WebsiteCompass 5 Many people think of vacations as relaxing, but that’s not always the case. It depends on where you go, what you do, and who’s going with you on the trip. Here are some tips for making sure your next getaway is truly tranquil. How to Plan a Truly Tranquil Trip Choose your traveling companions carefully. There’s no shame in ruling out certain friends and family members if you know you have widely different vacation priorities, since that can cause stress on a trip. If you want to find someone to travel with who shares your interests, check out sites like Workaway (workaway.info), GAFFL (gogaffl.com), and Join My Trip (joinmytrip.com/en/find-travel-buddy). Set a budget. There’s nothing more stressful than worrying about money while you travel, so be realistic about what you can afford. The website Budget Your Trip (budgetyourtrip.com) can help you identify average daily costs in various locations. Carve out time. Some sources claim it takes eight to 10 days to completely let go of stress and responsibilities—others say a three-day trip can be just as rejuvenating. Choose the length of trip based on your budget and ability to be away from work. Define“relaxing.” For some people, a beach vacation just doesn’t cut it. If your style is more about exploring a city or going somewhere to volunteer for locals, that’s perfectly fine. Knowing what will refresh you will help you plan the perfect trip. Take the quiz at Tripzard (tripzard.com) to help pinpoint your next destination. Create a schedule. If getting up early stresses you out, don’t plan things first thing in the morning. Also, don’t overschedule. One big event per day is usually plenty, and you can spend the rest of your time just exploring or resting up for the next activity. Forest Bathing Isn’t What You Think The University of California, Berkeley, as well as Time and National Geographic, have all published information about a healthful and relaxing activity called forest bathing, which is simply spending time in the woods. (No bathtub is required.) According to Time, “A two-hour forest bath will help you to unplug from technology and slow down. It will bring you into the present moment and de-stress and relax you.” This activity can address what Greater Good Magazine from the University of California, Berkeley called a “nature deficit.” A National Geographic article stated, “Forest bathing is not just for the wilderness-lover; the practice can be as simple as walking in any natural environment and consciously connecting with what’s around you.” But, if you do want to get out into the woods, National Geographic says there are plenty of incredible places to go, including mountainous regions in the U.S., Costa Rica, New Zealand, Kenya, and Hawaii. If you’re looking to spend some quality time forest bathing, use sites like Airbnb (airbnb.com) and Vrbo (vrbo.com) to find the perfect cabin or treehouse. Source: time.com/5259602/japanese-forest-bathing Source: greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/ why_forest_bathing_is_good_for_your_health Source: nationalgeographic.com/travel/article/ forest-bathing-nature-walk-health QUICK TIP: When you return from vacation, give yourself time to catch up on email and ease back into your work schedule.