Have you ever thought about how much time we devote to vacation planning? We pick out flights and hotels with care. We scope out fun restaurants before we go. And we take extra care to plan outfits and pack appropriately. (And if you’re like me, you also start a Pinterest board for outfit inspiration months before you go.)
In short, you do a lot of prep work before your travels, trying to make the most out of your vacation. Yet when it comes to the mental prep before a trip, most of us don’t give it a second thought.
Have you ever gone on a trip, hoping for relaxation, only to return home feeling like you ran around the whole time? Or maybe you wanted to be adventurous, trying new things, only to find yourself eating the same stuff you do at home. Maybe you started your vacation with every intention to slow down and be more patient with your family, but then halfway through the trip you’re tense and irritable when plans don’t quite work out.
You go eager to make the most out of your vacation. But if you’re not intentional, it’s easy to veer off path.
My favorite tip for making the most out of your vacation and really getting what you want from the experience? Choose a buzzword for your trip. Create a catchphrase for your vacation. Think about how you want to be, feel, and act while you’re traveling and center your phrase on that. Then, in moments of choice or decision, use your buzzword to guide you. Use your catchphrase to remind you what you want and how you want to be.
When we were in Paris this spring, I really wanted to slow down and experience the city at a less touristy pace. I tend to overplan, and I wanted to be open to whatever the city presented. So before we left, I thought long and hard about how I wanted to feel on the trip. How I wanted to be and how I wanted to approach moments of choice. I chose the word “wander” for the trip. And I used that word, over and over while we were there.
I must have whispered my buzzword to myself a hundred times on that trip. Wander. It reminded me to stray from my plans and take advantage of whatever was in front of me at that moment. It helped me be active and intentional about what I wanted, making the the most out of my trip.
The key is to keep your word or phrase short and sweet, so that you can lean on it, over and over across your vacation. Slow down. Be adventurous. Go with the flow. Say yes. Make time for laughter. Veer off the path. Wander. Forget the schedule. Try something new. Be patient.
Vacations aren’t something you do everyday, so it’s important to be intentional about them. Choose a word of phrase to guide you while you’re there, helping you get what you truly desire from your travels.
If you have an upcoming vacation, what word or phrase do you want to use to help you make the most out of your vacation?
PS: Want more tips for making the most of your vacation? Learn 5 Super Simple Ways to Practice Mindfulness While Traveling.