Proper Prior Planning

This weekend I was visiting friends in Terre Haute, which is approximately 2 hours away from Purdue’s campus. On the drive there, I decided to take the long way so that I could drive through the towns and really take in the sites.  I felt as if I was on a planned vacation as I drove through beautiful towns and cities that I hadn’t seen up close before.

The small shops and beautiful, rolling hills of grass reminded me that you don’t have to go very far to be awed by the beauty of this world, no matter where you live.

On the way back I recorded some of the more beautiful spots that I had seen on the way there. I know I already made a blog post recording my exploits, but this was such a beautiful trip that I couldn’t help but write a similar post and make another video (see below).

Yes, when you don’t have time or money to travel, walk around your area and explore. It truly is a valuable and fun experience to get to know your own area better. However, when you can travel outside of your usual perimeter, it is such a great experience to learn about other areas and escape from what you see every day. Sometimes, we just need to distance ourselves from visuals we see every day so that we can get out of our own minds and recharge.

My friends and I have recently discussed taking a full-blown, cross country vacation this summer. I thought about it and I wondered, would this be more or less peaceful than simply staying home and reading a book? We only get so much time to relax in a year. Would it be more stressful to vacation than to stay-cation?

So, of course, I did some research. Travel is almost always a great plan, because it can broaden your understanding of culture, people, and the world in general, but it has to be planned correctly in order for it to de-stress and to be relaxing.

According to The Harvard Business Review, in order for travel to be duly rewarding, you need to do four things:

  1. Focus on details. So, basically, sweat the small stuff. Make sure you know what you’re doing and when. Know how are you traveling, where will you be eating, etc.
  2. Plan at least one month in advance in order to feel relaxed and prepared as you get closer and closer to the travel date. A month gives you time to plan correctly and get everything done so that you are relaxed going into it.
  3. Travel as far as you can. 84% of the best trips people take are outside of the country.
  4. Meet with someone who knows the area and culture. The greatest stress of a vacation is feeling lost in the area in which you are staying. By “lost” I mean a range of things, from unsafe to confused about where to eat, etc. Try to find a host who will help you learn the area, or travel to a place where you have a friend who can show you around.

As we get closer to summer, the itch to travel grows stronger. Just understand, the majority of people find vacations do not increase happiness unless planned well. Take that extra time to plan your vacation correctly so that it’s worth it. It’s already April, the summer months are right around the corner.Begin planning now.

Check out my road trip below!

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