A week from now, our family of three will be joining nearly 35 million other Americans traveling at least 50 miles from home during the July 4 weekend.
According to AAA, about 90 percent of all travelers during the upcoming holiday, or 31.4 million, will be driving.
Our trip, via minivan, will take us about 600 miles one-way to Orlando.
A visit to Walt Disney World to see Mickey and his friends, however, is not planned. Been there, done that. But Universal Studios, Harry Potter and whatever else catches an 8-year-old’s fancy will guide the agenda.
Along the way, I’ll be picking up newspapers in the cities and towns where we stop. It’s a force of habit – if you’re in the newspaper business, you want to see what others of your ilk are writing about, how they’re writing about it and what it looks like.
My wife, bless her soul, puts up with it for only so long.
“Do you HAVE to get a newspaper every time we stop?” she asks.
I don’t have to, I suppose, but I do feel the need.
“Daddy,” my son asks, “you work at a newspaper. Don’t you get enough news?”
Ah, the brutal, unfiltered opinions of little children.
But my wife and son have a point. We’re on vacation. Can’t we leave the work world behind?
According to a recent study by Expedia.com, 30 percent of working Americans say they’re stressed about work while they’re trying to enjoy vacation.
Pre-Blackberry days, many folks actually called the office to see what was going on, just in case.
Now with Blackberry and other smart phones, along with laptops easily available, staying connected is not very hard anymore, unless you’re in the middle of a desert or jungle.
Staying disconnected seems to be the bigger problem then.
Here are some tips for a stress-free vacation from wellnessjunction.com and business author Joseph Folkman:
– Stay in fewer places longer.
– Don’t pack the schedule. Leave time open for relaxing.
– Make the vacation affordable and stay within your budget. Nothing is more stressful than spending more than you can afford.
– When vacationing with a family, find ways to satisfy a little bit of everyone’s needs. Help children realize that they have to make some tradeoffs too.
– Take time to genuinely appreciate where you are, what you’re doing and whom you’re with, and tell those with you what you appreciate.
– Have fun along the way. Make your time in a car or on a plane special. Listen to a book on tape. When everyone is interested in the story, they can’t wait to get back in the car.
– Plan group as well as “alone” activities. An early morning walk on the beach can be the best part of a vacation.
– Balance flexibility – “We’re having fun; let’s do this longer” – with timeliness – “We have to be up and packed by 6 a.m. to catch the plane.”
– Decide to have fun. After all, you’re on a vacation!
That sounds like very good advice and I think I’ll try it. After I read my free morning paper, of course.
Contact Dennis Seid at (662) 678-1578 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him at twitter.com/dennisseid.
Dennis Seid/NEMS Daily Journal