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Have you ever felt the need to book vacation time… to get some rest from your vacation? If you have young children or your time off seems too short to get through that long list of activities and to-dos that you’ve been saving up, there’s a good chance that your vacation won’t be super restful. Believe me... I've been there too, so please let me teach you how to plan truly relaxing vacations.

How to plan truly relaxing vacations

Here are a few of my favourite recommendations to refill your energy tank and feel genuinely relaxed after your vacation!

Define your vision

You might already have plans for your summer holiday, like a trip or special outings. But when I say, “define your vision”, I am talking specifically about your downtime. If you don’t make sure to get some real rest during your time off, you won’t feel at the top of your game when you get back to work, you’ll be more sensitive to stress, and you will start… looking forward to the winter break! So, ask yourself this question: what type of relaxation do I need during my vacation, and what does rest look like for me? For some, rest will be a literal nap in a hammock. For others, it might be a walk in nature. When you have clarified your personal definition of rest, share it with your family members, and get them to do the same! That will allow you to ensure your plans take everyone’s needs into account.

Plan out your last day of work and your first day back

Whether you are an employee, a freelancer, or a stay-at-home parent, it is critical to plan both your last day of work and your first day back. This preparation will give you peace of mind during your vacation and reduce the guilt – I’m sure you know that guilty feeling we tend to experience while we are away! Make a clear list of the tasks you must do before leaving and immediately identify the ones you will do when you get back. If there is an opportunity to delegate some of them, don’t hesitate. I also encourage you to use your last day of work to plan your return to work and organize your workspace. Consider it a top priority, even if you are anxious to leave for your vacation. This will help tame the anxiety that tends to show up a few days before the end of your holiday, when you start thinking about everything awaiting you back at work. Planning your first day back is key to having a serene and restful vacation.

Plan time for yourself

I am a mom to a 3 ½-year-old, highly active little boy, so I always feel like there is something to do at home. I know that time off is not always relaxing! That’s why I speak from experience when I tell you to plan some time for yourself. Discuss this with your family members: make sure you get one hour a day of solo time to do whatever you want, on your own. In exchange, find a way to offer them the same flexibility. That way, everyone wins, and if you have a lot of activities planned for your vacation, you will know that you have at least that one hour per day to rest. Of all the tips shared here, this one is the most important.

These essential tips will help you make the best of your vacation and return rested and motivated.

If this blog post How to plan truly relaxing vacations resonates with you, make sure to like it and don't hesitate to leave your comments below. It's always a pleasure to read your thoughts.

Emilie xo

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