|Americans are traveling in record numbers not seen since before Covid changed the way we live. Many couples are traveling together for the first time or for the first time in a long time. We also hear a lot about group trips with girlfriends. It’s a different kind of trip, but the challenges are similar. You can tell a lot about a friend when you see them manage the inevitable frustrations and inconveniences of travel. It’s also great to see our partners and friends cut loose and enjoy themselves away from the daily hassles at home. Because vacations put us out of our normal routines, people are not always at their best. Familiarity leads to comfort and, sometimes, a new experience can lead to discomfort. We’d like to provide some pointers to keep vacation stress to a minimum and relationship connection to a maximum.
1. Expect inconvenience and frustration. We don’t want you to manifest stress, but we certainly don’t want you to be blindsided by it either. People get inconvenienced and frustrated in their day-to-day lives, so you know it’s going to happen during infrequent vacations. Whether you are flying or driving, anticipate delays. Anticipate that everything will take longer than expected. We hate to say it, but it’s also going to cost more than expected. That’s the nature of vacations. You can get angry about it, or you can prepare for it.
2. Have some grace. We’re not suggesting you have to endure a temper tantrum or meltdown from your partner, but irritability is likely. It’s not always personal. We don’t know about you, but we appreciate when someone overlooks a snappy comment or exaggerated sigh. Never has the saying, “choose your battles”, been more applicable.
3. Leave some time unscheduled. Remember, vacations are intended to relax us. Jamming a vacation full of activities can cause you to miss some fantastic experiences that aren’t in the travel book or website. Consider asking someone at the front desk or your Airbnb host what their favorite part of the city is. Go to an interesting part of the city and just walk around. Wander down roads and into stores that might intrigue you. People watch. Get off the beaten track.
4. Relaxation matters. Don’t feel guilty staying in your hotel room watching the fourth episode of Ridiculousness. Vacations are meant to relax us. We know you vacation in a place you find interesting, but you want to return home refreshed. You can’t cram in every single possible experience and expect to feel relaxed. We know people who have to recover from their vacations. We want to come back from your vacations rested. Lazy is not a bad word on vacation. Image from rawpixel.com.