Can you relax on vacation?

Our imaginations paint summertime as a period of rest… sunshine, sweet tea, and sleeping in. But when was the last time you really felt that relaxed? Even our children now tend to fill the summer with camps, activities, and day trips. Our “vacations” quickly get filled with budgets, competing desires, tight schedules, cramped cars, and stress.

What do you want?

Close your eyes and picture yourself on vacation. What are you doing? Where are you? Identify what you actually want from a vacation before you spend time, energy, and money planning it. You may picture relaxing by the pool for eight hours a day, while your spouse envisions a busy travel whirlwind experiencing new cultures. Figure out what everyone “wants” so that you can prepare an experience that everyone wants.

What do you need?

We may want different things from a vacation, but we all have shared needs in vacation: rest, relaxation, and rejuvenation. God tells us to take a regular Sabbath, and it is helpful to identify what you personally find most restful and rejuvenating. Make sure that your vacation plans include time for whatever activities will get you ready to head back to regular life with more energy and enthusiasm. God has created us with unique personalities and gifts, but we each need Him and we need time in our lives to rest.

How do you plan?

With a more clear vision of what you want and need on the upcoming vacation, start evaluating the logistics of the vacation. Look at your schedules and set aside the right amount of time. Evaluate your finances to ensure you can afford the trip that you plan. Stay-cations at home may provide the same relaxation, fun, and re-fueling as an expensive trip to another country. If your trip is already planned and it is creating stress, identify the source of stress and simplify the vacation to meet the actual wants and needs of your group.

And then go, have fun, relax, and come back energized for the road ahead.