Summertime is often recognized as the unofficial season for vacations. We make use of the longer, warmer days to enjoy doing things we aren’t able to do the rest of the year. But sometimes, it’s not a simple choice, because the reality that what a healthy work/life balance means for us as individuals is not black and white.
Instead, we often have to assess our situation through the lens of what will allow us to return home feeling refreshed, and not more stressed out. We can do that by making an educated decision about what will work best for us.
When You Shouldn’t Take a Vacation
Sometimes, taking a traditional “getaway” vacation is just not a smart choice, and when it’s not, it will likely create more stress than it resolves. Because vacations create the perfect atmosphere for over-spending, before you put in a request for that time off you need to ask a couple questions:
Do you have paid time off you can utilize? If you don’t, do you have enough space in your budget, and are you comfortable spending from your savings?
If it’s a no to both of those questions then summer travel is likely not a smart move for you. In fact, if you habitually have made unwise vacation choices, then it’s likely you’ve suffered the negative consequences and likely should take this opportunity to assess how you can weed-out bad financial habits. Take heart in the knowledge that you’re not alone though; 68 percent of people overspend on vacation.
If you’re not in a position to take significant time off, evaluate how you might utilize the resources you do have so that you can still feel like you’ve gotten a break, without wreaking havoc on your bank account.
Consider a weekend of camping for a confidence boost or make like a tourist, but in your own city. What does your own hometown offer as a possible means of staycation? Look at the historical sites, attractions, festivals, and events that may offer you a reprieve from the norm.
When You Should Take the Vacation
Step one: go to the above section and ask yourself those all-important questions. If you answered yes to them, you’re in a good place to be.
It’s fair to say the average employee is stressed-out, and that’s largely because of a lack of work/life balance. Most of us understand that if we have an illness like the flu we need a break, and we owe it to our coworkers to stay away.
But for some reason even when burnout and stress begin causing headaches, stomachaches, and more, individuals fail to recognize that they be negatively impacting not just themselves but the people around them.
If that sounds like you, it’s time for a reset. See some new sights and do some new things so that you can perceive the familiar with fresh eyes. Travel and all that it entails has the potential to improve you and your life in multiple ways, so don’t discount the benefits.
To maximize your vacation experience look at the components that exist beyond just your budget. What kind of vacation is going to best provide you with a sense of refreshment and satisfaction? It would be a waste of an opportunity to not recognize what type of setting will benefit you most.
Perhaps you’re an adrenaline junkie and the way you unwind is by taking your favorite vehicle out with friends and traveling over new terrain. If that’s the case make sure you have a smart plan in place and get out there.
But maybe that’s not you at all. Maybe you’re envisioning snorkeling and sunbathing in equal measure on a faraway island. If that’s the case, a destination like the Galapagos Islands would be a better fit.
Pursue whatever will affect the parts of you that typically lie dormant.
It’s a Balancing Act
Deciding how much of life to devote to work and how much to devote to leisure is not an easy task. Most of us have a full load of responsibilities at both work and home, and that can feel like an overwhelming truth.
But making the right choices on behalf of your mental well-being will allow you to thrive in all settings of our life. Summer is the perfect time to look at your options and resources and make some marvelous plans.