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How many times have you heard this from coworkers, or even said it yourself: “I need a vacation from my vacation!”

Why is it that so many vacation experiences end up being stressful, when “stress” and “vacation” should be polar opposites? Vacation stress can come from being unable to disconnect from work, trying to keep kids and teens occupied, packing in too many activities, or simply not making time for yourself to unplug and relax.

Check out these nine quick tips to a less stressful, more restful vacation:

1. Family Vacation? Plan It as a Family
In order to avoid disagreements, include your kids in discussions about your vacation early on. Search destinations with activities and attractions that will appeal to everyone. When you plan together, realistic expectations can be set, and chances are greater that everyone will stay happy.

2. Pack Less
Are you the kind of person who ends up wearing only half of what you packed in your luggage? Pack lighter; you really can fit everything you need for up to a three-week vacation in just a 21-inch carry-on bag. Remind yourself that you have the option to pick up necessities you may have left at home while you are traveling, and you can always shop for clothes on vacation, too. That’s part of the fun! Lighten your load—your back and shoulders will thank you!

3. Loosen Up That Itinerary
Go with the flow and stay in the present moment. We all have expectations about what we want to see and do once we reach our vacation destination, but scheduling too many attractions and being a slave to a rigid schedule is a recipe for stress and exhaustion. Take a moment to enjoy what is right in front of you; you will see what you have time for. With this attitude, you’re much more likely to enjoy a stress-free vacation.

4. Avoid “Vacation Cleaning Syndrome”
It’s the day before your vacation and you suddenly realize your house needs cleaning, so you stay up until 3 a.m. to make sure it’s spotless for your homecoming. Let it go! If you don’t get any sleep before your trip, you’re setting yourself up for a draining travel experience. The house cleaning can wait until you return home. Don’t think about it while you’re on vacation, either!

5. Don’t Check Work Email & Voicemail
Easy, right? Not so much, especially in today’s work environment where technology keeps us in touch 24/7. Here’s a quick rule to adopt: When you are on a vacation, go off the grid. Turn off the email notifications and set the work phone to voicemail. The world will not end just because you are gone for a week or two.

That being said…

5B. Give Yourself Permission to Check In
Should I listen to that voicemail or check my work email? Depending on your personal anxiety level, you can choose to either check in or not. The goal is to separate yourself from work as much as possible, but sometimes a quick check of your messages can help relieve your angst that the office is falling apart without you. Then go back to enjoying your frozen margarita on your floating lounge chair.

6. Don’t Make Yourself Too Available
While you need to be within reach if there’s an emergency back home, but that doesn’t mean you have to be on high alert. Turn off work notifications, give social media and apps a break, and maybe even (gasp!) turn off your phone. You’ll find that the world will keep on spinning, and you can pick right up where you left off when you power up your phone again.

7. Don’t Hit the Ground Running
Once you’ve reached your destination, you should give yourself at least two or three days to de-stress and detach from everyday mode and transition to a blissful, relaxed vacation frame of mind. Don’t put pressure on yourself to feel calm, happy and at ease the moment you arrive at your vacation spot or it might have the opposite effect.

8. When in Doubt, Ask a Local
Want to know the best places to enjoy authentic cuisine? Looking for the best sunset views? How about the best shops for souvenirs? Ask a local. They know the popular spots and hidden gems, plus most are eager to share their knowledge of what their town has to offer.

9. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
Let go of what you can’t control. Enjoy your trip and keep stress levels low by having an open mind, disconnecting and not fretting over the small things.

Remember these keys to a relaxing vacation: detach, be in the moment and have fun!

Book your next relaxing and stress-free Bluegreen vacation today!

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