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Vacation should be about leaving the stresses and cares of your normal life behind and recharging your mental battery. However, too often stress can follow us, making a relaxing getaway not so relaxing. Here are a few tips to make it easier to unwind on your vacation.

Plan ahead before you leave work

A vacation should be time spent away from your job; not worrying about work left behind. Think ahead to what will need to be taken care of while you are gone. Handle things that you can ahead of time, and delegate those that you can’t. Put an out-of-office message on your voicemail and email to let people know when you will return and what to do in your absence. Knowing that things will be running smoothly while you are gone will make your vacation more enjoyable and keep your mind off of work.

Keep itineraries reasonable

Do your research ahead of time and figure out a reasonable itinerary. Only choose things to do and see that will fit into your itinerary with a little downtime added in to every day. Assume you will have the opportunity to return and don’t worry about not seeing everything that you can.

Pick the right accommodations

Choosing a place to stay that doesn’t fit with your needs or desires can ruin an otherwise great vacation. Think about what will be best for all family members and research what is available to get the most suitable accommodations, whether that means a full-service resort, a limited-service hotel, or bed and breakfast.

Pack smart

Plan what to wear and choose clothing items that can be mixed and matched, as well as layers for changing temperatures. Picking out what clothes you want to take ahead of time, saves last-minute stress and the potential for forgetting anything important. Overpacking can cost extra in baggage fees when flying as well, and fill up your vehicle when driving, causing even more avoidable stress. If you are flying, make sure to pack important items like medicines, identification, and items to entertain children in carry-on luggage. Be sure to check the TSA’s guidelines about items in carry-ons.

Put phones away

Whether it’s email, text, or social media, phones seem to always be demanding attention. Unplug from the incessant demands by putting your mobile phone on airplane mode during times you don’t want to be interrupted. Check it only at set intervals. Let friends and family know that you will be responding only at certain times.

Disconnect from social media while you are on your trip. Post photos after you return home. This will save time for more recreational activities, and keep you from comparing your vacation to someone else’s over Facebook (an increasingly common issue).

Putting a little thought and planning into your vacation can help eliminate stress, have a more enjoyable trip, and return refreshed and energized.