The winter season is a great time to leave cold weather behind and head for a warmer locale. If you’re planning to get away this winter, here are some tips to make the most of your time away:
Keep stress to a minimum. Relying on a friend to drive you – or worse, driving yourself and parking in costly long-term parking – is a great way to almost guarantee a stressful departure. Take a taxi, instead. Include essentials like a change of clothes and toiletries in your carry-on bag in case your luggage is lost, and be sure to include a slip of paper with your name and address in all your checked bags. Get a flu shot before you leave, and pack travel-sized hand sanitizer for use on the plane to reduce your risk of getting sick.
Save money on travel deals. One of the best ways to save money is to make flight and hotel reservations early, but if you procrastinated this year, don’t worry – you still have options. Sites like travelzoo.com, lastminute.com and even priceline.com often advertise last-minute deals at steeply discounted prices. That’s because hoteliers and airlines want to have a happy holiday season, too, and that means they want to book as much business as possible. Just want a quick weekend away? Check groupon.com for best places to vacation in your area.
Make the most of your vacation. Smart phones and tablets have made it easier than ever to stay connected to work, even while you’re on vacation. Resist the temptation to “do just a little work” this year, and commit to a vacation that’s all about restoration and rejuvenation. To avoid the urge to check in with the office, plan activities in advance, take along a good book or download a few movies to watch during your flight. Setting up an auto-response email message and shunting work-related emails to a separate folder will help ensure personal emails get through while keeping co-workers’ missives in a file you can review once you’re home.
Most importantly, kick back and enjoy yourself. Holidays come once a year, and if you’re like most Americans, you probably don’t take vacations as often as you should. Focus on relieving stress, recouping some sleep and just plain enjoyment so you feel refreshed and recharged when you head back to the office.
Finding the best places to vacation may seem like a huge task, especially during the holiday season. But remember: if you plan right and focus on fun and relaxation, even a weekend at the local B&B can be all you need to enjoy your time away and make the season a little more festive.