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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

Freelance Writer/Blogger/Copywriter

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Last Updated on August 20, 2018

35 Anniversary Ideas to Bring You Closer Together

35 Anniversary Ideas to Bring You Closer Together

Every mature relationship has had a less-than-memorable anniversary. Maybe one of you forgot, or both of you got busy with work, kids, family issues, or something else. Whatever happened, the day came and went without fanfare. And neither of you seemed to notice or much care.

But for the health of any relationship, it’s important to make important days feel special. Anniversaries offer the wonderful opportunity to relive beautiful memories, practice gratefulness for your partner, and to show your love and strengthen your bond. Make this year’s anniversary with your significant other something special  — one that will bring you closer together.

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The best way to create a memorable anniversary is to do something new and different together as a couple. Stretch yourselves a bit.

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While boredom can silently kill a relationship, new experiences reinforce the shared bond you already have and create strong new memories. Just think back to the most significant memories you have right now with your spouse and imagine what new ones you can create!

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While you enjoy your chosen anniversary activity, be sure to keep a positive attitude and make your partner happy too on that day. Leave all arguments and day to day detail behind. Just celebrate your relationship. Whether you’re going to spend the day together at home, getting away, or having a wild and crazy new experience together, you can have your best anniversary yet!

If You’re Staying In

  1. Spend an evening with no technology, just the two of you and maybe a board game. It’s hard to keep ourselves away from our computers and smartphones long enough to have a meaningful conversation. Make a rule not to use your tech and you’ll rekindle your relationship!
  2. Make wine or beer together. If you enjoy drinking together, this is a fun activity to try together. Just remember to buy the necessary equipment ahead of time.
  3. Learn something new about each other. With an open mind, try asking some of the New York Times’ 36 questions that lead to love. They’ll help spark intimacy and will lead to some really honest moments.
  4. Have a lazy day. Breakfasts in bed, spend all day in bed talking and napping. Follow breakfast with champagne and dessert! If you feel like getting more active, cook together or play some games. Here’re some simple breakfast ideas for you.
    • Learn to dance at home. This is best for those active couples who work out together and also enjoy learning something new together. Just go on Youtube to find any music with dance tutorials and learn together.
    • Visit model homes or open houses and plan your dream home.
    • Have a special dessert – champagne and chocolate covered strawberries. Having an unusual treat makes a day feel extra special. If you want to make the dessert really special, try these tasty dessert recipes.
    • Create a playlist of your favorite songs as a couple. Choose songs that tell your story, and songs that you bonded over throughout your relationships. Here’re some love songs ideas for your inspirations.
      • Write your love story. Write it together or ave each of you write your own and then bring them together in an interesting, both sides of the story format.
      • Get a fondue pot. Fondue is a fun way to enjoy melted cheeses (for savory items) and melted chocolate (for sweeter treats).
      • Decorate! Turn your home into a dressed-up french cottage, a sophisticated restaurant, or simply with flowers. The different ambience will immediately change the feel of your home and make it feel like a staycation.
        • Talk about the future together. It might sound simple and everyday, but imagining how you want to spend your retirement together, or planning future trips can be exciting and romantic.

        If You Want to Get Away

        1. Take a day trip together to your favorite spot. If you live in a city, it can be incredibly refreshing to get away for an afternoon and drink in the outdoors.
        2. Go on a scenic drive and stop at a wine and cheese bar. Or, if you’re lucky enough to have lots of options where you live, try a brewpub. There are tons of small craft breweries with fantastic food options too.
        3. Go camping. Relatively affordable and, if the weather’s right, beautiful and romantic.
          • Take an overnight backpacking trip. For the more adventurous couples, backpacking is an even more intense way to challenge yourself physically while becoming one with nature.
          • Take a wine tasting tour. If you live on the West Coast or in the Northeast, take a drive to the nearest winery. Many offer relatively inexpensive tastings and deals if you purchase a certain amount.
          • Take a scenic train trip. Taking the train means less stress traveling: nobody has to drive, you don’t have to stop for breaks every few hours, and you can sleep if you need to!
          • Save up for a destination vacation. What better time than your anniversary to enjoy the beach at a beautiful resort?
          • Explore a new city. Whether you’re on a budget or have a lot saved up, you can have a great time just exploring an unfamiliar town.
          • Rent a cabin for a weekend away, in the woods or next to a lake or ocean. If you like the outdoors but can only take so much nature, try glamping.
            • Go on a retreat. Yoga retreats, meditation retreats, beautiful natural surroundings … they’re all the rage. Search for centeredness and calm with your partner.
            • Spend a day at a food festival. Many cities have fun and affordable food festivals, occasionally based on a theme. Check out your town’s (or a nearby city) calendar for inspiration!

            New & Exciting Experiences

            1. Go spelunking. Dark, damp, and utterly exciting!
            2. Go on a hot air balloon ride. Because the basket is relatively small, this can be a romantic and deeply personal – and yet thrilling –
              experience.
              • Try sky diving. If you and you S.O. are real thrill-seekers, sky diving can really push you to the edge!
              • Explore the underwater world by snorkeling or scuba diving. This may take you far away from where you normally live and work, which is an added bonus.
              • Experience white water rafting.
              • Drive or hike to the highest spot nearby for a new view of the world. America has tons of beautiful mountains where challenging hikes (or drives) can deliver breathtaking views.
              • Take a craft or cooking class. Up your craft skills or food  making skills, and enjoy something new!
                • Take a wine and painting class today. These classes are easily found these days and even a beginning painter can create a nice painting. Challenging but relaxing, fun, and you get to go home with some artwork!
                • Learn to salsa dance. Dancing is a fantastic way to actively get closer and coordinate physically with one another.
                  • Visit a nearby festival you’ve always wanted to go to. Have fun and let go with fellow audience-members!
                  • Spend the day at an amusement park together. Laugh and carry on like teenagers.
                  • Meet new people! At a restaurant, concert, or class, make it a point to meet new friends. Striking up conversation with someone you don’t know – but with whom you have shared interests – can be an adventurous and rewarding experience.

                  Whether your budget is big or small, and whether you have a little or a ton of time together, focus on each other. There are tons of options, in terms of location, level of physical activity, and cost. You can make the day special in a way that’s right for you!

                  Featured photo credit: Photo by Taylor L. Spurgeon on Unsplash via unsplash.com

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