Ten Things to Do While on Vacation

Vacation season is here and many of us have made our plans. I hope you will carve out some time, even in a recession, to take a break from the daily grind of work and household responsibilities. Whether you plan a road trip with the family or flight to an exotic destination, periodic getaways help maintain balance in our hectic lives. Listed below are ten things to do while on vacation that will rejuvenate your mind, body, soul and spirit:

1. Relax. Leave your work at the office; it will be there when you return! Use your vacation to take a mental break from the rigors and pressures of meetings, guardian, boss, subordinates; and just relax. This is your opportunity to de-stress and enjoy your family and friends.

2. Read a book. Take along the type of book that you don’t typically read. If you are an avid reader of self-help books, read a novel instead. Free yourself from being concerned about what you need to improve, change or develop and allow yourself to escape.

3. Leave Your Blackberry at home. Take a deep breath! I know you think you can’t live without your gadgets and gizmos but you can. Think back ten years ago and remind yourself that you did just fine without all the advanced technological devices. It’s only a week. What you will find upon your return is that your one-week fast (or however long) helped break your addiction to it.

4. Take a tour of the city. Enjoy the sights and scenery around the city. Make reservations to take a coach tour of the city and surrounding area. Visit the museums, zoo, aquarium and historical sites. Take lots of pictures.

5. Listen to relaxing music. Fill your podcast with music that soothes the soul. Grab a lounge chair, put your feet up and allow your mind to wander. Of course, you will inevitably drift asleep. If you’re on a long road trip, play and sing relaxing songs. Research shows that relaxing music decreases stress by reducing activity in the central nervous system.

6. Walk. Even if you decide to take a break from the treadmill, don’t neglect walking altogether. It can be quite enjoyable when you’re walking along the beach, shopping the street vendors or visiting historical sites. Try taking a stroll after dinner in the early evening.

7. Get some sun. You might not be a sun buff, but don’t be afraid to get a few rays. Whether you lay on the beach, by the pool, under a palm tree, on a patio or balcony, soak up some sunshine. The sun is a natural source of vitamin D.

8. Buy souvenirs. Be sure to purchase souvenirs for friends and family back home, but also a few precious mementos that will help you to remember your experience. These might include sea shells, sharks tooth, rocks, black sand, dolls, china, art, native jewelry, etc.

9. Take in a show. Enjoy an evening of entertainment. Your hotel will have a local magazine or menu of shows and things to see.

10. Try something new. Experience the culture you’re visiting. Join in the native customs–dancing, food and attire. Participate in new activities such as horseback riding, snorkeling, speed boat riding, sand duning and other local festivities.

I encourage you to plan a vacation, however short, to incorporate as many of these suggestions as possible. Here’s to a swimmingly wonderful summer!

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