Half a Dozen Things to Consider Before Vacationing
You have been working hard and are close the 'burn out' phase or a reward for a job well done is in order. Whatever the reason you have been granted some time off and you have decided to spend it away from home. There will be no daily household chores, annoying neighbors, or door to door vendors, no lawn to mow, or garbage to take out. Freedom from the mundane or maddening awaits you.
Before you venture out into the world of exotic and relaxing locales, there are a few things you should consider and will have to decide upon before the fun begins.
The Destination: Where am I Going?
More than likely you already have an idea as to where you would like to go for your rejuvenation. If not, then consider whether you want excitement or quiet, entertainment or contemplation, something completely new or something cozy and familiar. If you have the good fortune of having a lengthy vacation time allotted to you, perhaps combine a few of the facets of each experience even if they seem to contrast each other.
What Should I Bring On Board?
Before setting out your swimsuit or clothing consider packing these items first in your carry-on luggage:
Sunscreen-even snowboarding under overcast skies or do not plan on leaving your room for most of your visit, it is always advisable to take UV protection with you. If it is not nighttime, the sun is shining, brightly or not and UV can still do damage.
New Toothbrush- your dentist will be very glad to know that you are still concerned about dental health abroad and do not wish to take old germs or birng back new ones from your destination. A disposable toothbrush is hygenic and inexpensive as well as a method of preventing oral infection.
Sunglasses- eyes need UV protection as much as the rest of the body. While good sunglasses may seem initially costly, the benefits of UV protection to the eyes preventing future damage are priceless.
Who Will Watch My Home and Possessions While I'm Away?
In film and television, one of the quirkiest plots for movies is the concept of an inept housesitter making a mess of their charge either through mishaps or parties. It is wise to find a trusted friend or neighbor to do this for you and perhaps even give them a trial run staying at a local motel and making a 'surprise' return.
How Will I Get There?
Your destination may determine your mode of transportation out of necessity. Obviously you cannot drive to Europe or take a train to Australia. The way you travel affects the way you pack, dress, and all other facets of your trip.
When flying, consider bringing a change of clothes in the overnight or carry-on baggage in case of inclement weather or other issues that may cause you to be delayed or stranded. The same principle applies to travel by bus.
Tips, Thank You Notes, and Other Gestures
While not widely considered important, when a hotel or cafe' recieves a note of thanks, wheels in management and other levels of employment turn smoothly and happily. Employees feel empowered and truly appreciated for a job well done while owners and managers feel pride in their employees and work. Be sure to name names, give details, and still be brief in notes while being as complimentary as possible.
Tipping is a common courtesy in the US, but is a must outside the country. Tip at least 20% of the bill unless it is included (which the waiter or maitre de will inform you of beforehand). Tipping should also be done at hotels for maids and concierge service as a courtesy.
Notes and compliments should be given to the highest ranking individual so that the employee can receive full praise, even if this means handing an envelope with the person's name on it to the concierge or manager. In praising the establishment or individual you will be remembered and served all the better in the future.
Remind Yourself that You Deserve Time Away
This seems to be an odd thing to remind yourself of as you pack or decide on a location, but it is important that you are firm in telling yourself from the start that you deserve this vaction time and that you will not allow yourself to feel any guilt for the fun and relaxation you are about to enjoy.
You both need and deserve this for time well spent at work and for your health's sake as well. Though it may at times in your mind seem self-indulgent, there is a greater purpose in vacationing. You will become a more productive worker upon returning, your energy and creativity will be rejuvinated, and your patience and emotional health will benefit greatly from this special time just for you.
In the long run, vactioning extends your life, reduces stress with exciting memories and experiences as well as relaxation, and makes workers who have already worked hard work all the harder. However, there are a number of factors to consider in taking a vacation that will determine how you pack, travel, and make sure things are well in hand at home. Once all of these things are taken care of and all of your region-specific questions are addressed by your research or a travel-agent, a vacation even with its numerous considerations is one of the best ways to improve your professional life and health!