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5 Tips to Beat Vacation Stress

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Family camping

The following questions and tips can help you get a handle on vacation stress.

1. Are you being realistic in your planning? Confer with fellow travelers in advance about what each expects in terms of activities and rest time, then plan accordingly. Children aren’t the only ones who need to unwind between stimulating activities adults need to do so as well.

2. Have you planned “unscheduled time?” Unscheduled time gives family members a chance to kick back and just do what they want to for a little while. Alone time is also important for some. It’s an opportunity to build a deeper connection with oneself.

3. Have you discussed finances? Most vacations involve lots of choices to make in regards to spending money. Getting clear on your budget in advance and making children aware of spending guidelines can help reduce anxiety with this issue.

4. Are you communicating? Increased contact with family members during a vacation can bring conflict to the foreground. Someone may feel he is not getting to do what he really wants to do, while others need to learn to compromise or let another lead from time to time. Honest communication and sincere listening can result in real understanding of each other’s needs and solutions that bring more balance to the situation.

5. Bored in the car or plane? It’s a great time to share something you appreciate about each of your traveling companions. A simple activity you can do with your children is to take turns and have each person you’re traveling with share what they appreciate about someone from your group. Try to keep the tone of this activity fun but sincere. Sometimes it might be best for a parent to begin by sharing their genuine appreciation for one of the children so they can get a better feel for of the concept. This exercise can be fun and gives everyone a chance to express something positive about someone else that they may not have otherwise had an opportunity to share.

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Read more: Children, Family, Fun, General Health, Health, Home, Inspiration, Life, Mental Wellness, Nourishing the Heart, Outdoor Activities, Spirit, Stress, Teens, Travel, , , ,

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Sara, from the HeartMath Institute

Sara Childre is President and CEO of the non-profit Institute of HeartMath. Since 1991, Sara has helped oversee and develop HeartMath trainings, educational products and scientific programs. She was appointed vice president and CFO of the institute in 1992, then president and CEO in 1998.


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3:03AM PST on Feb 8, 2013

a lot of it comes to planning. when we went to edinburgh, we both wrote down individually what we wanted to do; and when. then we compared our plans, modified them accordingly with what fit better where and compromised either with when we were going to visit something-day or evening, or on a specific day. it worked out really well and we got to see more things than we anticipated as we had better planned our day and what we were doing. we had the pass, so when we went on the bus to the zoo, we decided to do the places we needed a bus to get to, to save money on unnecessary bus trips and used that day solely for that purpose. if it didn't fit, we didn't do that particular site visit. planning and communication is key!

12:45PM PDT on Aug 17, 2012


6:21AM PDT on Jun 15, 2012

An important aspect of vacation is just changing your normal patterns of thinking. If you do that, then you can be relaxed and happy without needing to leave home or spend loads of money. You might still choose to go away, but you won't have to.

Most of us are living in the future and filling every moment with "shoulds": to do lists, anxiety of what people think, whether or not we'll succeed, planning, etc. Take one day a week to stop all that and live in the moment.

Shut off the electronics and focus on the aspects of our lives that make us happy. Go for a walk and enjoy the flowers. Sit in the garden in the sunshine. Go to the park (or free museum or...) and spend time truly enjoying the friends you are with. A day of re-connecting with gratitude and appreciation and you'll be as revived as if you spent a week on vacation.

11:17PM PDT on Jun 12, 2012

No stress at all, but these are good tips, thanks!

11:25AM PDT on Jun 12, 2012

Good advice - thanks

6:45AM PDT on Jun 12, 2012


6:45AM PDT on Jun 12, 2012


5:41AM PDT on Jun 12, 2012

Thanks for the guidelines!

4:43AM PDT on Jun 12, 2012


12:42AM PDT on Jun 12, 2012

noted, thanks

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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