves? Horns honking?
What does the local food taste like?
Paying attention to all five senses helps you to live in the moment instead of worrying about the past or the future.
Side note: Surprisingly, numerous studies have found that the strongest memories are triggered not by images, but by SMELL.
5. Take time to reflect
This is arguably the most important tip on the list because the happiest people in the world are known for periodic self-reflection. When we are on vacation then, away from all of the daily distractions, we have the perfect opportunity to stop and think.
What am I the most grateful for?
Where do I see myself in 10 years?
What are my top priorities in life?
Taking the time to answer questions helps us stay positive and return to our daily lives knowing exactly what we want and how we can achieve it.
A vacation doesn’t need to be a weeklong stay at a 5-star beach resort (although if anybody has an extra bed in their hotel room, I’m sure I can find a way to rearrange my schedule…). All that matters is that we take time away from our daily lives and clear our brains.
By staying in the moment on our vacations we can have truly rewarding experiences and create memories that we will look back on fondly for years to come.