A good vacation restores your mind and body to a peaceful baseline. Your stress recedes, and you get to exist gently with little concern about what time it is and free of the need to be productive.
The craving for relaxation of course poses the question of what is the most relaxing type of vacation? The answer is subjective and depends on the tastes and needs of the individual. One person’s relaxing destination is another’s boring waste of time.
You’ll want to assess your needs honestly before choosing where to relax on your precious time off. Relaxing vacations range from visiting museums to doing nothing on a beach. These examples don’t fit every personality. Some people would hate every minute in a museum. For those who hate sun and sand, a beach vacation would be miserable.
As you see, you want to give things a really good think about what you like instead of just assuming a vacation would be a good fit for you.
Tips to Avoid Getting Stressed on Vacation No Matter Where You Go
- Don’t Overschedule Yourself
It’s easy to get caught up in the idea that you have to pack in as many activities and outings as possible during your vacation. Some vacations can get downright frenetic, but, when your goal is to relax, pad your itinerary with plenty of downtime. The whole point of this trip is to slow down. Give yourself time to sleep in or soak in the tub for an hour. Have space in each day to follow your whims instead of feeling ruled by a schedule.
- Go NO CONTACT With Work
Don’t be that person answering emails on vacation. Unless you’re a head of state, make arrangements for someone to be in charge of things for the week or two that you’re away. If you actually own the business where you work, leave instructions that you’re only to be disturbed in the most extreme situations. If you must check in, make it quick. Don’t get caught up in trivial decision making or problem solving on the phone.
- Share Responsibilities If You Can
Unless you’re traveling solo, your travel companion should not get a free ride. Couples and families with children tend to dump most of the work on one person. Some people are naturally better at planning and managing and assume authority over everything readily or step up when the partner doesn’t have a clue. If this is you, step back and think about how relaxing it would be to share the load. There is a lot of comfort to be taken from micromanaging because then you increase the chance of getting the results that you want, but the mental load will prevent you from relaxing to the fullest extent possible.
Places for Taking a Super Relaxing Vacation
The wild lands, where (gasp) you might not even get a cell phone signal, beckon many who long to connect with the Earth and unplug from the technological circus of modern life.
Going hiking or camping is a proven method for renewing your body, mind, and spirit.
Researchers continually document the benefits of immersion in the natural world. The American Psychological Association reported that contact with nature improves:
- Social interactions
- Sense of purpose
While renewing your appreciation of yourself and others, spending time in Nature also decreases emotional distress.
Now all you need to decide is how deeply you want to connect with Nature. Are you the backcountry camping type or would a vacation rental home on a lake be plenty of Nature for you? You have options in between those two ends of the spectrum. You can camp in a tent or RV at a public or private campground. Or stay at a vacation home or motel while going out on hiking or kayaking trips every day.
A wellness retreat is a special type of resort that focuses on providing guests with a soothing experience. They almost always have a beautiful and peaceful location, pleasing architecture, and a theme of some kind.
Wellness retreats can focus on:
- Mental Health
- Physical Health
- Artistic Pursuits
You can find wellness retreats inspired by Eastern religions or philosophies or New Age spirituality. Some places also focus on Christianity. Guests pray, discuss theology, and partake of other relaxing activities meant to help them feel renewed and at peace.
Other retreats are more secular in nature and do not focus much on the spiritual. They cater to people looking to improve their mental and/or physical health. Activities will include gentle exercise, cleansing diets, yoga, meditation, and a variety of therapies.
Finally, a wellness retreat can be a place where guests explore their creativity. In these places, you get to write, make music, paint, or sculpt according to the specialty of the retreat.
If you pick a wellness retreat that is a good fit for your personality and beliefs, the experience can be very rewarding. You might meet like-minded people and gain a new perspective on life. Overall, what makes this a relaxing vacation is that you get to step away from the “real world” and devote your time to your inner needs.
A good old-fashioned family visit can be relaxing if you like the relatives who you’re visiting. The relaxation comes from spending quiet days catching up with loved ones. You might do some day trips to local attractions, and everyone will have a good time.
The family visit is usually not a budget buster. You might stay with family and pay nothing although a generous host gift would be appropriate. Even if you choose to stay at a nearby motel or campground, pricing should be modest compared to lodgings at a major tourist area.
You might consider the benefits of a vacation focused on exploration. Regions known for certain things, like wineries, a national park, or historical locations, often attract people who want to tour the back roads and poke around without a strict agenda. They might be on their way to see something specific, like Niagara Falls, but the journey is just as important as the destination.
You have the time to do anything that catches your fancy as you travel. One day it might be wandering around an antique fair, and the next day you tour a historical mansion.
Overall, the leisurely pace and new experiences detach you from your normal responsibilities and concerns. Sightseeing can be a very relaxing vacation that produces good memories.
The ocean laps soothingly against the shore. The sunshine soaks into your tired bones. Cocktails are delivered to your cabana. This is the definition of relaxing for many people, which is why so many resorts cater to the crowd that wants to be waited on hand and foot next to the water.
A variation on the beach theme is the waterfront house vacation. Lakeside communities are all about soaking up the natural world while providing you with the comforts of home.
Vacation rental homes are readily available online where you can book lodging in a furnished waterfront house stocked with the dishes, pans, and linens that you need for daily life. These properties often include firepits with firewood, hammocks, and sometimes kayaks, personal watercraft, or boats. You can stock the place with groceries and beverages and settle in for days of simple living.
From the shore, you can go swimming, boating, and fishing. In the evenings, you light a fire and relax as night descends on the lake.
The lake house vacation is highly sought after by people looking to escape the summer heat because the lakes are usually in cooler microclimate locations. If you live in an urban area, a week at a lake house comforts you with the slow pace of life.
Decide How You Want to Relax
Follow your heart when picking out a relaxing vacation. Make sure that you select a getaway that truly pleases you. Go to a place where you can savor the good things in life and maybe indulge in some luxuries.
The most relaxing vacations have these elements in common:
- You set the pace for each day.
- Stimulation is low.
- No bustling urban areas.
- No big crowds.