A Vacation During Recession?

Stressed but cash strapped? You’re not the only one, most of us are. But that shouldn’t be an excuse not to get away from it all.

You need it now more than ever, what with all the financial worries and job scares. Most of us are so caught up with trying to retain our jobs or find new ones that we hardly have any time left for family and friends.

But those who travel frequently, in spite of it all, vouch for the fact that a change in environment works wonders when stress and burdens of everyday problems become too much to handle. Holding your head in desperation is not going to help. Frustration will continue to build up until your body can take it no longer and shuts down completely. We don’t want that to happen, do we?

Even psychiatrists stress the importance of a vacation. “People are constantly surrounded by demands, constantly adding stress, so our stress response is overactive,” says one. There needs to be a balance between our sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. While the sympathetic system keeps us alert by providing the fight or flight responses, the parasympathetic systems allows us to rest. A good enjoyable vacation recharges our parasympathetic nervous system.

This exercise of concentrating on rejuvenation of our nervous system alleviates stress and helps us handle our life better.

But where do I go on a holiday?

Everyone’s idea of relaxation is different; while a spa resort may do the trick for some, it is the delights of a culinary school that proves therapeutic for someone else. My dream vacation may seem unpalatable to you. But whatever you choose to do, a vacation does wonders to the mental well-being by keeping stress levels in check.

How many Americans take a vacation and how often? According to a recent poll that took into consideration vacation habits of people for several years, it is found that about 34% of working adults do not utilize all their eligible days for vacation.

But what about the recession? Where do we get the money for a vacation from?

Who said a vacation has to be expensive?

You don’t really need an expensive resort to recharge yourself. Your vacation can be a very modest affair, such as going to the beach for the day and meditating on the cool sands, renting a bike and going away with close friends or even alone.

If a longer vacation for the weekend is needed, then it is not really necessary to leave the town or city you are in. You can book a hotel room in the same city for two or three days and just let yourself go, forget all the responsibilities. This itself will give a new perspective to your life and the energy to get back to it with all the enthusiasm. You don’t even have to travel if you don’t wish to.

For those with big families, renting a house for the weekend can be a lot of fun. There are plenty of ski lodges, flats, houses, mansions available in all price ranges.

Why not look at the option of house-swapping?

According to a travel guide, living in someone else’s house also takes us away from the routine and gives the much needed break, making family time more exciting. You must have seen the romantic comedy, “The Holiday,” where Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz swap houses for two weeks. Look at the amount of fun they both had and how they meet someone that mends their hearts. House swapping is certainly worth checking out.

There are people who find travel stressful. Such people should make sure not to let travel become a chore by itself. A vacation should make you happier and take away the stress.

With the increase in stress levels during recession, it becomes all the more important to take that vacation you’ve always longed for. If you are short of cash, do things that you don’t have to spend too much money on, without leaving the city. Don’t do too much planning; although, if you’re leaving the city, a little planning goes a long way. The problem with over planning is that it can lead to disappointment if it doesn’t happen the way you want.

The key to happy living or happy vacationing is how adaptable we are to circumstances and how we try to find happiness within our reach. Don’t be one of those people that keep cribbing because they don’t have the money to spend lavishly like the high flyers. Happiness does not come from money; it is within yourself, with your loved ones. Go find it! Take that much deserved break!

Join the discussion