Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Planning a Relaxing Vacation

A common so-called irony in life, is when a person finally gets around to taking a much needed vacation, and falls ill as soon as they are away from work.

The reason for this situation being common is easily explained. Most people, as they are preparing for a vacation, are in a hectic state; trying to tie up loose ends at work, getting packed, finding a house and or pet sitter, finding visas or passports, organizing and cleaning the house, getting the yard prepared, creating “to do” lists for people, the list goes on. When you finally set off on your vacation, your body needs a break. Your immune system has been suffering from lack of sleep and excess stress. It’s an ideal time for a virus to attack and get a solid foothold.

There’s another reason illness attacks during vacation. Often people choose a trip that is not relaxing for them.

Two years ago my wife and I went on a vacation with friends. We went cross-country skiing at a resort. The cabin we stayed in was beautiful, we were surrounded with close friends, and the weather was nice - Seemed like a recipe for a wonderful vacation. Unfortunately, our friends were far better skiers than us, and ran us so ragged we were painfully stiff for days. Also, we let loose in the evenings, and trying to keep up with our friends' drinking proved to be a big mistake. My wife and I returned from our vacation exhausted and ill.

The way to avoid a poor vacation is to plan ahead.

- Think about what the purpose of the vacation is. If your aim is to reduce tension after a busy time at work, make sure the destination will give you the peace and calm you need.
- Take a vacation before your vacation. Take three or four days off work before your vacation begins, so that you can get organized, and begin to slow down your pace gradually.
- Get prepared, well before your vacation. If you will need any documentation (visa/passport), prescriptions, reservations, tickets, etc… get them all in advance. Nothing is more comforting than a sense of preparedness.
- Lastly, do not feel like you have to do anything on your vacation. Often there is pressure to go site-seeing, or participate in social events. If you feel like staying in the room and reading a book, that’s probably what you should do.

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