I’m excited and honored to be partnering with Embassy Suites Hotels this summer (have you and your family ever stayed in one? they were a family favorite when I was growing up). As you know I’m all about maximizing health and happiness by finding time for family, friends and fun, so I’m really thrilled to be contributing to their summer Vacation "More-imization" campaign. North Americans in general are severely starved for vacations and down time, more than any other people in the world, and our productivity, success, health and happiness suffer as a result.
Embassy Suites Hotels is celebrating the summer travel season by encouraging families to get MORE out of their vacations and make the most of their time off spent together. A survey they conducted with Parents magazine found that many of us are "vacation dabblers", taking days where we can here and there – often only 1-2 nights.
They asked me to put together some tips for “more-imizing” your vacation this summer, so that families can get more of the happiness, fun and relaxation and that comes before, during and after a great family trip. Here are the first three (I will post the rest in future posts):
1) Vacation isn’t just about the time you are away. Looking forward to an impending vacation improves your mood and makes it easier to get through work. It can actually make you more productive. Plan trips in advance so you can look forward to them and enjoy the benefits of “vacation anticipation.” One study published by Dutch researchers showed that the mood boost you get from looking forward to the vacation can make you happier than even the vacation itself, and this effect lasts up to 8 weeks before the vacation. Make sure you book your holidays well in advance so you can reap the benefits and joy of looking forward to them.
2) There are ways to “more-imize” your vacation no matter how your family chooses to use their days off. If you’re a “vacation dabbler” and take short vacations here and there throughout the year, actually use the days to relax and do something fun – not to run around and do errands all day. Vacation is about relaxation and recharging, so the way to actually reap those benefits is to relax and keep normal, everyday activities to a minimum.
3) If you’re a “vacation maximizer” – meaning you take big, long trips – schedule a transition day between when you get back home. Allow a day for catching up on the work and errands that await you when you return from a trip.This makes such a big difference and I do it whenever I can. It’s hard enough coming home from a vacation without dreading having to get up early the next morning. You know the feeling, it’s like a black cloud that hangs over your last day of vacation. The first morning back home erases much of the relaxed mood and happiness from your trip – instead, you usually feel exhausted and rushed, digging desperately for things you need in your unpacked suitcase as you’re already running behind etc. If you can, schedule in that buffer day, or arrange to go into work later your first day back, so you can protect that happy post-vacation glow as long as possible.
A special note: Embassy Suites is helping families “more-imize” those vacation days to get as much fun, relaxation and family time out of them as possible with a “Get More Vacation” contest on Facebook . Between now and July 20, simply upload a picture of your family’s “vacation face” – that look of excitement and joy when you’ve finally booked that much-needed vacation – and a caption explaining how your family plans to get the most out of your summer vacation, for a chance to win even more vacation with one of five week-long trips, courtesy of Embassy Suites (you can find more information and enter here ).
Happy Summer everyone!