When done right, a vacation should be a wonderfully uplifting and enriching experience. The act of getting away from the familiar and exploring the unknown should trigger fascination, gratitude, wonder, and a sense of possibility, to say the least.
Unfortunately, it is possible to sabotage your travels, and have a pretty miserable time, all things considered, if you aren’t careful about maintaining the right personal behaviors and standards to keep you in an upbeat and receptive mood while on the road.
So, whether you’re weighing up charter plane cost to reward ratios for a South American vacation, or planning out the best backpacking routes in Central Europe, here are some key things you should do in order to remain happy on your travels.
Decide, realistically, what luxuries you need to feel satisfied
If you’re traveling on a fairly tight budget, especially, it may often be tempting to go for the harshest, least cozy, and most frustrating accommodations, travel options, and destination choices, out of a desire to stretch your money as far as it can possibly go on the trip.
Perhaps you are the kind of person who can sleep anywhere without a worry, but it’s worth considering that you might also not be that person, and that creating an overly grueling itinerary might just ruin your mood and put a damper on the entire vacation.
Before heading off on your travels, at the stage when you’re putting together your itinerary and travel budget, decide, realistically on the level of amenities and luxuries you will need in order to feel satisfied.
Err on the side of caution, and try not to put yourself in any situations that are highly likely to ruin your mood.
Choose activities that meet your comfort level, too. For instance, for a younger person, the thrill of something exhilarating might reflect their sense of self, while a simple meal out in a nice restaurant might be the idea of enjoyment for an older person.
Stay well fed on your trip
Nutrition is often one of the very first things that go straight out the window when traveling, but it’s impossible to overstate just what a fundamental role good nutrition plays in your overall energy levels and mood.
While it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to stick to any particularly stringent dietary rules when out traveling — and it’s probably a good idea not to have too many rules restricting your eating when you’re away, as this will just lead to inconvenience and inevitable under-eating — it is essential that you eat relatively well, and stay well-fed.
Experiencing caloric deficits on your travels — and missing out on the most essential micro-nutrients found in food — will dramatically elevate your stress hormone production, and invariably put you in a bad mood.
Consider relaxation at least as important as adventure
A vacation should be about two things, primarily; adventure, and relaxation.
When travelling to far away exotic places, it can be very tempting to remain in “adventure-mode” the whole time, sleeping little, and cramming every day full of interesting sightseeing activities and novel experiences.
But to maintain a well-balanced mood, not to mention high energy levels, it’s important that you also consider relaxation to be at least as important as adventure. Set aside a day here or there, or at least a few afternoons, for just lounging around.
Enjoy yourself in the moment
When you’re on a vacation, don’t forget to appreciate the scenery, the company, even the change of pace from the ordinary. Enjoy yourself in the moment, even if your actual experiences are different than you had imagined them to be. We all can agree that vacations can be ruined if things fail to meet our expectations. But remember to enjoy your experiences for what they are, instead of fretting over what they are not. In a nutshell, be open minded about different experiences. This will add levels of enjoyment to your trip.
I hope these tips helped you or at least gave you a fresh perspective. Have an amazing trip whenever and wherever you go on a vacation next! Stay curious, stay joyful!
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