The reason I travel is because I need a radical departure from my daily routine to recharge my batteries.   It’s not just that I need a vacation.  It’s that I need to be unavailable to all the demands of my job in order to be truly off work.  We’ve tried staycations.  I always end up working.

There are complications to taking time off when you own a business.  For example, I have to set client expectations.  I have to check my email and voice mail on a semi-regular basis.  Usually, there’s nothing that can’t wait until I get back.  Sometimes, someone might just need a little advice.  No biggie.  I’m used to it.

There are studies that show that frequent short vacations are just as beneficial as less frequent longer vacations.   My personal opinion is that a vacation needs to be at least five days, and should be seven-ten days.  I usually want to get home by day ten.

In this article, MSNBC’s Overhead Bin provides additional tips for making the most of whatever vacation you might have:

1)  Don’t underestimate how long it will take to get to your destination.  If you do, the return trip will seem shorter by comparison, and the post-trip anti-climax effect will be magnified.

2)  Keep your blood sugar up.  I can vouch for this one.  There is no worse feeling than dragging yourself through the first day of vacation, jet-lagged, hungry, weak, headache-y and  short-tempered.  Remember that the first day of travel is when the majority of your travel problems will occur.   If you don’t eat on a regular basis, the challenges that travel poses will become overwhelming.

3)  Break your trip up in pieces.  If you are taking a longer vacation, make sure to schedule activities during your days.  You don’t want to lie on the beach for seven days.  You don’t have to pack your days with activities, but schedule something every day.    In a seven day trip, I usually schedule two day-trips, and during the remaining days, try to plan two-three activities per day.

An additional tip:  try to be flexible enough to take advantage of opportunities that present themselves.  If you see an art fair, you may want to stop there, but you can’t if you’ve pre-booked tango lessons, made a spa appointment,  made dinner reservations and bought show tickets for that night.

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