It's finally time for vacation! How to arrive refreshed and ready for fun

Did you know that most travelers waste their first day of summer vacation recovering from the process of getting to their vacation spot? To make the most of your vacation, you want to arrive at your final destination refreshed, alert, and ready for some fun and relaxation. Here are some helpful tips to tell you how.

Plan. Pack. Sleep.

When you sleep, you wake up feeling refreshed and alert. Unfortunately, many travelers start their vacation already in a state of sleep deprivation. The stress of preparing for the trip, coupled with last-minute packing, makes for a very cranky traveler. To avoid this, plan and pack effectively. Make a list of needs and plan to pack a little each day the week before your trip. There's also therapeutic value when you check items off that list. Finally, make sure you get a full night's rest (about 8 hours) in each day leading up to your trip.

Bring along a "comfy" bag.

Long-haul flights or car rides can be miserable for summer travelers. To make your trip as a passenger more enjoyable, bring along a small bag with things that help you sleep and will improve your comfort: mp3 player, travel pillow, sleep mask, your SleepPhones, ibuprofen, antibacterial hand wipes, and more. Ideally, you want to create a mini-sanctuary that blocks out the noises and discomfort of traveling. This way, even if you can't nap, you can at least rest and relax during a flight or as a passenger on a long car ride.

Perk up with water instead of caffeine and sugar.

Caffeine and sugar are stimulants that may provide a fun, quick pick-me-up—but watch out. With every high comes an equally impressive low. Your energy levels and blood sugar will eventually crash, leaving you feeling worse off. Instead, stay hydrated and refreshed with cool water. Water helps with a number of travel ailments that can weigh you down: bloating, indigestion, mouth and nasal passage dryness, overall thirst, and more.  So when the beverage cart comes around, ask for H20.

Stick to light, healthy foods.

Bypass the fast food and heavy meals before and during your travel. Stuffing yourself will make you feel uncomfortable and lethargic. Instead, consider a high-protein, low-carbohydrate meal or snack. Fresh fruit and/or nuts are a great way to keep you going. 

Keep it kid-friendly.

Lack of stimulation... too much sugar... too little sleep. That's the perfect storm when traveling with kids! To ensure the whole family arrives happy and alert, plan in advance to cover the needs of the children, too. In addition to all the points outlined above, bring along activities that will keep them engaged and quiet throughout the trip. Finally, select your seats ahead of time to optimize the space and seating arrangement— and separate any siblings who are prone to arguing. Happy kids will mean happy parents!

With proper planning and a bit of common sense, you can make the most of your summer vacation. After all, you shouldn't need a vacation from your vacation!

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