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Five Ways to Make Sure Your Vacation is...a Vacation.

Kayaking and Paddle Boarding on Lake Tahoe
8 Jul 2016
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Tahoe Vacation Planning

We all spend weeks looking forward to the annual summer vacation. We spend afternoons day dreaming of relaxing on the beach and weekends shopping for travel clothes and sunscreen. But all too often, we return home feeling like we need a vacation from our vacation! Read on for expert advice on making your Tahoe vacation a relaxing, rewarding, and re-energizing experience for all members of the family.

1. Travel Smart

Nothing starts a vacation off on the wrong foot like spending hours sitting in traffic with everyone else traveling at peak times. If your only option is to travel after work on a Friday, we recommend waiting until after dinner to leave. Get everyone fed, let the kids fall asleep in the car, and ease them into bed when you arrive. You'll miss most of the Friday evening traffic out of the city, and everyone will wake up refreshed. If you do have a bit more flexibility in your travel schedule, we recommend a Saturday to Saturday stay. You'll likely receive a discount for booking 7 nights or more, and you'll miss both the Friday evening traffic jam and the line of cars heading back to the city on Sunday. Plus, having one day at home before heading back to work allows everyone time to unpack and ease back into their regular schedules.

2. Schedule Downtime

When you're in a new place, it is tempting to pack every day full of activities. How else can you see and do everything? But vacations are about recharging, and going non-stop for days on end can feel just the opposite. We recommend scheduling activities for the morning, and leaving afternoons free. Or if a few full day outings are on your bucket list, then save some days in between for lounging at the lake and reading. Only the most extroverted of travelers will be able to spend all their days out and about without feeling drained, so take advantage of the beautiful place you're visiting and just enjoy the view for an afternoon.

3. Treat Yourself

Vacation homes provide the perfect venue for quality time with family and friends, but if you're spending your entire vacation cooking three meals a day, laundering beach towels, and picking up toys, you might not feel like you're actually on vacation at all. Take advantage of local services to give yourself breaks during your stay. Vacation rental companies offer maid service upon request, and family meals can be catered by local restaurants or prepared in home by a private chef. Paddleboards can be delivered to your door, and boats can be chartered complete with a captain so all you have to do is sit back and relax.

4. Unplug

In vacation spots like Lake Tahoe, picture perfect moments pop up around every corner. But resist the urge to spend your entire vacation behind the screen of your phone or camera. Studies show than when photos are taken, our brain outsources the memory to the camera and it becomes harder to recall. So take a selection of family photos to look back on, and then stash the phone. Wait until you get home to post your favorite moments to social media. And if you cannot disconnect from work or obligations at home all together, set a specific time each day to check email (first thing in the morning, or right after lunch) and limit yourself to an hour for anything time sensitive. Then, stash the electronics and enjoy some of that downtime you scheduled in to hang with those closest to you.

5. Plan Ahead

Nothing adds stress to a week away like arriving at your destination and finding out your boat is too big for the buoy you've been assigned, or the swimming pool is closed after the Fourth of July. Contact the company you're considering renting from and make sure they have a presence in the area. Consider communities with on-site amenities or a shuttle so older children can safely exercise their independence. Looks for a landscaped backyard if you're traveling with small children, or a fenced area if you're bringing the family dog. Make a reservation in advance if you have a large group and a favorite restaurant you dine at every year. Having the big decisions made before you arrive sets you up for smooth sailing throughout your stay.

For more vacation tips, local recommendations for your upcoming trip, or information on Lake Tahoe vacation rentals, don't hesitate to contact Tahoe Getaways!