Taking the stress out of your vacation

Been reading a good article on how vacations can stress people out, a lot of it confirming why it always seems to take a while for me to truly unwind when I’m on vacation, you know, right at that very moment when it’s time to go home again.

Although the study cited suggests you need a minimum of 8 days (8 days???) before the recovery effect starts to take hold, (plus a minimum of 3 weeks to experience lasting results), I found it usually takes me only 4-5 days before my body finally starts to relax… which of course seems to completely defeat the purpose of doing a weekend getaway.  That’s basically what happened the last time I made a getaway to Colorado too.  I was there about 4 days before the tension I felt started to ease, but then I had to go back home literally the day after.  Ugh.  Part of it was my fault and my compulsive need to explore because I just GOTTA see what’s out there, when what I should have done was get enough food and supplies to last me a week, and then literally never leave the cabin until the end of my stay. Lesson learned for next time.

One of the things I’m doing to avoid unnecessary stress for my upcoming road trip this fall is to forgo booking any lodging reservations.  Except for the first night, I have NO clue where I’ll be staying for the duration of the trip, which is exhilarating in a way, but by that same token it also means I probably won’t be able to book a last minute cabin rental in Colorado either.  Once I re-enter Colorado from New Mexico, it’s really up in the air where I decide to stay before I return home.  The only thing I know for sure is that it should be close enough to Denver so I don’t wind up driving 3-4 hours in the early mornings to catch my flight, which would pretty much ruin any relaxation I might have gained from taking this trip in the first place.  Still, that leaves a lot of possible options:  Colorado Springs, Woodland Park, Vail, Silverthorne, Dillon, Breckenridge, Buena Vista, etc.  We’ll see where the road ultimately ends.

But before I make that decision I’m literally going to be “pricelining” my way through Arizona and the Grand Canyons in the hopes of snapping up a major steal of a deal due to someone else cancelling a reservation.  Booking ahead of schedule for the Canyons already appeared to be a lost cause even when I tried to book something last month, as traveling dweebs apparently like to book reservations in Grand Canyon Village a year in advance.  A YEAR.  Dweebs.

Still, I’m not worried, if Priceline doesn’t yield anything for me, I’ll just stay in Williams or Flagstaff.  Although I gotta say, Priceline has made me a skippy dippy happy traveler when it comes to landing hoity toity 4 star gigs for less than $100 a night.  I’ve gotten the bidding ninja skills down to something of a science now, so I’m optimistic about my chances of landing a sweet dig within sight of the Canyons.  That’s another advantage to last minute bookings too, because the savings can be tremendous.  That possibility, coupled with keeping to an open ended schedule really does take a lot of the stress out of a road trip, so for me the tradeoffs are worth it.

So with all that in place, here’s hoping I’ll be doing a whole lotta this during my vacation:

Prancing in the meadows under rainbows

And a little bit less of this:

Epic Donald Duck Temper Tantrum

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6 Responses to Taking the stress out of your vacation

  1. Maeve September 6, 2013 at 7:41 AM #

    Frank, I’m so jealous of you! (but in a good way). You better post some great pics so we can all vicariously enjoy your road trip.

  2. Cautiously Pessimistic September 6, 2013 at 11:09 AM #

    “… what I should have done was get enough food and supplies to last me a week, and then literally never leave the cabin until the end of my stay.”

    Frank, you’re not married, so what in the Wide World of Sports possessed you to NOT have this as your plan from the beginning? Leave the cabin? Ach! The Sun! It burns! We hates it forever!

  3. Maeve September 6, 2013 at 11:14 AM #

    http://www.80s-fashion-fancy-dress.com/images/RayBanBluesBrothers.jpg

    Frank and CP in their sun-avoidance apparel……(if this link doesn’t work it’s not my fault and that’s my story and i’m sticking to it So there.)

  4. loischwarz September 6, 2013 at 12:35 PM #

    What I do: I pack my van with all I need. I put the stuff in specific spots in my van. There is a spot for food (passengers seat and floor); a spot for hardware and such that fits in a large see through plastic container and takes up two seats in the back of the drivers side. My clothes all go behind the passengers seat. Then there is the large back area of my s.u.v. I usually put one or two large dog crates back there and the dogs food, water, buckets behind their crates. I also have space under the floor boards filled with emergency stuff which is never taken out.
    I stick my gps to the front window just left of the rear view mirror. The space between my seat and the passengers seat has a large compartment where I keep my i.d’s and such. important papers.
    Beneath my seat is my pistol and a large heavy flashlight. Behind my seat is a pocket sewed into the seat where I keep maps.
    Now, I am ready to go anywhere. If I need to stop at a motel or somewhere nice, I can, but if I don’t need to, I just stay in my vehicle. This way I know where everything is at all times and I feel secure that I have all I need to survive.
    With my large wolf looking dogs, I have no fear. I just let everyone see them frequently. I also have a sign on my windows that tell others not to come too near my van. I keep the windows rolled down about 1/3 of the way. The soft blanket and pillow is pilled on top of the stuff in the back seat so I can pull it up front anytime I need. My dogs will let me know if someone approaches. I am a light sleeper and I choose where I park wisely.

    • Frank Swift September 6, 2013 at 12:52 PM #

      Lois, I see I’m going to be picking your brain a lot when the time comes that I’ll be traveling with my own dog. :-D

  5. Frank Swift September 6, 2013 at 12:51 PM #

    Actually I had a pretty good reason, in that I was scouting about 500 square miles of territory to note where all the cabin rentals were located and see which one offered the best views so I could keep them in mind for next time. I’m glad I did, because the one I almost went with was in the middle of a death valley that had been the victim of a massive forest fire ten years earlier. They angle the photos so the view still looks nice, but when you’re there in person, whole different story. You have to sacrifice a few trips in the name of expedition but for me it was worth it just to get a really good read on the best places to stay.

    So, if anyone needs some good tips on cabin rentals in Colorado, dial me up. I got the inside scoop, yo.

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