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Planning (And Optimizing) An Amazing Vacation With Friends Without Going Bonkers

Planning (And Optimizing) An Amazing Vacation With Friends Without Going Bonkers

The most anticipated time of the year is vacation season. It doesn’t matter how old are you or if you work or not, a vacation is something everybody looks forward to — going skiing, camping on the lake, going on a hike, or the famous sunbed-cocktails-sea-partying-until-you-drop style of trip. We all love holidays for many reasons, and if you are able to go on vacation mode every now and then, consider yourself lucky.

Even though it brings many benefits, and it is necessary, planning a vacation can be painful and boring. Especially if your plans are not realized because of various reasons. It takes time to figure out how to choose between countless options, decide which route to take, or which place to stay, simply because the hospitality industry is booming.

Let’s try to optimize the process, bring more joy and relaxation into our lives, and avoid that so-many-options-I-don’t-know-what-to-choose nightmare.

Choosing the destination & transportation

    Image Credit: Luke Price, Flickr

    The first step in the planning process starts with a simple question: where do you want to go? This is the question you need to ask yourself. Before answering it, you need to be realistic and to think about your budget. Although we all want to travel and explore distant and exotic destinations, it is not always possible to do so. Decide how much money you can and want to spend and the planning can begin. Have your friends’ budgets and preferences in mind; the best practice is to have a meeting where you guys discuss and make a decision on where you’ll go.

    Once you know the destination, you should decide whether you are going to travel by bus, car, or plane. This selection should be based on your budget (again) and what you find most satisfying. Many people choose to travel by plane. It’s easy to understand why: the trip is comfortable and it saves time.

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    Luckily, these days very affordable tickets can be found online. There are apps like Justfly that can help you book flights, hotels, and car rentals. There is also another way to pay less for the plane ticket: many airline companies offer discounts for buying tickets in advance. You just need to search the web and be patient.

    Traveling by car is ideal for families or a group of friends on shorter distances. The time spent on the road is perfect for bonding and creating new memories. Traveling with friends or family is a good choice for safety reasons as well. If the driver gets tired, someone else can take over. Another advantage of traveling by car is that you can make your own route and visit many places, which is impossible with commercial transportation (unless you book an excursion).

    Traveling by bus can be the least comfortable option, but it also has its advantages. You don’t have to worry about driving, the road, or the fuel. You just arrive at your destination (hopefully not too tired).

    Choosing the sites you’ll visit

      When your destination is chosen and your hotel and transportation booked, the first batch of weight is off your back. Now comes the second part of holiday planning — you need to know what you’ll see and do on your holiday.

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      There are two types of people: the ones who “go with the flow” and ones who plan where to go. Even though I’m not against spontaneous life and holidays, here’s a question:

      Who do you think has more problems on a holiday, a planner or someone who just goes with the flow?

      Of course, the second group tends to encounter more problems because they don’t know where to go, how to prepare for certain activities, what they should bring, the prices of fares and tickets, which times they can visit certain attractions, etc. In these situations, “easy-goers” usually spend time planning and deciding what to do on the go, deducting time from their holiday.

      I don’t think you want this, right?

      Find a balance. You can at least get to know the destination, its biggest attractions and admission times and fares (I’ve found myself in front of closed museums and monuments way too often), how much time is necessary to get from the point A to point B, and the overall expenses for almost everything. Sites like Numbeo, Lonely Planet, and TripAdvisor can help you in preparing.

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      Choose your company

        Image Credit: Denali National Park and Preserve, Flickr

        If you want to have a perfect holiday, choose your company wisely. Imagine this situation: chilling out in a perfect destination, completely relaxed and calm, feeling like you don’t have a single worry in the world, and suddenly you hear the voice of your workaholic friend talking about office stuff.

        It kills the feeling, right?

        When choosing travel companion(s), it is important to think about the personality of your friend(s). For example, your best friend is someone with whom you can talk about everything, share your deepest secrets, and laugh all night, but your bestie might like to sleep until the noon. On a vacation, this can be a problem, especially if you are planning to get up early every morning to go sightseeing, sunbathe, or just have an early breakfast. You will have an obligation to wake your best buddy every morning, and he or she will feel the same way. You will start as friends but might end up more like frenemies.

        The worst part – packing

          Image Credit: cmor15, Flickr

          For many, packing is an annoying activity that needs to be done before the trip. It tends to be exhausting and unnecessarily dramatic.

          Packing can a nerve-racking activity for many reasons. The first major problem is picking the right clothes. In most cases, there are two scenarios: either a whole wardrobe is packed or barely anything is packed. A lot of people tend to overpack, but there is no need to overpack; it can be avoided.

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          The best way to pack and avoid these two situations is to do your research about the destination, plan what you are going to visit and do, and then make a list of all the things you will need. When you put everything on paper, you’ll be more efficient and you’ll optimize your packing to utilize 100% of your packed stuff.

          Can planning be fun?

            Image Credit: Marc Kjerland, Flickr

            Although you might want to get out of your work lifestyle and chill out, going on a holiday without plans can be troublesome (or simply won’t be as awesome as it could be). It is possible to plan and optimize everything without getting bored or tired.

