Vacation a time to escape the stress…or is it?

Isn’t a vacation supposed to be a time to unwind and to flee the stress we have every day? While it may be true that vacations take us away from the routines and schedules that control our lives we forget that stress can also come from the things around us. Research has shown that clutter in our homes creates stress, and sometimes we choose to bring that clutter and its accompanying stress along on our vacation.

How do you get away from it all, even the clutter? Below are a few tips to help make this year’s vacation a real escape.

**Plan ahead and pack light – What will you need to take with? 

Do your homework ahead of time to figure out what you should take with you. You don’t want to haul extra things but you will want to take the necessary things along. Research the temperatures for your location, consider the clothing expectations for each activity or event you will be doing, and be creative in your clothing use. You might find a casual garment choice can also serve a dressy purpose when simply accessorized.

Investigate what resources are available at your destination. Ask if they provide laundry facilities, towels for the beach or sports equipment to use before you haul your own along with you.

**Choose your electronics wisely – Do you really need all those electronics?

Today’s electronics reduce the quantity of some of the things we take on vacation like books, maps, movies, and camera. However instead we often find ourselves packing several gadgets with all the adapters, chargers and paraphernalia that go along with them. Challenge yourself to bring only one device which performs most of the desired tasks and use the services at your destination for the other tasks.

**Don’t unpack everything while traveling

Sometimes you have to bring along items that are necessary but may not be used often on your trip. Leave these items in your suitcase, keeping them out of sight and out of mind until you are ready to use them. You can always dig them out when they are needed. If the room you are staying in has drawers or closets, place your regularly used items in them. Don’t waste time unpacking things you might not need or run the risk of forgetting those seldom used items.  

**Avoid collecting the usual souvenirs

Is that memento something that you will treasure and use or are just buying it because you think you are expected to buy it? Question each purchase. If you buy a t-shirt will it join the many other souvenirs t-shirt that are crammed into a closet or drawer that doesn’t have enough space as it is. Instead look for items that can serve a useful purpose besides helping you preserve the memories. A mug to hold pencils on your desk, an antique bin to store your recipes, or even a special piece of artwork to decorate your home.

Make your vacation a stress free one. Before you head out take steps to not only leave behind the routine and chaos of your schedule but also the travel clutter. Enjoy your vacation!
 © 2022 Beth Giles

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