Maybe you know one, or perhaps you are one: a person who packs in as many activities and action into his vacations as possible. If you are unsure if this description applies to you, ask yourself this question: do you return from trips stressed out, exhausted and needing another vacation to recover? If this sounds embarrassingly correct, don’t feel bad — all you need to do is keep reading to learn how to embrace slow and spontaneous travel:
Make a simple, stark itinerary
Although you might be tempted to skip an itinerary on an uber-relaxed vacation, you probably still need one. An itinerary is a good way to keep tabs on what you want to do and not let time totally get away from you. The secret is to follow the “less is more” philosophy and spend more time exploring fewer places.
Instead of a travel itinerary with 10 places to visit before lunchtime, jot down the ancient ruins you have always wanted to see and take your time hiking through the area, speaking with locals and having lunch in a small restaurant. You'll return to your hotel feeling inspired instead of exhausted.
Use your smartphone to enhance your vacation, not distract you from it
While you are on vacation, you might want to check email a few times a day, play your favorite games, post pics of your picture-perfect day on Instagram and text with your BFF back home. But to truly embrace a slow, ultra-relaxing vacation, resist these urges and vow to use your phone only for holiday-enhancing activities. For instance, use the camera on your new smartphone to capture professional-looking photos of the scenery. Also, download some soothing music and listen to the relaxing tunes when you are chilling in your hotel room at night.
Choose your destination wisely
One of the best ways to enjoy a truly relaxing vacation is to choose a place that is laid-back and tranquil. For example, as much as you love a good theme park, it can be difficult to kick back and decide to do as little as possible in the Happiest Place on Earth. Instead, look for a small town or quaint countryside village, rent a cabin by a calm lake, or reserve a lodge in the mountains near ski slopes and starry nighttime skies. These locations are inherently calmer and free of tons of action — aside from some amazing fishing or skiing — which can make it easier to meet your goal of slowing down.
Have a wonderful time and return refreshed
Your vacation time is precious, as is your emotional health, so pick a scenic and relaxing place to visit. Plan, but don’t overplan, a wonderful trip with a few activities that mean the most to you. Go offline as much as you can and use your snazzy smartphone to capture memories, not reply to emails. You will be pleasantly surprised by how refreshed and rejuvenated you feel when you return home.