Maximize Your Vacation Pt. 1

Angela Piper
4 min readApr 9, 2022

How to plan your vacay like a pro

You’re planning an amazing vacation, you’ve already chosen the spot and now it’s time to plan out how you’ll spend your time while you’re there.

Bar/Cafe by the beach in Mallorca, Spain
Roxy’s Beach Bar in Mallorca, Spain

There are a few key things I tell my friends and family to take into account when planning their vacation to ensure they don’t experience vacation fatigue. You know, that feeling when you need a vacation to recover from your vacation.

My biggest tip is to always always always come back a day before you’ll need to be back at work/school/responsible adulthood. Many people try to pack as much vacation as they can into their allotted time off and catch the first flight out and the last flight home with no time to recuperate before jumping back into real life. This is the biggest culprit of vacation fatigue. It is one thing to start your vacation as soon as you’re able to, but I always recommend putting a buffer day in at the end.

Why?

This time allows you to “come down” from your trip, throw the stuff in your luggage into your laundry, and prepare whatever you need for work/school the next day. This provides the opportunity to not find yourself harried on Monday morning trying to find the homework your kid did two weeks ago or attempting to finish the report you’re supposed to turn in at 9:01 a.m. the morning after you land on a flight with bad turbulence.

So you’ve got everything scheduled, you know when you’re going to come back and how to best get everything aaM$on track for post-vacation bliss. Now, to make sure that your time away is as enchanting as you’re hoping it will be.

First, I like the figure out what type of vacation we’re planning. As a mom of three, I need to know if it’s action/adventure or if we’re all there to relax and chill. Important note on that though, especially if you have kiddos: when planning activities, try to plan one thing that everyone is excited about and then smaller activities that each child gets a say in. For example, when we would go to an amusement park, my oldest is a “ride the slow rides and see the characters” kind of guy and my middle is an “I want to ride the roller coasters that I am not even tall enough to ride yet”. We try to make sure that each of them gets a little bit of what they came for.
And then we edit out the rest.

I have a lot of mom friends who tell me that their vacation fatigue comes from overpacking their time away with activities and to-do lists and the time they were supposed to be enjoying as a family becomes a chore list for Mom to check off. Don’t do that to yourself mamas. Let each family member have a say about something they really want to do or see and then see where you can fit it in. If you have time to do other things, great. If not, nobody is disappointed, because they each got their one thing.

If we’re planning on a relaxing vacation, I try to edit activities to the bare minimum and then make sure I schedule at least one day where we all just be. We can do this at home, and often do, but there is something about being on vacation that makes that time even more refreshing. My boys can read and play games and I can nap and finish my latest Bridgerton book in the series and hubs can hang in the hammock. Those days seem to be the ones where we end up playing board games we find at the Airbnb and don’t have at home, making up some weird repetition games at the dinner table, or finding a fun local place for dinner we stumbled upon walking around.

If you’re planning an action-packed vacation, I still employ some of the tips above, like planning a full day with no agenda to make sure we don’t end the vacation burned out. I also take each family member's requests into account and see what we can combine to maximize our time. For example, if my husband wants to try a local spot that is also close to the place my oldest asked to go ziplining, we can hit both spots on the same day.

I love making maximizing the time my family gets away, whether it's a staycation, a cruise, or a quick trip to the beach. Be sure to subscribe to my medium blog here so you don’t miss Part 2 where I’ll share tips on choosing and planning your vacation itinerary.

If you just can’t wait for travel tips, check out my blog on how I pack for a trip here.

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Angela Piper

Wife to @davidpipervo & Mom of 3. 📚 Best Selling Author 📍Dallas girl in Spain 🇪🇸 🖊️ Currently writing NYT’s next bestseller