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What is a vacation

Updated on March 10, 2011

The Lonely Tree

The Lonely Tree was taken while I was on vacation a few years ago. This image is also the cover for my book of poetry: Inner Dreams and Aspirations.
The Lonely Tree was taken while I was on vacation a few years ago. This image is also the cover for my book of poetry: Inner Dreams and Aspirations. | Source

What is a vacation

A vacation is many things. A vacation is always, too short. A vacation can be a living, nightmare. A vacation can be your boss’ way of reminding you that you are not as important to the company as you think you are. A vacation can be a great reminder why you moved far away from family. A vacation can be everything but a vacation.

Most people take their vacation without actually taking the time to think about what a vacation is supposed to be. For example, many vacationers will make these grand plans of heading to the beach or running off to the mountains. Others will plan for traveling to a foreign country or going to see family that lives far away. Ultimately, many vacationers all make the same common mistakes when it comes to their vacation.

Careful planning is the key to having a successful vacation but knowledge of a great vacation without wisdom will quickly leave the vacationer feeling drained, financially, strapped and wishing they had a vacation to follow up their vacation.

The first step in planning a vacation is working with the time you have off from work. If your vacation starts on a Saturday, do not make any plans to actually go anywhere until the following Monday. You may be tempted to grab your stuff and run right out the door but you have to realize that you still need some down time. So, enjoy being a bum around the house for the first two days and avoid doing any chores or running errands.

If your trip is taking you several states away, plan and buy round trip tickets a few months in advance. Fact is, you can get those airplane tickets dirt cheap by purchasing them a few months, ahead of time. A flight from North Carolina to California takes five hours by plane. Driving that far would take you three to five days. Do you really want to waste half your vacation sitting in a car for hours on end?

Plan your vacation trip to last for only five days. You need to be back home by Friday night so you can enjoy being a house bum again for the last two days of your vacation. Naturally, most people want to use all nine days for their vacation but this is not feasible. Not only will you feel even more tired than had you worked that week, but the real idea of a vacation is to spend the time enjoying being home.

Always remember, the whole concept of a vacation is to have fun. Therefore, here are some fun and whacky ideas to try. If you decide you want to take a vacation that is still close enough to drive to then, try this, learn what your state has to offer. Nearly all coastal states have aquariums to visit and who, does not love going to the beach? Nevertheless, before you take off and head to the beach, do yourself a huge favor. Look for small towns that are close to the bigger cities. The reason this, was recommended is simple. Small coastal towns offer quieter beaches so you and your family can enjoy having more space to yourselves.

Fact is, that is the best advice you can get. You will find great mom and pop type restaurants to enjoy. The beaches are a lot less crowded and you will get a better chance at seeing more of the ocean in its natural setting versus staring at condominiums piled on top of each other. There is nothing better than standing on the beach and actually seeing what it looks like without all the buildings and noises.

That rule of thumb applies to any place you chose to visit. Small towns offer a cozy setting. You should not have to worry about dense traffic and finding ten square feet of area to enjoy. National parks are great places to visit and offer a very pleasant, tranquil setting for you to indulge in.

Now then, let us cover how to enjoy going to visit the family. Spending time with family is always a great thing unless you come from a family of regular guests on the Jerry Springer show. You have made your travel plans and you are taking the family to go see the family. You may be tempted to stay with them while you are there. Do your spouse and kids a huge favor and avoid that idea like the plague. Staying with your family may seem okay to you but will your spouse and children feel the same way? This might be your vacation but take their feelings and habits into consideration. Not only this but what if the family you are visiting has a hectic schedule. Do you really want to have them waking you up at seven in the morning when you are supposed to be sleeping in?

Vacationing outside of your own country can sound very exciting but ask yourself one question: Is there anything you can see in another country that you cannot find where you are from? Chances are, there are plenty of things but is it worth it? Granted, I would love to go to Greece and visit all of the historic sites there. I am a huge fanatic when it comes to ancient Greece. Still, I wonder how many Grecians are sick of tourists. You should never be rude while you are on vacation.

Whenever you visit any place, always be polite to the people working in public jobs. Waiters and waitresses are, paid one third of minimum wage and rely heavily on tips so use the proper calculation of fifteen percent and cough up the money unless the service truly was lousy. Avoid blaming the server for the food if your order was, not cooked to your liking. Granted if you ordered fried shrimp and the server brings you a plate of sauerkraut with sausages, yea you should complain. Still, be polite about it. Remember, they have a very hard job where they are constantly running back and forth and sitting down is not a luxury they get for hours on end. This is your vacation, try not to ruin it by getting upset over stupid stuff or it ruins the whole point of having a vacation.

The final thought. Enjoy every minute of time you have while you are off from work. Plan to have fun, work to get that fun and make sure that whatever you decide to do, you have fun. If you plan on going away from home, learn everything you can about the place you have chosen for your vacation. Avoid big cities and heavily trafficked areas and still to the peace and quiet of small towns. Peace and quiet is what a vacation is all about for any vacationer. Also, do not forget about buying cheap airline tickets way, in advance to save a bundle on them.


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    • W. K. Hayes profile image

      Warren Keith Hayes 6 years ago from Bryson City, North Carolina

      Thank you Rhonda...I tried living in Florida years ago and to put it mildly...I could not handle the humidity and giant bugs. Palmetto Bugs should be illegal. I have never been to Alabama although it is the namesake of my favorite music group of all time. Thanks for stopping in and, 'chewing the fat' for a minute. (I really need to learn where that expression orignated from LOL) Have a great day and its great hearing from you, again.

    • Rhonda Waits profile image

      Rhonda Musch 6 years ago from The Emerald Coast

      I enjoyed your work as always. You have some great tips here. I moved to Florida, thinking it would make me feel like I was on vacation year round. That is not the case though. I sometimes return home to Alabama,just to be on vacation. Thanks for sharing.

      Sweet Wishes Rhonda

    • W. K. Hayes profile image

      Warren Keith Hayes 6 years ago from Bryson City, North Carolina

      Thank you Jillofalltrades...I had a lot of fun writing it...there's nothing better than a vacation. The first thing I did when I retired to a life of writing was take two weeks off. That was four months ago and I've been working every day, ever since. The nice thing about being my own boss is I can give myself some downtime...if Hubpages wasn't so addictive and my pesky publisher wanting the next set of books...I would so take a vacation. LOL

    • W. K. Hayes profile image

      Warren Keith Hayes 6 years ago from Bryson City, North Carolina

      Thank you Perfect Shop Girl...I agree but usually my plans for my next vacation consists of wishing that next vacation would start as soon as the first one ends. LOL

    • jill of alltrades profile image

      jill of alltrades 6 years ago from Philippines

      What a beautiful hub!

      I love going on vacation and I enjoyed reading this.

      Thanks for sharing!

    • Perfect Shop Girl profile image

      Perfect Shop Girl 6 years ago

      Fantastic article. I love to go on vacations. One thing that is a must on a vacation is to start planning the next:)

    • W. K. Hayes profile image

      Warren Keith Hayes 6 years ago from Bryson City, North Carolina

      Yes they are. One of my favorite places to visit is Fort Fisher in North Carolina. Becasue it is a national Park, the closest building is the North Carolina aquarium and getting to enjoy undisturbed beaches is awesome. Thank you for reading the article and I'm glad you like it.

    • Mandeeadair profile image

      Mandeeadair 6 years ago from California

      Great hub, I live in one of those small coastal towns you speak of and they are wonderful to vacation in!