Vacation time is a period of paid leave from work that most employers provide for their employees. Taking this time off is important to help employees relax and recharge. There are many ways to make your time off feel like a real vacation. Some tips include spreading your PTO across multiple short holidays, booking nonstop flights (using flexible rewards from credit cards), and traveling during off-peak times.
Take a Vacation
If you’re traveling abroad or holing up in Beavers Bend resort park cabins for a long weekend, take the time to fully enjoy the sights, smells and sounds of your surroundings. Immersing yourself in the experience will give you a renewed appreciation for home when you return. It’s worth noting that, based on the statistics cited by Healthline, Americans left 662 million vacation days unused in 2016. This year, use your vacation days wisely. If you’re a frequent traveler, consider buying a subscription to establish a daily 10-minute meditation practice before you leave on an excursion. It can help you focus on your destination and prepare to return to work feeling relaxed and refreshed. Then, when you’re away from home, treat yourself to some of the luxuries you’d expect to find in your favorite resorts and hotels. It could include everything from fresh bath towels and scented candles to filling a bathtub with warm water and adding a bit of citrus or berries.
Explore Your Creativity
Whether it’s a staycation or a trip abroad, you can find new ways to explore your creativity while away from home. For example, try hiking in a unique natural environment. Or, look up the nearest art gallery. Or, try something new, such as photography or painting. You can even explore your creative side by journaling or sketching during your vacation.
In addition, take the time to delegate any work responsibilities while away from the office. Doing so reduces your stress levels and helps others learn how to handle these tasks in your absence. Consider considering taking a vacation soon; consider planning it at least three months in advance. It is when research on construal-level theory shows that you’ll start thinking of it as a general experience, not a task close to completion. It helps ensure that you get the most out of your time off.
Many people need help to disconnect from work while on vacation fully. But creating distance from your responsibilities will help you feel refreshed and recharged upon returning to the office. It is also important to plan for your trip so that you can delegate your work to others before you leave. Make sure your supervisor or someone else knows how to contact you in case of an emergency and that they know how to handle routine client requests. Even if you have just two weeks of vacation, packing in some travel is possible. Some websites suggest piggybacking vacation days with paid holidays and taking off the day after holidays that fall on Mondays to extend your break. This strategy allows you to take one longer vacation per year and shorter trips on other weekends. That way, you can visit places without eating into your two weeks of leave.
Take a Staycation
While we typically associate vacations with getaways far from home, the benefits of a change in scenery can be had while staying home. According to Whitbourne, a physical change of scene can trigger self-reflection and help us better understand our unique needs and desires. So, if you’re itching to get away but want to use only some of your PTO days, plan a staycation during the week following your holiday. That allows you to tack on the weekend before and after your trip, giving you nine days off for just five vacation days. You can also make your home feel like a getaway by changing the decor and adding spa-like touches. For example, make your bed a cozy retreat with an Insta-worthy breakfast tray, or treat yourself to an at-home massage with soothing essential oils.