Having a stress-free vacation may seem like a long shot to you as there is usually something to worry about. Rest assured though, it’s not impossible – it can happen – and you can take the following easy steps to make the process and your time away as stress free as possible.

1. Don’t Check Work Email

This may seem like a simple idea, but in today’s working environment, work is intertwined with our lives and we never shut it off. When you are on a vacation, you are off the grid. Turn off the email notifications and set the work phone to voice mail. The world will not end with you gone for a few weeks.

2. Don’t Make Yourself Too Reachable

Yes, you need to be available if your mother tries to reach you about a family emergency; however, you do not need all of your devices available in an instant so you can automatically respond. This is vacation. Turn off notifications for work, social media, and apps, and maybe even turn off your phone. As I said before, the world is not going to end, and if you are away from home something can probably wait at least a few hours until you check your messages again.

3. Pack Lightly

I used to be someone who overpacked and used only half of what was in my luggage. Now I have found vacations to be stress free by packing light – usually just taking a 21-inch carry-on bag for three weeks or more. You have plenty of resources wherever you are traveling to pick up necessities that you may have forgotten. So don’t think that you have to take your entire closet with you.

4. Don’t Plan Every Minute of Your Trip

Learn to go with the flow. We all have ideas of what we want to see and do at a location, but planning every single event down to the minute keeps you worrying about the time instead of enjoying what is right in front of you. Take a moment and relax knowing that you will see what you have time for and that shoving everything into one itemized, minute-by-minute itinerary is just going to put more stress on your supposed stress-free vacation.

5. Ask Locals for Recommendations

Want to know where to eat? Ask a local. Want to know about the best sunset views in the city? Ask a local. Locals are the ones who live in the city. They have been here longer than you. Maybe you should bypass the overrated tourist trap restaurant and opt for the family-run, five-star restaurant that is a few streets away.

6. Let Go

If something does not go exactly as planned, just let it go. Don’t fret and let one small thing ruin an entire vacation. This just creates added stress. Learn to go with the flow on vacation and be present. Enjoy the moment and most of all relax because that’s what vacations are about.

7. Don’t Stress About Your House

So, you’ve planned a vacation and are all packed and ready to leave. Suddenly, you realize your house is now in disarray and that you should stay up until 4 a.m. cleaning just to make sure it is spotless for when you come home in 10 days. Right? Wrong. Let it go. If you do not get any sleep before your trip, are you going to be ready for a full day of vacation the next morning? Probably not. You’ll want to sleep, or you’ll be cranky. The house cleaning can wait. The other small things can wait until you come back too. If it’s not necessary, don’t get yourself in a tizzy trying to be superman or superwoman attempting to do it all. When you come home, you can get it all finished, but don’t think about that until you are home and not on vacation anymore.

8. Relax

If you have gotten this hint yet, relax. In order to have a stress-free vacation, you have to relax. Let go of what you can’t control and go with the flow. Enjoy your trip and keep the stress levels low by having an open mind, disconnecting, and not fretting over the small things.

A stress-free vacation is possible. Just relax, go with the flow, and have fun.

Featured photo credit: M Ezzeddine via flickr.com

Love this article?