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Tips to avoid burnout when planning your next vacation

#accessibletravel #autismtravel #autistic #burnout #certified autism travel professional #certifiedautismtravelprofessional #neurodivergent #traveladvisor May 07, 2024

It is so easy to become overwhelmed when it comes to planning your vacation and traveling.  As I learn more about being neuroaffirming and study autism and neurodivergence, it is becoming clear that there are many tips that are useful for both neurodivergent and neurotypical travelers.  

You want to be proactive and plan to avoid being disappointed on your vacation or perhaps not going at all.  Here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Carve out dedicated time. Set aside time to either plan your vacation or to make some decisions that you can bring to your travel advisor to assist with their planning.  I know from personal experience that if I don't schedule the time in my calendar, I will often keep putting things off until the last possible minute.  With the way that travel is now, if you wait too long, you will often miss out as rooms may be full or the activities you wanted to experience may be sold out.  
  • Reduce demands on yourself. Travel should be fun.  It should not be a chore or something you have to do.  If you don't have the "spoons" or bandwidth and become too overwhelmed by the choices available, working with a dedicated travel advisor could be just what you need.  
  • Consider your sensory requirements. Everyone is different.  Some travelers enjoy being around lots of people and animals, clubs and shows, etc. while other people are more introverted and prefer more quiet environments, times of day, or activities.  Know yourself.  Only go on the trip if it suits your needs to avoid being miserable or having a meltdown. 
  • Schedule in rest time. Don't overschedule your vacations.  Give yourself plenty of time to do what you enjoy.  I like to limit myself to one pre-planned activity a day if possible so that I have more unscheduled free time to do whatever I choose.  If I am feeling more energetic that day, I'll have no problem finding something to occupy me, but if I am feeling tired, I can order delivery or room service and spend a quiet evening in my hotel.  
  • Do only what you enjoy. More than anyone else, you know what brings you joy.  I highly advise that you focus on you during your vacation--even if you have to give yourself an extra day before or after traveling with others.  When I went on a group trip to Japan, I added on a couple of days at the end and traveled by myself outside of Kyoto to explore the rural village where reiki was discovered in Kurama.  I also had the experience of using a traditional Japanese onsen.  It was a sublime experience and was only limited by time and wanting to get the multiple trains back to my hotel in Kyoto.  It was enough.  It was what I wanted to do.  And it was enjoyable to me.  I didn't need to please anyone else or see a tourist site to please anyone.  
  • Keep to your routine. Keep in mind your regular schedule at home.  Are you typically an early bird?  If so, you might not enjoy visiting a place where dinner starts at 10 p.m.  Night owl?  You might not want to get up hours before dawn to view the sunrise over Haleakala.  If you do decide it's worth it to break your routine, realize that you might not physically feel your best and may have to make accommodations for yourself such as going to bed early or staying up later so that it is not as disruptive to your cycles. 
  • Allow yourself substantial alone time. If you know you feel better with alone time in your day-to-day life, keep that up when you travel.  If traveling with others, find a way to give yourself a couple of hours throughout the day when you can be alone to recharge your batteries.  This will make your vacation a better experience all around.  

I hope these tips help you to avoid burnout when planning your travel or traveling.  Once you've thought deeply on the type of travel you want and have specific dates and a budget, please fill out this intake form to start the process.  

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