With the world opening up again, it seems like everyone is ready to get out and spend time away from where we were quarantined for so long. And since we made it through one of the most stressful years in recent history, a relaxing vacation is just what we’re craving. Here are six tips to keep the stress out of your next trip.

PTO = Prepare the Others

It is easy to underestimate how much work needs to be done before a vacation in order to fully relax. Make a plan and take care of time-consuming tasks well before you hit the road or board a plane. Some items to consider: pet boarding, scheduling a house sitter, wrapping up work tasks and setting a vacation responder, using up perishable foods in your kitchen, deep cleaning your home or scheduling a cleaner so that you don’t return to a mess. Relaxing will be so much easier while you are traveling and taking care of these tasks will help keep you feeling rejuvenated when you return.

Set Boundaries

Unplugging while on vacation can be difficult, especially if you do not create and implement healthy boundaries. This is where that first tip comes in handy. Make sure emergency contacts, house sitter/babysitters have your travel details, lodging address, and the best number to reach you. However, you want to stress that contact is in case of emergency only. If you absolutely need to work during your trip, schedule in work hours then close your laptop when that time is up. 

Plan To Relax

You read that correctly. Nothing happens without intention and action, so schedule moments for relaxation into your trip itinerary. A few ideas: extend your skincare routine time, make reservations for a spa treatment, lounge on the beach, read a good book, or simply schedule breaks during activity-filled days. 

Treat Yourself 

Splurge where you can. Consider what parts of vacation are most important to you and what elements will help you return feeling refreshed. Would booking an all-inclusive experience eliminate stress? Does the thought of upgrading your seat on a flight or your hotel room already put you in a relaxing mood? Are you a foodie who would enjoy reservations at a fine dining restaurant for a multi-course meal? Invest in elements of vacation that will help you stay in a calming state and enjoy yourself.

Get Moving

While it is very tempting to spend your entire day napping on the beach, it is important to stay active too. Book an online class to do in your hotel room, reserve a private workout session at your hotel, use the fitness center, or simply go for a long walk. I promise you will feel better the next day and especially after indulging in those margaritas.

Eat Well

Vacation is the time to indulge. Enjoy it all but also keep in mind that excess fried foods, sugary cocktails, and other treats will likely impact your energy levels while trying to enjoy vacation activities and could make it difficult to get back into a routine of healthy eating when you return. Stressing over extra sugar is not exactly a recipe for relaxation, so strive for balance while enjoying your meals.

Denise Parnell encourages women to add bits of luxury to their daily lives at every budget through her top-voted travel and lifestyle blog, The Elle Aesthetic, where she shares boutique travel guides, beauty product reviews, and lifestyle tips. Follow her @the.elle.aesthetic on Instagram for daily content and visit TheElleAesthic.com for more.