            Let your imagination run free and think about all the wild, unexplored, and exotic destinations that you can visit. Invite your friends, open a bottle of wine, and plan the route of your trip together.

            If you can’t agree with the choice of the hotel, destination, or transportation, vote — make the game out of it. Life is about the little things, so get the most out of it.

            I wish you many happy (and well-planned) holidays this year!

            Featured photo credit: yoppy via flickr.com

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            Dejan Kvrgic

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            Last Updated on May 28, 2020

            How to Overcome Boredom

            How to Overcome Boredom

            Have you ever been bored? Restless? Fidgety? In need of some inspiration?

            I have a theory on boredom. I believe that the rate of boredom has increased alongside the pace of technology.

            If you think about it, technology has provided us with mobile phones, laptops, Ipads, device after device – all to ultimately fix one problem: boredom.

            What is Boredom?

            We have become a global nation that feeds on entertainment. We associate ‘living’ with ‘doing’. People now do not know how to sit still, and we feel guilty when we are not doing anything. Today, inactivity has become the ultimate sin.

            You might not realize it, but boredom stimulates a form of anxiety and stress. It evokes an emotional state that creates frustration and feeds procrastination.

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            It’s a desire to be ‘doing something’ or to be ‘entertained’ – it’s a desire for sensory stimulation. What it boils down to is a lack of focus.

            If you think about those times when you’re bored, it’s usually because you did not know what to do. So, indecision also plays a big part.

            When we are focused on what’s important to us and what we want to achieve, it’s pretty hard to be bored. So, one answer to boredom is to become focused on what you want.

            Sometimes It’s Good to Be Bored

            If boredom is a desire for sensory stimulation – then what’s the opposite of that? To be content with no stimulation – in other words – to enjoy stillness.

            Sometimes, it’s not boredom itself that causes the frustration but the resistance to doing nothing.

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            Think about it. What would happen if you were to ‘let go’ of the desire to be entertained? You wouldn’t be bored anymore, and you will feel more relaxed!

            In my experience, it’s often the most obvious, simplistic solutions that are the most powerful in life. So, when you’re bored, the easiest way to combat this is to enjoy it.

            It may sound weird but think of ‘boredom’ as a form of ‘relaxation’. It’s a break from the constant stimulation that 21st-century living provides – constant TVs, mobile phones, radios, internet, emails, phone calls, etc.

            Who knows, maybe ‘boredom’ is actually good for us?

            Next time you’re ‘feeling bored’ instead of feeding the frustration by frantically looking for something to do, maybe you can sit back, relax, and savor the feeling of having nothing to do.

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            In this article, I’ll share with you my 3-step strategy on how to overcome boredom.

            3-Step Strategy to Overcome Boredom

            1. Get Focused

            Instead of chasing sensory stimulation at random, focus on what’s really important to you. Focusing on something important helps prevent boredom because it forces you to utilize your time productively.

            You should ask yourself: what would make good use of your time? What could you be doing that would contribute to your major goals in life?

            Here are a few ideas:

            • Spend some time in quiet contemplation considering what’s important to you.
            • Start that creative project you’ve been talking about for the last few weeks.
            • Brainstorm: think of some ideas for new innovative products or businesses.

            2. Kill Procrastination

            Boredom is useful in some ways because it gives you the energy and time to do things. It is only a problem if you let it. But if you use it to motivate yourself to be productive, then you can more easily overcome boredom.

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            So, the next time you’re bored, why not put this good energy to use by ticking off those things that you have been meaning to get done but have been too busy to finish? This also presents a great time for you to clear your to-do list.

            Here are some ideas:

            • Do some exercise.
            • Read a book.
            • Learn something new.
            • Call a friend.
            • Get creative (draw, paint, sculpt, create music, write).
            • Do a spring cleaning.
            • Wash the car.
            • Renovate the house.
            • Re-arrange the furniture.
            • Write your shopping list.
            • Water the plants.
            • Walk the dog.
            • Sort out your mail & email.
            • De-clutter (clear out that wardrobe).

            3. Enjoy Boredom

            If none of the above solutions work, then you can try a different approach. Don’t give in to boredom and instead choose to enjoy it. This doesn’t mean allowing yourself to waste your time being bored. Instead, think of it as your time to relax and re-energize, which will help you be more productive the next time you work.

            Contrary to popular belief, we don’t need to be constantly doing things to be productive. In fact, research has shown that people are more productive when they take periods of rest to recharge.[1] Taking breaks once in a while helps boost your performance and can help make you feel more motivated.

            So, take some time to relax. You never know, you might even like it.

            Final Thoughts

            Learning how to overcome boredom may be difficult at the beginning, but it can be easier if you make use of some techniques. You can start with my 3-step strategy on how to overcome boredom and work your way from there. So, ready your mind and make use of these tips, and you will be overcoming boredom in no time.

            More Tips on Overcoming Boredom

            Featured photo credit: Johnny Cohen via unsplash.com

            Reference

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