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Columns : Letters to The Editor Last Updated: Jun 1, 2019 - 7:38:08 AM

Melissa Martin: Make vacation memories in 2019
Jun 1, 2019 - 6:33:26 AM

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A condo or a cabin? Beach or mountain? Country or city? USA or overseas? What is your favorite vacation spot? Adventurer or homebody?

Some people choose a staycation—a vacation spent at home and involving day trips to local attractions.

And some people use vacation time for home improvements—which really isn’t a vacation. The purpose of a vacation is supposed to be rest and relaxation. And fun.

However, some jet-setters cram so much activity into their annual vacation—they need a vacation from their vacation when they return home.

I’ve often wondered where people that live at the beach take their vacations. Do they travel to the mountains? Do they go somewhere dry? Do they visit relatives in the Heartland—U.S. states that don’t touch an ocean?

A 2015 study revealed what our travel destinations reveal about our personalities. According to research in the “Journal of Research in Personality,” extroverts prefer the ocean, and introverts go for the mountains. Based on a total of 613,000 personality surveys, the report suggests that extroverts are the beach folks who are more prone towards socializing while introverts are the mountain people who prefer nature and peacefulness.

A 2015 study by the American Psychological Association concluded that vacations reduce stress by removing people from the environments they associate with stress and anxiety. That sounds like common sense to me.

International vacations. The Caribbean is the most preferred destination for American tourists. Caribbean countries include Cuba, Bahamas, Barbados, Virgin Islands, Dominica, Puerto Rico, Jamaica and 21 other states, according to The World Atlas.

The great American road trip remains a favorite for family vacations. Pack your patience, buckle up the kids, squeeze in granny and her toothless dog, and hit the freeway. Tame your tongue when the kids bicker and make several bathroom stops to avoid pee-pee pants. The drive is a part of the vacation as well.

A vacation doesn’t have to be costly, elaborate, or long. A change in scenery is good for perspective—even a weekend away can improve well-being. But, don’t cram too much sight-seeing into your trip. Hurry and scurry is not vacation-friendly.

And don’t yell at the kids when they appear overly excited or overly tired. And don’t be snappy with granny when she needs an afternoon nap or refuses surfing lessons.

“As you grow older, you learn a few things. One of them is to actually take the time you've allotted for vacation.”—John Battelle

Melissa Martin, Ph.D, is an author, columnist, educator, and therapist. She lives in US.

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