Three Tips to Have the Vacation You Long For

By: Marie-Louise Strøyberg | @mindyourbusinesscom

It is finally summer, which means vacation time for most people, something we’ve all been waiting and longing for, in what seems forever. We look in anticipation for the long summer nights filled with laughter amongst friends and family, skinny dipping in the ocean and barbecuing our favorite dishes. However, one common mistake most people make, which causes a lot of vacation stress, is collectively mis-communicating what will be a successful vacation individually as well as together as a group or family. 

vacation zen

In order not to fall into this strap of getting locked down by feelings of frustration and anguish because our longtime needed vacation didn’t do the trick, we can take these three things into consideration before planning or leaving for our vacation. 

1.Set a Clear Intention 

Vacations often ‘fail’ when what we needed wasn’t fulfilled. We come back with a slight feeling of dissatisfaction, feeling we need a vacation from the vacation. Often times we blame outside events for our inadequate vacation without realizing that it is really us who define the success of our own vacation. One thing that has worked for me and my husband is to set a clear intention for the vacation. What do we want to get out of our vacation? Do we want to have an adventure, relax, self-nurture? Once we know what we aim for in a vacation we can look into what that requires. You can of course have more intentions with your vacation than just one, then just rank your intentions from the most important to the least important. 

2. Identify Your Vacation Stressors

Once you know your intention, then look at what stresses you when on vacation e.g. packing too many activities in during the day, getting up early, having no time for self-inquiry, too much driving and sitting down etc. When you start to think about what stresses you or have stressed you in the past you become aware of what triggers your vacation stress and then you can start to see what you truly need instead. 

For instance, for this summer vacation my intention was to be in nature, relax and be present to play and have fun with my kids. As I started to think about my vacation stressors then it was long drives with screaming kids on the backseat making my body and mind stiff, tired and energy deprived. It was having too many activities and social gatherings packed in leaving no time to be really be present with my kids. Additionally, having absolutely no time for myself depletes me and brings me in a bad mood - a total loose-loose for everyone involved. With all that in mind we planned a vacation to a summerhouse 45 minutes away from where we usually live, with a 5 minute walk to the beach so we didn’t have to drive, and with a huge garden to play and have fun in. Each day I set time aside to be with myself either on my yoga mat or running in nature. However, this would never had gone so smooth if it wasn’t because me and my husband had communicated about our needs and wants for having a truly relaxing and enjoyable time together.

3. Communicate with Your Travel Partner

Vacationing is rarely done alone, which is also why having set an intention and identified your stressors won’t have much impact if you don’t share it with your travel partner. When you are more people traveling, allowing for the group dynamic to flow you ALL have be aligned with what you want out of your vacation. In this case, sharing your intentions makes it possible for you to actually help fulfill the other person's intention and support the common or individual activities that brings this forth. 

So for me and my husband we actually shared the same vacation intention of wanting to relax and be present with our kids. However, what my husband needed in order to relax was not the same as me, so we had to take that into consideration. For instance he enjoys sleeping in having a quiet morning. I love to start the day with movement, so I would often do a short yoga practice or go for a run whilst he would wake up slowly with the kids. He would then later do something active where I would play with the kids. These individual “breaks” were no more than 30 minutes, which is not a lot in the big scheme of things, however, they needed to be communicated so as not to come as a complete surprise making grounds for unnecessary misunderstandings and confusion. The rest of the time we would be together doing whatever felt right at the moment. 

In short, communicating with your travel partner whilst planning or leaving for vacation is essential for the success of your vacation. Sharing intentions, stressors and supporting activities that can fulfill your individual needs and wants is a great way to ensure you have a truly relaxing and joyous time together.