* Written by guest blogger Leslie Campos, of Well Parents.
Rules are like records. They're made to be broken. Take the old saying, "There's no place like home." While that may be true, some people never feel more at home than when they're living out of a suitcase and experiencing far away destinations. Does that sound like you? If so, give yourself the gift of travel this year. Here are five tips from exquisitEXPLORATIONS to help you make the most of your getaway.
Read on for Tips on Getting Away Now That Travel is Open.
Tip # 1: Look for Bargains
Supply and demand affects everything, especially the travel and leisure industry. Beachside condos that fetch huge fees in July go for a song these days. Many of the best locations are even quite temperate during the winter.
Take Charleston, SC, for instance. Daytime temperatures can climb well into the 60s in January and February. Imagine relaxing by beautiful beaches and visiting popular tourist spots with no crowds, long lines, or swarms of mosquitoes. You can dine with no reservations, buy goods at bargain rates, and stroll around in a pair of shorts.
Consider the amazing prices you can find with a less traditional form of accommodation -- a home exchange. You can explore and discover unique places, and return to the comforts of home. By using a home exchange, you can travel safely and confidently without the pricey hotel rooms. Meanwhile, someone else gets to enjoy the place that you call home. To attract guests, you might even take the approach that vacation rentals use and offer some luxuries to potential guests. Any upgrades you make are going to boost your home's value, and they'll bring added enjoyment to your everyday life.
Tip # 2: Head for the Sun to Beat the Blues
Winter is a bluesy time of year for many; and we're not talking about the color. As many as one in five Americans suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD), according to Psychology Today.
No one knows for sure what causes SAD, but according to The Mayo Clinic, “The reduced level of sunlight in fall and winter may cause winter-onset SAD. This decrease in sunlight may disrupt your body's internal clock and lead to feelings of depression.”
If you're someone that suffers from SAD, why not choose a warm location for your vacation. Don’t shiver in sub-zero weather when you can kick back on a sun-soaked beach, letting the waves wash your cares away. There's no more natural way to lift your spirits and put a smile on your face.
Tip # 3: Ignore Tip # 2
Don’t forget to break your own rules. You may love the winter for its majestic scenery, brisk air, and snow-covered landscapes. If the thought of a winter wonderland fills you with cheer, then why not embrace the season instead? If skiing isn't your cup of tea, you can go snow tubing, drive a dog sled, or relax in a comfy chair by a roaring fire and read a good book.
Tip # 4: Hang Loose
A vacation is one of those rare times in life when too much planning can backfire in a big way. Setting off for parts unknown with no luggage and no cash will definitely get you in a sticky situation. However, you should leave some free time for spontaneous adventures.
You may discover unique opportunities like going for a hike, exploring a few local shops, or dining in an out-of-the-way eatery with funky paintings on every wall. Scheduling too tightly can make you miss some of the local flavor. The best memories spring from these kinds of spur-of-the-moment adventures.
Tip # 5: Live in the Moment
According to Yale, vacations are beneficial to your health. This is especially true when you take the time to savor each second of your getaway as it unfolds. This includes the time you spend waiting at the airport or squeezed into a taxicab. Living in the moment can relieve stress, dispel worries, and renew your sense of wonder. Try it during your trip.
You work much too hard to deny yourself some well-deserved leisure time, so treat yourself to a getaway this season. Then return to your daily life healthy, refreshed, and with memories that will last forever.
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