Intentional Vacation Musings

Vacation ~ holiday, break, trip, rest, retreat, leave, escape ~

Intentional Vacation ~ a vacation that renews, rebalances, revitalizes and positively changes one’s life ~

As I ponder over these definitions of “vacation” many conflicting images come to mind….

So how was your last vacation? Perhaps the truer question is “when”?  Did you know that most Europeans receive five weeks of paid vacation per year and that most of the country goes on a mass vacation in mid-July until mid-August?

But I’m getting diverted.  What is it that makes a vacation, truly a vacation?  To be more specific, when one returns home feeling rested, invigorated, alive and ready to tackle life!  Clothes all fit a bit looser; relationships are better; the image in the mirror looks great, right?   You’re smiling at everything!

What is it that creates this kind of outcome?  The tricky part is that it certainly isn’t the same for everyone, nor is it the same time after time for anyone.  Here are a few guidelines I’ve found to be effective when creating your next “vacation”.  See how well they fit!

  • Travel light, travel tight ~

Most of us could bring half of what we take.  Buy yourself a really light, carry-on size roller bag or whatever fits your travels.  Bring clothes that can be mixed and matched such as tops and bottoms and layers.  Choose fabrics that are durable and dry quickly.  Skip the cotton!  Bring a travel clothesline that sticks to a shower or clips on and wash out occasionally.  The image I like to use with my clients is one of running with your entire luggage up and down stairs to catch a train.  Would you make it?  PS  It’s also easier on your back!

  • Consolidate your travels ~

Perhaps the biggest mistake I see Americans making is trying to do too much.  Think of it this way, every travel day is like a day out of one’s vacation.  You’ll get more ‘bang for your buck’ if you concentrate on one or two closer regions.  Another good trick here is use what’s called an “open jaws” flight.   This way one can arrive at one airport and leave from another and enjoy the journey in-between!  It’s about the same price as a regular flight.

  • Mix it up ~

Know what kinds of activities are available in the area that you are visiting and plan your day so that your activities vary from one part of the day to the next.  For example this summer we coordinated a layover day in Torino for a family that was journeying from Venice to Paris.  We picked them up in the morning and took them for a hike at the foot of the Matterhorn on the Italian side, the afternoon was spent visiting a beautiful castle in the Aosta valley and dinner was at an authentic restaurant at the foot of Monte Bianco (Mont Blanc).  They were safely tucked back in their beds in Torino rested and ready for the train ride to Paris the next morning.  Naturally this schedule isn’t for everyone, but you get the idea.  One more pointer here, if you’re visiting a museum, limit your time to 2-3 hours and then go do something outside such as a stroll and lunch in the plaza or park.  The paintings will look better!

  • Know before you go / Have a plan ~

I do love spontaneity.  Some of the most magical moments have happened wandering around.  The secret here is perhaps to create the spontaneity within a structure.  I give my clients choices within an area or a day/time schedule.  Know what’s available and then you won’t be disappointed to find out your destination is closed or a very long and complicated journey.  This gives a flow to the day!  Besides, who wants more structure while on vacation!

These work equally well for a road trip to Utah or two weeks in Spain.  May all your vacations to come be a restful escape!

“Intentional Vacations LLC”.  Check out our hiking & cultural tours in the European Alps, Yoga Retreats in Mexico and custom and extended tours.

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