In Canada, we typically have 10 paid vacation days to play with throughout the year. Ten out of the 365 days in a calendar year aren't a lot, so it's your best bet to make the most out of your deserved time off.
While you may be taking the time off for a family trip, for a destination wedding, to backpack across Asia, or for a staycation, you should give some thought as to what you'll be doing with your valuable vacation time and have an itinerary handy'whether it's a mental note or jotted down on a piece of paper.
1. Plan ahead
Sounds simple enough: scour travel sites, find the best deal, book it, and buy some sunscreen'right? Planning a vacation (and making it one that you'll remember) is much more complex than that. You can research restaurants and sightseeing, talk to friends who have already visited your upcoming destination, and look up basic useful information like weather, culture, and currency.
Once you have all the research and travel tips at hand, you can easily turn it into a trip itinerary, (guaranteed fun!). Plus, 90 per cent of vacationers say they're happier when they start planning their trips more than a month in advance.
2. Shorter, but more trips
Vacations often leave us feeling refreshed, so taking a few more breaks and going on shorter trips throughout the year can be a great option. For me, I enjoy the twice a year, seven days, six nights type of trips. But trips over an extended weekend can do just the trick! Taking shorter vacations can also allow you to explore more than one place and more than one culture. It's quick, refreshing, efficient'that's if you take my advice for tip #1 and plan ahead.
3. Determining your travel buddies
There's the common phrase, It's not about where you are, but who you're with. And it couldn't be truer when it comes to travelling.
Picking the people you vacation with is crucial. Most importantly, you should be comfortable with the people or person you're travelling with. The time away from work can be a great opportunity to strengthen relationships with family or close friends. Just remember, great company equals a happier you.
4. Go offline
And stay there. When I'm travelling, my cell phone is turned off as soon as I leave the airport and stored in my hotel room's security box until it's time to go back home. Nothing's worse than travelling with someone who's constantly checking every notification. Tell your coworkers ahead of time that you'll be away and set an out-of-office email message for clients. If there's a work emergency that absolutely cannot be solved without you attending to it, set a little bit of time aside to figure things out, then go back offline.
Use your vacation time to its greatest potential. Besides, it comes around only a few days of the year.
Megan Santos is the staff writer for Jobpostings Magazine and Jobpostings.ca. She's a big time foodie with a love for books, basketball, and shoe shopping. Follow her on Twitter @megnifisantos.