Vacations are a special time and can really benefit you mentally, physically, and emotionally. Evidence suggests that taking a break can be positive for your health, career, and relationships. While you will undoubtedly want to make the most of your time away, even experienced travelers can make the same vacation mistakes time and again; following the same pattern of holiday habits and attitudes that negate from the overall experience.

Before you jet off to a Thai-island paradise or dive into the cool waters lapping at the shores of Bali be wary of our these vacation no-nos.

  1. Don’t over plan

Creating too strict an itinerary can be exhausting and can squeeze out all the footloose and fancy-free fun of a vacation. Just as sometimes it is better to get lost than follow a map, it is often more enjoyable to go with the flow and see how the mood takes you. Quite often the interesting elements of a destination only become visible on arrival. Exploring your holiday destination leads to adventure and exhilarating experiences.

Having too little free time defeats the object of a holiday and can give vacations a work-like feeling, There is a big difference between a relaxing vacation and a sightseeing tour holiday with early-morning starts and long days taking in as many cultural sights as possible. At the same time, do not under plan either or you could miss out on the best a destination has to offer.

  1. Don’t overpack

There is something psychologically liberating about traveling light. Somehow you feel looser and less tied down; less encumbered and more willing to approach your time off with a more open attitude. Vacations are a perfect opportunity to leave the ‘real’ world behind and step into another world completely. Taking too many possessions weighs you down and there is a sense that a holiday should a time of renewal.

On a more practical rather than emotional point, overpacking is pointless. How many outfits do you need to lounge by the infinity pool? How many swimwear do you need by the beach? Can you really not live without all your life accessories for a week or two? Leave space in the case for souvenirs and buy beach sarongs when you arrive instead.

  1. Don’t take your work with you

Plan ahead, make contingency plans, and realize that the world keeps turning even if you are taking a couple of weeks off to walk barefoot in the sand. Whilst answering the odd work email may seem harmless it can seriously damage the enjoyment of your vacation time and encourage you to engage your mind in work-related issues you need to deal with or tasks waiting to complete.

A holiday is for destressing and work is one of the main instigators of worry. If you want to relax and benefit from a real holiday then put in place an emergency-only contact system. This way you will not get dragged back into the minutiae of daily work or having to mull over bigger issues.

  1. Don’t become a digital recluse

If you are the type of person who cannot sleep without the loving embrace of your smartphone or your tablet is an added appendage then facing a digital detox holiday could bring you out in a cold sweat. However, by disconnecting from your digital life you can connect more easily with the here and now of your holiday, yourself, and whomever you are vacationing with.

Logging off and opening your heart and mind to a destination enables you to plug into the rhythm, culture, and people of a place. You can see how beautiful a villa stay might be in Bali, Phuket or Samui from your screen, but actually experiencing these dream destinations is an immersive sensory adventure that cannot be surpassed.

  1. Don’t forget to relax, indulge & keep active

Getting back to basics, too fast a pace or packing in too many things to see and do on holiday can leave little time to appreciate the sweetness of doing absolutely nothing, Basking by the pool with an awe-inspiring view can induce a sense of tranquillity and inner calm. Relaxation proactively benefits you both physically and mentally.

Once upon a time, a holiday was the perfect opportunity to totally indulge and yet somewhere along the way this idea of a vacation being a treat has been diluted. Claim back the enjoyment of fine dining, doing what you want, when you want and not fixating on what you should or should not be doing.

However, remember that keeping active is energizing too and relaxation and indulgence feel far better if also balanced with some healthy activities.

  1. Don’t be afraid of doing something fun & different

Whether it is a case of embracing your inner-child or just the need to destress, adding in the fun factor is a great reminder of what a holiday is really all about. Your vacation is a chance to jump into new experiences and adventures with joy in your heart and a smile on your face.

Whilst you may not want to step too far out of your comfort zone, take the time to learn something new or enjoy a different activity. By challenging yourself in this way during your getaway you are giving yourself a wonderful opportunity to live and experience life to its fullest.

  1. Don’t disregard the importance of where you stay

A stunning tourist destination is only part of the perfect holiday snapshot and where you stay can really enhance, or detract, from the experience. A luxury villa rental can become an inspirational oasis and a relaxing retreat that defines your holiday. In-villa staff such as a concierge and private chef elevate the quality and possibilities of how you spend your time too.

From sundowners with a beautiful sunset view to relaxing in a private cinema, dining by the pool and lounging in a luxurious pad, do not deny yourself a magical place to stay.