As mentioned in the first two articles I’ve written on this topic, 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 is my final set of tips for you:
6. Find the perfect balance of activities and relaxation for your family (or friends). Every family likes to spend their vacation time differently, so schedule nap time/down time and activities according to your family’s needs. Perhaps that means letting your family sleep in while on vacation, so you can get the most out of each day, without the usual afternoon nap. Though the temptation can be to go, go, go to make the most of your time, pushing too hard non-stop will often blow up in your face(s)! Whether you’re traveling with friends or family, it’s a good idea to talk about individual expectations and preferencesbefore you even set out on your trip, so that every person has input and optimal cooperation/compromise can be reached. It’s important to give everyone a voice, this will help make your trip more harmonious and joyful, and minimize potential for resentment or conflict.
7. Hold onto that post-vacation rejuvenation feeling. Research has shown that the more relaxing and stress-free your vacation is, the longer you’ll enjoy the feel-good post-vacation benefits once you’re back home. To help harness and enjoy those benefits and good memories, create a scrap book or photo album of your vacation – there are even great programs online to help you create a fabulous bound book that your family can have forever. Don’t just leave those photos on your phone! Recalling fun, relaxing family times can help rejuvenate you when you’re stressed and need a burst of energy or smiles.
8. Sign up for travel rewards programs, including hotel and airline programs. I learned this from a seasoned professional speaker colleague at a meeting of the National Speaker’s Association a few years ago. He advised me to sign up for every single rewards program, any time I flew on a new airline or stayed at a new hotel chain, even if I wasn’t sure I’d use them again. Thanks to this advice, I have accumulated tons of points with many different airlines over the years, it’s amazing how they add up and suddenly you have enough for a ticket! The points you rack up, and the associated perks, can incentivize you to book future vacations and those e-mail reminders will serve a dual-purpose.
A special note: (tomorrow, July 20, is your last chance to enter Embassy Suites’ contest!)
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!