Updated: Apr 11, 2019
For my house, spring break is the first week in April which, which if you're anywhere inside the US, is probably just about the same time as is your's. Some people start laying out their clothes at about this time. I just want to make it known that I don't have enough laundry time in my life or enough clothes to start making piles of what I need to take with me on vacation two to three weeks before I'm out the door. Sometimes I'm 2-3 hours before I'm out the door before I'm packing so to those of you already making your outfits, kudos to you... and stop it already!
I'm going to add an easier list for you to tackle than eight pairs of underwear per person (and 8 pairs of socks... or sandals...do you need socks on vacation?) so you can keep it simple and also so all the time you've put into getting swimsuit ready and feeling good doesn't come crashing down on you once you leave town. If you're not leaving town, I'm still going to help you because I'll bet you go out for dinner and get gas at least once while everyone is posting their glorious jealousy-inducing weeks in the sun on Instagram and Facebook.
STEP ONE: Stay off social media.
I'm kidding. (Kind of). Actually if seeing where everyone else is hanging out or what they are doing bothers you, put the phone on vacation for awhile. Wish your friends a safe and fun vacation and check out for a few days. It's good for your mental health and you won't miss the action going on during your own trip or time at home. There's a lot to be said about vacation jealousy and none of it's positive. If it really bothers you that much that you're not on a beach or mountain, plan your next trip instead of feeling so blah that you're not there right now. I'm serious! Plan it now! Come up with an actual plan on where you want to go; price it. Put it in your calendar and make it happen.
As for right now, I'm 100% positive you are exactly where you are supposed to be. AND, If you're on the beach, be on the beach! If you're hiking, hike! Take some pictures and have some fun but you don't need to record and share ever second of your trip. On top of that, nothing spoils a great vacation - even if your's is a staycation - like comparison.
STEP TWO: Pack wisely.
While you're making countless outfits for every type of weather imaginable, stop and think how many times in the past you have packed for vacation and actually worn everything you packed? Do you really need five pairs of shoes and three dresses? Will you really wear twelve shirts in seven days? Is there a washer and dryer where you're staying?
If you're anything like me, you probably stick to the basics unless you're heading out for the night. Keep it simple. Stick to a color scheme. Really, you can do a lot with white, black, grey and navy by just changing from shorts to a skirt and adding some jewelry. Guys - the same goes for you. Then again, a lot of you have this down to a science. In my coaching practice, this is the keystone to everything. Less is more; and I'm not talking less food. I'm talking less stress, less garbage, less clutter. Consider that when you're packing and also in your life.
STEP THREE: Don't be hangry.
No one likes a hangry driver or passenger. I live with the hungriest 12 year old on the planet and tend to stash snacks in the car just so we all survive his sudden starvation. If you're driving any distance, pack a snack bag. Not only will you make healthier choices but you'll save some serious cash so you can play another round of putt-putt or go spelunking on your actual trip! I have a fantastic list of 10 Healthy Convenience Store Snacks over on the member page that you can download for those times when you have to have something NOW before you get to your dinner stop. This list is super helpful when you're trying to be good but still need a snack like nobody's business. And, believe it or not, potato chips are on the list so sign up and go check it out!
Once you're there, you can still enjoy the different foods that you might not get at home, just plan your day. If you're having fried shrimp for dinner, stick to a light lunch. If you're going to have a huge burger and fries for lunch, take it easy on dinner. It's about balance and choosing the options that fit into your day, not taking the trip as and 'all or nothing' event.
STEP FOUR: Just Add Water.
Drinks happen on vacation. Whether it's letting the kids have soda or lemonade for dinner, or getting that frozen caramel coffee drink, or the beers and fruity umbrella drinks, we consume a HUGE number of calories through a straw! Couple the sugar, alcohol and caffeine with the sun and you're headed down the road to a headache and not feeling top notch. Drink water! Not only is it going to keep you full and hydrated but you're going to zip right past all those extra calories that will pack on five pounds in no time flat. Everything in moderation! Set a limit and stick to it.
STEP FIVE: Conga. Climb. Body Surf. MOVE!
Wherever you are, there is going to be something to do. If you're in the mountains, don't just sit in the hot tub in the cabin; hike! If you're at the beach, get out of the chair and play in the waves or take a walk. Not only will you burn off the extra ice cream but you're going to build memories with your family and friends AND actually get to experience instead of just see your destination. Have you ever found a whole sand dollar? Touched an ice cold waterfall? Followed a trail to pick wildflowers? Explored the woods across the road from your house? Do it! Get your exercise without the gym and the pressure. You never know how easily you can form a new habit when it quietly slips into your life.
And when you get home... or back to reality anyway... you really can keep that vacation vibe rolling and have it all by taking small steps toward big changes. The key is to keep the intention to have fun that allows you to use your creativity, explore your options, and have a FANTASTIC time doing it while focusing on being everything you want to be. You get to decide! How awesome is that?!