Recipe for how to ruin a vacation:
- 1 part crazy and long work schedule
- 1 part too little sleep
- Add rushed, fast food meals
- Eat too little or too much
- Mix in too little water, too much caffeine, and alcohol
- Sprinkle with too little exercise
- Stir and discover that your hard-won vacation may fall victim to anger, sickness and stress.
This recipe has been tested thoroughly. It led to me sacrificing a full day of scuba diving in one of the most exotic locations in the world – Lembeh Straits, Indonesia. It doesn’t matter whether you’re traveling across the planet or across town. Leaving home overly tired, stressed, poorly nourished and dehydrated can sabotage any trip.
It was a pleasure to find electric plugs and USB connections on our Singapore Airlines flight to Narita, Japan. The meals in our Economy seats were unlike anything served outside of first class on any American airlines. They handed out warm, moist towels once we were airborne! Wine and spirits were gratis (although not a good idea when working to counteract jet lag).
While the trip, planned months before, was looming, I choose poorly and set up meetings, events, promotions and a flurry of detailed tasks before getting out of town. To top it off, I let my traveling partner know I needed to work while on the road. Good WiFi was key. However no matter what the airlines, airports or our resort promised, it was too often spotty, extremely slow or expensive.
By the third day of the trip, I found myself too sick to panic. My head pounded in an unusual way. My usually vigorous appetite disappeared. Trusty Ibuprofen did little. Usually a light sleeper, I could barely move my head off the pillow and afternoon naps stretched into the wee hours of morning.
My companions were worried too. One doctor in the group generously made a house call and gently asked a dozen questions. Rest, more painkillers and lots of water were prescribed. I spent a full day in bed while my friends were out muck-diving and playing in some of the most beautiful waters in the world.
Luckily for me the dark clouds lifted and within 24 hours I was feeling nearly normal. Dinner was doable and I re-joined the group for a birthday party with the locals. I abstained from drinking alcohol or eating too much sugar. By the next morning I was back in the water and the rest of the trip went well, as long as I moderated my eating, sleeping and didn’t over-extend.
Don’t follow the recipe for how to ruin a vacation! I hope this helps you or your travel buddies avoid my mistakes and that you never compromise your precious vacation time.