Making the most of your valuable vacation time may go without saying. Sometimes it’s easy to make things more difficult than it needs to be, however, and your time away relaxing is spent worrying just as much as before your time away. Although, with some simple planning and a specific mindset going in, you should be able to make the most of your precious time away from the grind.

If we’re talking about that annual holiday away, or just a longer weekend than usual, an easy way to get on the right track to maximum relaxation, is as simple as looking in your own bedroom. Resting up before your time away is perfect to prepare your mind and your body for that well deserved personal time. Rest doesn’t always equate sleep however. This means planning, both planning how you’re going to spend that free time as well as planning to get ahead so your time away doesn’t result in a mad rush to get back on track once you get back. Book all your room and travel arrangements well in advance, don’t stress the day before worrying about how you’ll be pulling plans together at the last minute. Planning ahead goes twofold for your daily workload. Know what is possible as well as necessary to accomplish before you leave town and get it done, but don’t worry about the small stuff that can wait until you get back. Anything more than what is necessary is just overkill and is gonna have you sleeping your well deserved vacation away. Getting the essentials done and a little ahead of schedule is more important than stressing over meaningless details that won’t do anything but cause worry, both before you leave and after you set off on your getaway.

An easy thing to forget with vacation time is to be realistic. It’s natural to want to make the most of your time away, but overdoing it can be more of a chore than if you had just stayed home. It may not be the way to go for everyone, but unless you’re super adventurous, cramming as much as you can into a short amount of time could end up being even more nerve racking. Lets paint a tiny picture: you have a long weekend, and you finally made plans to visit that quirky little town in the mountains for a few days. It’s a last minute trip, so you don’t have any extra money saved but that’s not a problem because you’ll be camping. It’s a six hour drive that get’s extended another two because you caught a flat on the way up. You get there and it’s dark, not to mention it’s started to rain, you figure you’ll forget setting up camp tonight and rent a room until things clear up the next day. Not only do you have to drive around hunting for vacancy, (because all the other campers in town had the same idea to dodge the rain), but you’re out more money on top of the flat tire from earlier because you had to shell out big bucks for the last available room at the ritziest resort in town. Suffice it to say that as ridiculous as all this may seem, it is a quite possible scenario. Give your plans the time they deserve and if it seems like it’s too much crammed into too little, maybe consider downgrading that huge trip to a more realistic one until you have more time on your hands.

In the grand history of vacations, even the best ones are never long enough and we all wish we could have done more while we were away. If you plan ahead and get your head in the game early on, however, you can still make the most of even the shortest amount of time away. A simple mantra to start, both for the vacation minded as well as life in general, is don’t sweat the small stuff and everything else will fall into place. Enjoy the time you have and enjoy it with who you’re with and no matter a vacation away or just a long weekend on the couch, you’ll be living the life in no time.