Plan a Vacation!

Even if you can't afford to take one right now, planning one is beneficial to your mental health.  Really.  The optimal thing would be to be able to plan and take several small vacations each year, but if you can't do that, start a little savings fund and do a little planning.  It takes your mind off your troubles.

How Vacations Affect Your Happiness

Do Vacations Make Us Happier?

For more good advice on how to plan a vacation click to read more.  

One thing that can affect your happiness on the trip is to have realistic expectations, a daily plan or itinerary (at least a loose one) to prevent the "what are we going to do"? arguments/discussions that can take up a whole day and to take something you look forward to doing to do during the down-times.  I know that when our family of 5 has to adapt to a hotel room with 1 bathroom, waiting for people to get through the bathroom time to finally get ready to go is something that gets on my nerves.  For us, since we don't have cable TV at home, we often entertain ourselves by watching shows we don't get to watch at home, but sometimes there's not anything we can agree on, so we play board games or walk around the hotel while waiting.  It helps us not to grouch at each other and ruin the mood of the trip.  Also, with kids especially, it's good to have a budget plan and stick to it so that they know not to beg for souvenirs.  You might want to give them some trip spending money.  If you do, don't be critical of their buying choices.  It's budgeted, pretend like it is already spent and don't take this time to lecture them on financial planning.  It's vacation.  Have fun!

Here's a link to some travel planning apps.  Optimize your next vacation.

Personally, I love going on HomeAway and imagining vacationing.  :-)

Here's a fun article about traveling for free!  Budget Travel.  You can house-sit, pet sit, work on an organic farm ... all for free lodging!

Remember, one of the happiest parts about vacation is the planning, when anything is possible, so have fun with it!

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