Essential rules for a great vacation experience

I just came from a short trip, where I tried to balance work and pleasure. It was only two weeks, but it felt like one month. On our way back, it got me thinking why we usually wish we had one more week of vacation after long trips. What is the difference between long and short vacations? Is it possible to make all our travels unforgettable in a positive way?

During this trip, I realized even one week of holidays is enough to calm your mind and find peace. I came up with essential rules that help me to get as much as possible from my short vacations:

  • Turn off all notifications from work apps and emails. I usually delete slack from my phone. This time I was able to skip this tempting habit and ignored the app.
  • Plan a lot of meetings with relatives and friends. I had so many chats throughout the trip, so there wasn’t a single minute to think about work at my time off.
  • Look around, breathe, and appreciate the moment. I was happy to observe all the changes in the cities after two years of being apart from these places. Ultimately, it helped to train meditation skills since I was present all the time.
  • Find things and people that inspire you. I passed by a brand new store from Vika Moldavskaya and was happy to see how talented entrepreneurs bring their ideas into life. After seeing young Russian teams in action, I always get this “I want to do something great as they do” feeling.

I also discovered the most frequent oversights that drag me down to stress and easily ruin time off. Things to fix during my next trips:

  • Five extra minutes won’t help to finish all the pending tasks. I always try to finish small projects that could easily wait for a couple of weeks. I have a “this should be done now” feeling and try to complete a 3-week workload within one evening. But the truth is they won’t be gone in one week, and it is ok to procrastinate.
  • Work email and all collaborative platforms should be gone from a personal phone. I usually delete Slack for vacation time, but I am still a regular visitor of my work email box. I started with turning off notifications from the work email, but maybe it is better to delete it completely.
  • Time to meet new friends. It is such a great feeling to meet someone with different background who can share their story. I wish I went to some meet-ups or talked to strangers in the airport as I used to do. It always brings exciting stories and great connections.

Travel time could be tricky and a bit stressful in some cases, but it is always a great adventure that brings positive memories and experiences to our life. With some minor fixes and the right approach, it should be possible to recharge and prepare yourself for the following work ride.

What are your life hacks for the best possible travel experience?

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