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How To Maximize Time On A Short Vacation

How To Maximize Time On A Short Vacation

With all the hustle, stress, struggles, and the sacrifices we have to go through in order to make a living, I won’t blame you if every now and then you plan a short vacation for the next weekend just to get away from it all!

After a few short months, I have a strong feeling your feet will feel the itch again for another one. This is the story of young working professionals across the globe today. Even if this is the case, they still open communication lines and bring some work along while travelling. (Especially, Millennials; they insert small pockets of time for work while vacationing just to make sure they don’t lag behind on projects upon getting back to work). Who can blame them? All of us deserve to take breathers every once in a while. In fact, many of the people I have interviewed expressed a revelation. To them: travel is not luxury, it’s necessity.

In light of this, I’ve compiled a list of tips from travel experts to make the most of your time while disappearing this weekend.

Time-maximizing tips you can pocket before flying

Plan ahead.

As soon as you have decided where you want to go, ask in advance for time off from work, and inform your boss exactly when you want to take the trip. That way, you’ll know in advance if you’ll get the schedule you’ve chosen or not. Either way, you can prepare much sooner. This will ensure that once you leave the office on the prearranged date, you’ll just need a quick bath, carry your luggage, and be on your way. You will not waste time packing and preparing since you’ve done that earlier.

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Extend your weekend getaway.

Don’t settle for a 2-day weekend. You can target a schedule where you can have a 3-day weekend, or, better yet, go for a schedule where Monday is a holiday, and then ask for a day off on a Friday before that particular holiday-Monday so you can assemble a 4-day weekend. This will give you additional two days to sightsee and enjoy your destination.

Prioritize.

Create a list of your must-sees and must-dos during your planning period. Answer the question: What is important to you? Think of something you can’t afford not seeing or doing. Mark that as your priority and plan to do it before anything else. Schedule it. Make the necessary reservations. Do everything you need to do to prepare for that item on your list.

One of my friends said, “when my family went to Florence, I knew my wife wanted to behold the city as the sun sets. The statue of David wasn’t that important to her, so it was positioned last in our list.” Their vacation ended without visiting the statue, but they don’t feel bad. They are happy they had the opportunity to see and experience the items on top of their list.

Get some shut- eye.

If your trip is overnight, make the most of it by getting a good night sleep. Even if (yeah, it’s a given) the quality of sleep you’ll get on a bus or a plane is way poorer than your sleep in your own bed, you can do something to improve your chances of getting a good one by bringing shut-eye paraphernalia: an eye mask, Ostrich Pillow, and SleepPhones to create your own little doze sanctuary on the plane or bus.

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Factor in your destination time zone.

Travel expert  says, if you live in Chicago– and as much as you love to go to Asia or Europe– when it comes to traveling over a limited time (e.g. the 4-day weekend I suggested above), it is much wiser to fly south.

Why? Let me explain. First, time zones are close. The time difference between Chicago, Central and South America is just a few hours apart; the best part is in Central, there’s no time difference. As a consequence, your body won’t need to adjust and abruptly shift to a seven-hour time change. Surely, you wouldn’t want that! It may leave you sluggish for many hours which can spell a disaster. Remember, your trip is ultra short already.

Second, overnight flights are a better option; with them, time can be used more cleverly. Lots of flights going to South American countries like Colombia, Chile, Argentina, Brazil have red-eyes that depart from Miami, Houston, or Fort Lauderdale around midnight and arrive in the morning. If, like my friend, you can drink a glass of wine and after a few minutes be ready to doze off anywhere (in this case) on the plane, it would be easy to decide and take this trip, because, you can fall asleep in Miami and wake up in Rio. Simple.

Stay in a hostel.

OK, hostels are cheap, but that’s not the only reason they’re a great place to stay. Being billeted in a hostel makes it easy to meet people and explore parts of the city that tourists may usually miss. I suggest you hang out in the common areas. They are commonly full of fun-seeking travelers like you, local guides looking for gigs, and bulletin boards filled with posters and flyers promoting local activities and festivals.

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Rent a bike instead of a car.

Biking around with the aim of having an adventure is one of the most effective ways of getting to know a new place. It’s obviously faster than walking, but slow enough to let you stop and visit a house museum or a quirky shop if that’s your fancy. And since you’re the navigator (and not a taxi driver) you’ll get acquainted to the town more quickly. Besides, you can hit the breaks and snap photos of hidden scenic spots whenever your inner artist prompts you to.

Book a hostel near the action.

This is self explanatory. If you stay near the places you want to see and want to be in close proximity to the activities you want to do, you’ll be quicker getting to them, and, for sure, you’ll be able to allot more time exploring the place.

Make an itinerary.

After you have set your priorities, start reserving spots and buying tickets for unique experiences your destination can offer, and schedule the rest of your vacation days around the top priorities in your list.

Do your assignment; find out the length of time it takes to get from activity A to activity B. It’s as easy as breathing to make your weekend’s itinerary with minimal wasted time. Creating an itinerary may even help you make more time to fit in additional precious experiences at your chosen destination!

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Do you have other ideas? Don’t hesitate to share them.

Featured photo credit: Plane above the head/Deniz Altindas via unsplash.com

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Anthony Dejolde

TV/Radio personality who educates his audience on entrepreneurship, productivity, and leadership.

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Last Updated on February 21, 2019

12 Best Brain Foods That Improve Memory and Boost Brain Power

12 Best Brain Foods That Improve Memory and Boost Brain Power

Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory:

1. Nuts

The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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2. Blueberries

Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

3. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

4. Broccoli

While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

6. Soy

Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

7. Dark chocolate

When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate:

15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

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B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

9. Foods Rich in Zinc

Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

10. Gingko biloba

This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

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It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

11. Green and black tea

Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

Find out more about green tea here:

11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

12. Sage and Rosemary

Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

More Resources About Boosting Brain Power

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Reference

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